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In, Then Out?

by Karen Weihs on 6/7/2012 9:52:12 AM

This post is by guest author, Karen Weihs.  This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here. We've promoted this post to feature status because it provides great value to the FineArtViews community.  If you want your blog posts listed in the FineArtViews newsletter with the possibility of being republished to our 19,000+ subscribers, consider blogging with FASO Artist Websites.  This author's views are entirely her own and may not always reflect the views of BoldBrush, Inc.


There is a paradoxical trait in all artists to be both introvert and extrovert. Both are stable traits that differentiate people.


Many of us have suffered to the extrovert feeling - more at home painting in the quiet, preferring introversion. I was an introverted observer of the world as a child, but now my adult personality enjoys the camaraderie of others, especially other creative types. All of us are required to be "out there" to sell our work and talk about it. It is more and more important to the work to be extroverted, and talk openly about the interior side of our lives like it is special and sacred. It is sacred.


We are drawn to the interior side of our personalities and express it with quality work, but require an audience of buyers to participate in the full exterior experience. Without both, we artists can not fully experience the full circle of our existence. We need to share our findings in how our tools work, how the brush feels in our hands, how the sweet smell lingers on our clothes, how we feel when our day is done.


Since we look more closely at the turmoil of nature and see the rough chaos of trees, tumbled rocks, cracked earthy crevices to find order in its predictability on our canvas, we need to communicate this disorderly mass of life to order the existence of our universe. The more we see the order from chaos, the more simple it becomes; so simple it becomes abstract, the work and the feelings. Simplified order of mind and body, a nice contrast!


I see it in the personal lives of artists, as well. We seem to create interesting problems worth solving to order ourselves. When such problems are solved, we do it again -- creating and solving, thinking it up, creating to solve, packing it up, moving it out, and over and over again.  It is a repetitive order we know. It is so personal and worth the depth that it shines on our walls and on our intrepid extroverted body of shinyness for those special fleeting moments when we stand in a gallery with our works.  It is our interior 'emmy'. The nomination is on the wall, the trophy is in our quirky smile when the gallerist sells. The work is an instance of time extraordinarily valuable, an exceptional example of existence, so why not get out there and show it off?


Painful and daunting as it feels, it is so good when it has rounded the circle of life by finding a place in the world, then we can do it all over again. Each experience gains us confidence. It is the fanciful formation of a lallapalooza, a remarkable thing. This is the reason to be extroverted, to celebrate being brave enough to do this, to be a part of this lallapalooza of life we have created. So pluck up and enjoy it!



Editor's Note:  You can view Karen's original post here.


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Sharon Weaver
Even though I try to rise above the need to "sell," the high of having one of my paintings find a home is exhilarating. That feeling is only topped by the joy of being lost in the painting process. Recently I saw a demo of a well known figurative artist and he commented on how surprised he was at how much time he has to spend being out there marketing his work. He confirmed my suspicion that no matter what level of success, every artist must get out there to push their work.

"The more we see the order from chaos, the more simple it becomes; so simple it becomes abstract, the work and the feelings. Simplified order of mind and body, a nice contrast!" - This is something that I just discovered recently and it has helped inspire my work.
I also wanted to mention that I often feel myself getting frustrated with other artists (mostly women) that are introverted and unconfident and yet paint so beautifully. I think its such a shame that they don't share their work with the world for what ever reason(s) they come up with!

But then I stop myself and have to remind myself that we are all on our own path at our own season of life (and art career) and all I need to do is encourage them and move on.
We all don't get to the extroverted self at the same rate of speed I guess.

Donald Fox
Labels can sometimes be tyrannical whether imposed from within or from without. I am This but I am not That. Labels themselves are simplifications of complex things: emotions, personalities, ways of being, individuals, groups. We simplify usually in order to understand, but if we simplify too much our understanding becomes limited rather than expansive. We cannot easily second guess others, though we frequently try, but we can utilize our own strengths and work to improve our weaknesses.

Patrice Federspiel
I think of myself as an extroverted introvert. My dominant way of being is that of an introvert, meaning I gain energy during my alone times. I "need" alone time in order to remember who I am.
When I get "too much" alone time, I need to get out of the house and be with others. Normally I prefer to be with friends, but I have learned something from my very extroverted husband. If I attend events (specifically business networking events) often enough, I will see the same "new" people there over and over again. Eventually they feel like friends, I feel comfortable with them, and it becomes a fun activity.
I doubt I will ever be a true extrovert, but it can be fun and it certainly helps with the marketing of art!

Esther J. Williams
Karen, funny thing, I just made a long comment on Anna Rose Bain`s article that relates to your topic. We retreat to our inner soul for that magic we reap, we fill our minds through reading and gain illumination, we create unique art, then we must share with the world. We also pull new energy and inspiration from the outer world. I call it a holistic lifestyle. The world is a great big globe, a circle and we revolve within it, sharing our conscious selves en masse. So much can be said of the circle of life.

Susan Holland
Your poetic essay is as delightful as your paintings. Beautifully said! I'm bookmarking it!

Jana Parkes
Great article and insights, Karen!

You gave us many insights, but I particularly appreciate your insights about ordering our universe by making order on the canvas out of the 'chaos' outside of us, and also, that art going out into the world is a part of the circle of life.

To me, what I paint are visual reminders of what we don't see, but still, in the same way, of trying to make sense of the universe.

And, I have found that sharing my art with others expands the experience for me. Others see things in them and experience them in ways that I haven't, and I learn from that.
And, while I have had a lot of trepidation, I've gotten wonderful feedback from my sharing in my newsletters my experience of the paintings I've created.

thank you!, and blessings, Jana

Marian Fortunati
Beautifully articulated thoughts that echo so many of our own feelings. Thanks!

I like be alone, to think to work. I like setting my own times. But I do need friends I would love to have more artist friends to have a cup of coffee with and talk art,marketing , sales all that stuff but they are hard to find. There are lots of hobbiest and I love their art but I would enjoy a group of friends who spen 40 plus hours a week doing the stuff that makes us all say WOW where did that come from.


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