Sunday, July 12, 2009

Do Climate and environment affect the artist?

The other day I was asked if I thought the environment and climate in which an artist works affects the work produced by that artist. I think this is an interesting question, and it's one I've been mulling over for a while. I will provide my answer, but I would be very interested in what you, the readers (Dawn) think.

In my opinion, the environment and climate in which an artist works has an indirect affect on the work produced. I say this because the environment will contribute to the mood of the artist, and this will in turn affect the outcome of the work. I have two stories to back this up.

When I was in Scotland, I met an artist from the United States who had spent the first six months (this was early June) living and working in Scotland. He was having an exhibition of his work from that six month period. The work from late February had a particularity somber palette. The subject matter also took on a drastically morbid character. When asked about this, he commented that at that time of year (Scotland is further North than any of the contiguous States)the sun sets at 2:30 0r 3:00 or something. He said it was always dark, and he was sick of it. His painting strongly reflected his mood.

Story number two. When I was in art school I began as a ceramics major. I later switched to 2-D media for several reasons. One of those reasons however, was the environment of the classroom where ceramics were taught. There were very few windows, and of these they only let in a minimum amount of light. It was dank, all the walls were gray cinder block, and it was near the blacksmith studios, so there were a number of air filter stacks from all the fires used to shape and bend metal. It was a rather unpleasant place to spend any period of time. This environment shaped my mood, and my work suffered because if it. I had to get out of there, so I switched specializations.

So there you have it. Two stories about environment affecting the work artists produce. I am very interested in your thoughts. So leave your comments in the comment section, and I will see you next week.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

So that's the reason you backed out of taking ceramics with me!