Example Artist Statement

Lydia Makepeace Artist Statement | www.lydiamakepeace.com

I’ve been at work this past week on an important part of any artist’s portfolio - the artist statement. It can be a challenge, but the effort is well worth it. In the words of artist Lori McNee:

"Simply put, an artist’s statement is a short piece written for your viewers to answer questions they may have about you and your art. The artist’s statement is a vital marketing tool used to promote you and your work to potential buyers, critics, fellow artists, friends and exhibition curators.  It should be informative and add to the understanding of the artist in an easy, concise manner."

Below I’ve included two examples of my artist statement. The first is a general statement while the second is a more specific statement about my current series of abstract watercolor paintings - Life Aquatic.

General Artist Statement

Color makes me dance and painting is my passion, the oxygen to my creative lungs. Though the subject matter of my work may vary, color remains its constant theme. I prize color for its powerful symbolism and employ it to communicate emotion and mood.

Inspiration for my work comes from the details and moments of everyday life - a shadow on the wall, a patterned scarf, lichen covered fences, filtered light through sparkling waters…

I may begin a painting with an idea of the direction I want it to take but I have found that painting is more of a dialogue between the artist and the work. It is best to listen to what a painting has to say rather than force upon it my preconceived notions of what it should look like.

Above all, with whatever I create, I seek to impart a sense of vitality and joy, a celebration of the greatest art of all - the art of a life well lived.

Series Specific Artist Statement

A move from the Midwest to Naples, Florida inspired a love of aquatic life. Ocean waters teeming with flora and fauna inspire vibrant colors and varied textures in layers of transparent watercolor. I forego the use of brushes preferring to pour liquid watercolor paint directly onto wet paper, allowing it to flow and circulate spontaneously. 

I may begin a painting with an idea of the colors and composition I’d like to achieve, but the painting process is more of an experimental conversation rather than something planned. Each successive layer of paint is a reaction to the layer that came before - a dialogue between myself and the painting. I have found that the best work comes from conversations in which I have done the most careful listening.


What methods do you use to write an artist statement? Share a link to your artist statement below!

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