Face Making

Le blog de l’artiste peintre franco-américaine Gwenn Seemel. Les articles sont en anglais et en français, et souvent ils sont bilingues.

Dating art / Mettre une date sur son art

2014 . 11 . 30 - Comments / Commentaires (4)

Doing it or not as well as how you do it has an effect on your art.

Le faire ou non ainsi que la façon dont vous le faites a un effet sur votre art.

The video where I talk about being your own art historian is here. I’ve also heard of artists noting both the beginning and the end of the making of a work when they date their art, and other artists follow the development of their artworks meticulously in a journal—I often do. In the end, if you’re really committed to being an artist, you’re going to make a lot of art and you’re going to forget when you made certain pieces. Dating your art will help you as you add to your portfolio and it will allow your audience to understand your work better as well.

La vidéo où je parle d’être votre propre historien d’art est ici. Je sais que certains artistes notent à la fois le début et la fin de la réalisation d’une œuvre quand ils datent leur art, et d’autres artistes suivent l’évolution de leurs art méticuleusement dans un journal—je le fais assez souvent. En fin de compte, si vous voulez vraiment être artiste, vous allez faire beaucoup d’art et vous allez oublier quand vous avez créé certaines œuvres. Mettre une date sur votre art vous aidera et il permettra à votre public de mieux comprendre votre art.

Gwenn Seemel's portrait of her brother Kristan Seemel

Gwenn Seemel
Brother / Le frère
acrylic on canvas / acrylique sur toile
36 x 36 inches / 91 x 91 centimètres

For more about the making of this piece, check out this article. I talk more about why I chose to portray my brother re-lighting a birthday cake candle.

Pour en savoir plus sur la réalisation de ce tableau, regardez cet article. Il explique pourquoi j’ai montré mon frère en train de rallumer une bougie d’anniversaire et, si vous ne comprenez pas l’anglais, les images du processus pourraient vous intéresser quand même.

detail image of Gwenn Seemel's portrait of her uncle

detail of Brother / détail du Frère

The series created in collaboration with Becca Bernstein is featured in an exhibition catalog that’s available here.

La série créée en collaboration avec Becca Bernstein a un catalog d’exposition qui est disponible ici.

- New York and new context
- On making better art
- The context makes the art.

- The dancing argument / La dispute qui danse
- Mieux faire son art
- The art is in the framing. / L’art est dans l’encadrement.

CATÉGORIES: - English - Français - Endometriosis - Featuring artists - Practice - Video - Subjective -

Gwenn Seemel sur Liberapay     Gwenn Seemel sur Patreon

(4) Comments / Commentaires: Dating art / Mettre une date sur son art

-- Libby Fife -- 2014 . 11 . 30 --


I couldn’t agree more! I date my own work by the month only and when I look at that I can remember what was going on in my life at that time. It’s the same reason why I date my sketchbook entries. Both things (sketchbook and work) coincide and help me to remember and understand what it is that I am trying to do and what I am trying to learn.

Incidentally, any thoughts about why artists wouldn’t date their work? My theory has to do with being able to enter old work into shows but I would be interested to know what you think.

Thanks as always for a good post. Hope you had a nice holiday.

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-- Gwenn -- 2014 . 11 . 30 --

I’m guessing you’re right, but maybe the motivation could be less conscious too. Artists just might not be into time or into dating things. When I try to think of not dating art in a positive light, I view it as a more cosmic take on life—the idea that we are on this planet for only an instant in a cosmic sense.

Still, there is nothing better for an artist’s creativity than being their own art historian. When you start to see the big narrative arc in your art, you start to be able to shape it as a whole, making all your art into one artwork with a meaning and a direction. And that’s lovely!

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-- Becca Bernstein -- 2014 . 11 . 30 --

Thanks for the mention, Gwenn. I can’t believe it’s been 4 years already (or 5 or 6, depending…). I thought I would add my reasoning for the dating of my paintings. It is twofold. One, I date my work when it is finished and, in the case of a body of work like Subjective, none of the paintings are finished until they all are. I often make minute changes to the earlier paintings to make the whole show cohesive, sometimes even after framing. Second, there is a perception by viewers, curators, grant selection committees, and collectors that art is more relevant, collectable, and desirable the more recently it was created. Many grant or exhibition requirements will call for work created in the last one or two years. The later I can push a finish date, the longer the work remains viable for these purposes. Thanks again,  Gwenn. Becca

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-- Gwenn -- 2014 . 11 . 30 --

It’s a good point that none of them are finished until they all are, Becca. I usually don’t continue to add paint as I move on to different works in a series, but they don’t really all feel done until the collection is complete!

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