Michael Dyer's artist statement
I Hate Artists Statements
First if I offend anyone I apologise in advance. That is not my intention.
I hate artist statements. At least I hate writing them. If the statement actually pertains to the work; like the location, medium, how long it took, or the subject then OK. Otherwise there are a number of Web sites that generate wonderful sounding statements. They are gobbledegook but they sound great. The following is my statement. I promise it is by and about me, nothing in it is designed to sell paintings or elicit your interest. I don’t mind your interest I just don’t understand it.
I find artists statements difficult to understand. Not what the artist wrote but why write anything at all. A potential buyer looks at the painting and either likes it or doesn’t. Knowing how it’s painted, with what medium (I use acrylics) and on what surface isn’t going to change how someone likes the work. If I were buying a painting I’d like to know if the artist thought about its archival attributes. If the work is painted using coloured mashed potatoes I would question its longevity. Don’t laugh.
There may be some underlying message that the artist is trying to convey. If you don’t get it right away you can argue that the work isn’t very good but it might take a month or more of living with a painting before you stumble upon its underlying meaning. My paintings have no underlying meaning that I am aware of. I liked the subject so I painted it. That tells you something about me but I don’t know why a particular scene attracted me so I can’t enlighten you.
This statement designed to answer questions that have occurred to me or have been asked by others.
I like a painted edge
The edge can be a continuation of the painting itself or black. It still allows you to put the painting in any frame you like. The frame provides a connection or a divider to the room the painting is in. I don't believe you should choose a painting because the colours complement the room, unless the painting is very abstract. Pick a painting that you like and use the frame to make it work in the room you want to hang it in. The black edge allows you to hang it immediately. Many of my paintings have black edges. At the moment I'm partial to a continuous edge, one that is the same as the painting continuing over the edge. It will work as an initial frame until you find the frame you like. You may not even need to consider a frame.
I have used both oils and acrylics. I’ve done work in pencil and ink. I tried acrylics years ago but found them too transparent. I like the latest acrylics, they are very like oils and are much easier to use.
I started with oil many years ago. I love the smell of Turpentine, at least the way it used to smell. Turpentine comes from various tree saps. It used to smell like Tea Tree Oil (nothing to do with tea). A number of years ago the refining process was changed to a newer, better, cheaper process. This change removed the smell that I loved and changed it to a harsh chemical odour that I dislike. I stopped painting. At the time I didn’t think it was because of the change in odour but in retrospect I see that it was a major reason. The new acrylics changed that because they hardly smell at all (at least not that I notice) and they are water based.
Why I paint
I paint because I enjoy it. I like it when the image develops a realistic quality. I don’t have the time or inclination to paint realism. I view my work as illusion. I like it when you look at it and imagine that you are looking at reality. Sometimes it seems to jump off the canvas. That is what I call the illusion. When you get up close it looks like a painting; If it is indistinguishable from a photograph then what is the point? Having said that, I am in awe of artists who can paint ultra-realism.
I don’t take commissions. I am a Graphic Designer by trade and as a graphic designer my job is to make what the client wants look its best. Design skills are used to best tell the story the client needs to tell their customers in order to make a sale. I paint on my own time. I paint what I want in the way I want, with no client to answer to.
Why own a painting
If you can’t live without it or you want to see it hanging on your wall every morning then buy the painting. Sometimes you need very deep pockets to make this happen but at other times a high quality print will be fine. I collect pictures that I like and put them on my monitor which is quite inexpensive. Prints can be difficult in some ways; modern printing ink and methods make very good prints possible however sometimes the colours are difficult to match. We could get into a very technical discussion about the technologies used in a print versus on your screen and how they compare to the original but suffice it to say that they are, to a large extent, not comparable. Some colours that you see in nature are not reproducible in a print or on-screen and some colours that you see on your screen cannot be reproduced with paint.
Some people just have to own the original. If you are such a person and you have the means then enjoy it.