The Artist's Statement:  Writing Your Own

Christine Tierney, Artist, OT Artists Member

I have been asked to write about a mystifying and often paralyzing topic to creatives: The Artist's Statement: Writing Your Own.

I can share what I have learned over my many years of being an artist. My words are certainly not “the Gold Standard”, but I will tell you that my own statement has evolved and morphed constantly since the first one I wrote 14 years ago in 2010, which follows:

Artist's Statement, Christine Tierney (2010)

“ Have you ever looked at an ordinary everyday object and become mesmerized
by the way the light strikes it?  Or gazed into the foggy haze of a crescent moon just as the evening fades into night?

The incredible beauty of such ordinary objects and everyday scenes are what
captures my heart and stirs a deep longing within me to capture the moment . . .
savor it . . . memorialize it so that it never goes away.

Sunday Morning, oil, 14x11
My eyes see the same things you see. My words are chosen carefully yet cannot convey the deep emotion I feel when I paint. I pour my soul into the brush and onto the canvas. Each painting brings new challenges and rewards. As I face the blank canvas I aim to capture that fleeting point in time when light and color dance and troubles are forgotten . . . if only for a moment.

Perhaps you, too, feel the tug of creativity, the urge to mix colors and express yourself with imagery. Or you may have another calling that speaks to your heart and guides you on a different path.

I'll bet you have someone or something special to you that could be commemorated in a painting. Bring your ideas to me. Together we can create a unique painting that will become a meaningful family heirloom. “

Here is my current Artist's Statement, revised January 2024:

The Quiet Prayer, oil, 19x12
 "Endlessly seeking the elements of design and form, I love painting outdoor colors, soft and soothing, or bold and bright, with long cool shadows cast by a warm, mellow sun, or even the dark and mysterious nocturne. An interior space might provide a glimpse of a lone figure absorbed in thought, caught in soft light. These moments quietly tug at my heart and whisper: ‘Paint me...Paint me!’ and once again I am on a mission. ”

Notice how short the most recent one is? While I still feel the same emotions expressed in the older statement, most fine arts organizations require a brief statement, some with 100 word or even 75 word maximum. Over the years mine has been chopped, refined, and edited to relay my deepest thoughts in the fewest
words possible.

Mesmerized, pastel, 12x18
My suggestion to any of you wondering where to begin is to write in a journal. Pour out your thoughts and emotions on paper. Sketch, doodle. No one has to see what you put on those pages. But  time you will likely discover some little gems that reflect your creative drive and passion: ideas and thoughts that will sound good in your own artist’s statement. And when it comes to finalizing your statement, be discerning with your words. Don’t just rush something off. Make sure it truly represents what you want to say, and what you’d like people to know about your own creative process. And don’t copy anyone else!

Artist, Know Thyself.


  1. Hi Christine! I have always marveled at your artistic talent even drawing shoes for advertising at the Star Tribune. Your desire and love for your craft are so evident in your paintings. I love seeing them on FB. Blessings to you and your family. Going to Jamaica with Mike Carlson's wife Nancy and others March 5th. Miss all those guys who have gone on. Paint on my gal! Jan Jagerson


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