Rewriting An Artist’s Statement

“Feather and Creamer”, oil on panel, 5×5 inches
(Click to see more images)

Artists’ statements are strange little pieces of writing, which every artist is more or less expected to present to their audience.

They are an opportunity for the artist to encapsulate and explain their goals, aesthetics, and sometimes working methods.

And it should all done within a few short paragraphs, ideally less.

They’re sort of an artistic manifesto wrapped in an elevator pitch (if you’re not familiar with that term, it refers to how you would explain a product or service to a person you do not know in the time it takes to ride an elevator in the average office building).

These statements are surprisingly difficult to write.

Painting is a complicated activity, with many thoughts, goals and motivations hovering in the background.

Distilling all of them into a concise statement requires care and effort – and many tries.

The task is even more difficult; in addition to presenting clear and compelling thoughts, the statement should also be a good piece of writing – and ideally artistic in its own right.

It’s a lot to ask from a couple of sentences.

Most artists probably would prefer to not expend the effort to write a statement, but it is an expected part of the way we communicate.


Everything changes.

Over time my own thinking about what I’m doing behind the easel – and why – has continued to grow and change, along with how I want to try to communicate those thoughts to viewers.

I wrote my current statement about 3 years ago.

While it still reflects some of what I want to express, I felt it needed to be re-written – I want to say things more simply now.

I’ve also been thinking more about what still life painting really means, and how it can give the viewer an experience far beyond just showing them a pretty picture.

And so, I’ve re-written my statement, and I’d like to share it with you. I hope it gives a little insight into how I’m thinking about my paintings these days.

Artist’s Statement

Still life is a quiet art form – it’s right there in the name itself.

A good still life painting draws the viewer into a calm, centered place, allowing silence to arise while the outside world falls away for a little while.

If it makes me feel like time has stopped while I’m looking at it, I know it’s a good still life.

If one of my own paintings gives the viewer that experience, then it has succeeded.

Note: This painting is available.  To learn more about it, please click here.

“Feather and Creamer”, oil on panel, 5×5 inches
(Click to see more images)

Artists’ statements are strange little pieces of writing, which every artist is more or less expected to present to their audience.

They are an opportunity for the artist to encapsulate and explain their goals, aesthetics, and sometimes working methods.

And it should all done within a few short paragraphs, ideally less.

They’re sort of an artistic manifesto wrapped in an elevator pitch (if you’re not familiar with that term, it refers to how you would explain a product or service to a person you do not know in the time it takes to ride an elevator in the average office building).

These statements are surprisingly difficult to write.

Painting is a complicated activity, with many thoughts, goals and motivations hovering in the background.

Distilling all of them into a concise statement requires care and effort – and many tries.

The task is even more difficult; in addition to presenting clear and compelling thoughts, the statement should also be a good piece of writing – and ideally artistic in its own right.

It’s a lot to ask from a couple of sentences.

Most artists probably would prefer to not expend the effort to write a statement, but it is an expected part of the way we communicate.


Everything changes.

Over time my own thinking about what I’m doing behind the easel – and why – has continued to grow and change, along with how I want to try to communicate those thoughts to viewers.

I wrote my current statement about 3 years ago.

While it still reflects some of what I want to express, I felt it needed to be re-written – I want to say things more simply now.

I’ve also been thinking more about what still life painting really means, and how it can give the viewer an experience far beyond just showing them a pretty picture.

And so, I’ve re-written my statement, and I’d like to share it with you. I hope it gives a little insight into how I’m thinking about my paintings these days.

Artist’s Statement

Still life is a quiet art form – it’s right there in the name itself.

A good still life painting draws the viewer into a calm, centered place, allowing silence to arise while the outside world falls away for a little while.

If it makes me feel like time has stopped while I’m looking at it, I know it’s a good still life.

If one of my own paintings gives the viewer that experience, then it has succeeded.

Note: This painting is available.  To learn more about it, please click here.