Untitled Male Torso Study:
acrylics on masonite / approx. 4 x 6 inches.

For me, talking about my artwork is typically excruciating — but I’ve learned from a few of the more successful artists [both critically and monetarily successful] that as an artist I’ve got to learn how to talk about my work, and be able and willing to at a moment’s notice.

I have to be ready – just in case – to give the “elevator speech”.

There’s too much at stake to let someone else fill in the blanks for me. They won’t have any understanding of my processes or intentions, much less my inspirations. [Sometimes there are no inspirations. I just wing it, and need to find the guts to admit it.]

I have the embarrassing tendency to think out loud as I’m trying to put the words together. Hearing it gives me a better grasp of the language, of its flow and cadence and music, allowing me to bring into focus some of the ideas behind the some of images that I’m driven to create. It gives me a better clarity of vision, both deliberate and serendipitous. But I won’t know if my little elevator speech is any good until it’s put to the test.

Honestly, I’d rather be in my studio painting than trying to explain what I do.

– Ryl

[originally posted on my old blog on 09/13/06]