The more I think about what to make for my challenge pieces with my local friend, the more I find myself thinking about what I like and do not like in my own finished pieces. Even just thinking about what I'm creating has helped me think differently about the pieces I see in a museum. I think I'm broadening my horizons!
One thing I am definitely becoming certain of is that I am firmly in the mixed-media category. Anything else would bore me, but this offers such a wide variety and the potential to keep learning new skills. I also am increasingly that I want all my pieces to have dimension to them. This began even over a year ago when I was still in my homegrown cardmaking workshop year, learning a different technique for each card I made. Just adhering something with foam tape so that it was on a different level than the rest of the piece was brilliant, I thought, and I am now finding that I am always looking for a way to add some dimension or extend something across a border.
Tonight I was contemplating the piece I'm working on for our "beginnings" challenge. It is certainly my most ambitious and I am not at all certain it's going to work out, but even if it doesn't I should learn something from it, so on at least one level it will be a success. Anyway, I realized that it is a personal requirement of mine that first and foremost, I want what I make to be pleasing to the eye. I'm not sure how to put it in any more exact terms--harmonious? pretty? [no, not that]? But some artists want their work to be disturbing on first glance, and I guess that at least at this point, I'm not one of those people. I want what I make to be something I or anyone would want to look at, something that if glanced upon on one's way from room to room, it would give a smile, a sigh of appreciation/pleasure, something like that.
Secondly, after one has simply found the viewing to be pleasing, I'd like the details of the work to be interesting for those (like myself) who find that intriguing. So there needs to be a backstory or amplification of the work that if explored is also satisfying in some way.
I still find great resistance in myself to having words on my pieces (seems way too twee), but this evening I read about Soul Soup and loved some of her poetry that is on her paintings. So maybe sometime in the next two or three months, I will add my own personal stipulation to our monthly challenge that I have to include words on my piece. It would be good for me!