Saturday, November 5, 2011

Where Art Thou Art-eo?

Another fabulous installment of Find Your Eye....thank you Kat.  If you think you'd like to find your eye (and I do highly recommend it), zip over to Kat's brand new site-bigger and better than ever-and find out when the next journey begins.

I Love Art
I Love Art

This challenge required considering the notion of art and artist and where you fall down or line up in the scheme of things.  I am in the midst of taking an Art Appreciation course.  I've had several blogger friends ask me if I'm enjoying it and I definitely am.  I have been writing a lot of papers-pretty much one due every week-although I know this is great practice, and especially helpful for students transitioning from high school to college,'s cutting into my time.  But, I'm learning a lot.  Just ask me about the color wheel or the principles of design.  Go ahead; I've got tools in the toolbox where 2 months ago the cupboard was bare.

One of the first essays I had to do was on "What Is Art?"  I even wrote it on my blog rather than as a traditional paper.  What I blabbered on about (hey, we had to turn in at least 2 pages) ended up in concluding.....

What is art? I don't know. It may be an image you like, the process of creating, the way light flows over form, a yearning from within, a famous work in a gallery or coffee table book, or the emotion felt when you see or create an image or artistic piece. I guess art is whatever you want it to be whenever you want it to be that.

......and an artist is someone who creates; someone who believes they are a creative being.

I wonder about the role of those who are purely artists.  How they come to sustain themselves as such without being "starving artists" with back-up plans.  How they stand up boldly and say "this was inspired by birds in the trees on Easter morning" and I'm looking at a pile of left over sardine cans.  Do they really feel, see, sense it?  Who am I to say they do or don't?  Some art appeals to me; some doesn't.  Is there anything such as "good" art or "bad" art?  I suppose there is, but who am I to judge or critic?  I am no one, or I am everyone, or I am just one.  Live and let live.  I'd like to think that my art touches someone, and I suppose an artist who compiled a group of sardine cans representing birds in the trees dares to offer their creation in hopes that it may reach others.  Does it matter if it does?  Not sure.

Banner Selfie
Banner Selfie
(note to self: bulky lens, cell phone, and car keys in jacket pocket do NOT help svelte profile)

Whether someone looks and likes or doesn't look or doesn't like my I care?  Does it give merit to the artist I am?  If someone likes-well it certainly doesn't hurt, BUT I am moved to take photos.  I am an artist.  My creative being scratches and yearns to do, to be useful, to feel.  I would take photos if no one was looking.  I have to.  It has stopped being optional.  But will I always have this "need"?  Don't know.  I say "don't know" a lot.  I think it's okay to say "don't know"....or as a good Mainer might say "hard sayin', not knowin'"...hope you can add in the accent.

I don't know when I decided that I was an artist.  I don't know what was "the tipping point".  I don't know that it matters.  I do know that I own the artist moniker. I bestowed it upon myself.  In owning it, some positive energy has come to me.  Someone recently bought one of my photos, I was recently asked to shoot some senior portraits for a friend's daughter, and this fall I submitted a photo collage and my image was selected to be the cover for the choral group "Voices From the Heart" brand new CD.  My collage has been duplicated 2,000 times.  How cool is that?  This is the first time I've been able to share the image and that news publicly.

Voices From the Heart
"Don't Wanna Wait for Heaven"
Wanna buy one?$15 well spent.  I hear the cover art is spectacular.  :)
Actually, the recording will be sold for the first time next week, so I don't know that it is even available on line YET.  Check back.

Not only are the images mine, but I play African drums to accompany some of the recorded songs, and in earlier years-my hearing was good enough to sing some of these.  I'm an artist all over the place in this regard.  Am I bragging?  I hope not.  Just passing on my smiles.

Thanks for reading my thoughts on art and artists.  Thanks Kat for helping me dig around inside and figure these things out....or at least put a dent in them.


Tamar SB said...

This is so well written, Susan! I used to get bummed entering some of the online photo contests and not winning or what not, but I realized it didn't mean I was less of an artist. Which is why I love Ashley's link up - no pressure and all about your own view on art!

Kathy said...

Very well written and thought provoking sentiments. I think just like beauty is in the eye of the is art.


Kay L. Davies said...

The word "artist" — unlike the word "plumber" — can be self-bestowed and be perfectly true.
Extrapolating from there, we have to be able to accept that "art" can be so called by its creator, and also be perfectly true.
Sometimes it's difficult to go along with that. In the case of your photos, however, it is easy to believe.

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

Carol Blackburn said...

I've been telling you this all along, Susan......:) Great post!

Jess said...

Gonna go back and read more slowly through your post and really soak it up... but... you had a LENS in your jacket pocket!? :) lol

Nadege, said...

I love the collage and congratulations for getting selected for the front cover.

I take photos because I enjoy. If others like my shots, it a bonus.

Ginny said...

I too have dubbed myself an artist and once I did it felt comfortable. Congratulations on all of your success. It is so exciting when we take a picture or create something that we like ourself but having others recognize our work makes it even more special. I enjoyed your post and your work very much.

Anonymous said...

The caption below the selfie cracked me up, you could be sporting an enormous bag, which is even more svelte. From personal experience, you might want to bend your knees a bit, it will help you relax and reduce camera shake.

Congrats on the CD cover, that's awesome!

Kathryn Dyche Dechairo said...

Loved reading your thoughts on this. It took me a while to bestow the title artist on myself but now I feel like I can own it. Art is so many things to many different people. For me art is about connecting to a piece and having a reaction to it (good or bad).

Brenda said...

Another post written with your signature humor and heart. You "I don't knows" resonate with me and my uncertainties about what is art and how we can define it for ourselves. Your thoughts that photography is no longer optional -yes, I understand that feeling.

Many, many congrats and kudos for your cover art collage (how 'bout that alliteration?) A well-deserved honor.

Kat Sloma said...

I always love reading your assignment posts Susan! Written with such a wonderful sense of humor and playfulness. I feel so lucky to have you sharing your journey with us in the Find Your Eye courses. I am happy that you have determine you are an artist. I love your list of "don't knows" too... we can be an artist and not know everything. It's the continual seeking the answers that provides us with the material to create our art.

seabluelee said...

Susan, congratulations on your CD cover! That is awesome! I'll look for it when it comes out.

I love this post. You made me laugh with your sardine cans example. And I love your "live and let live" attitude. What a great world this would be if more people were willing to do that!

lisa said...

This is so wonderfully written Susan.
I truly enjoyed reading it.

James said...

Great post! You are definitely an artist. Congrats on the CD cover it looks great! One of my photos was used to make a CD cover so I can relate :)

Cathy H. said...

Ah, this is so enjoyable to read! I love your confidence and your wonderful attitude!! Your images are definitely art!! Love the CD cover, congratulations!!

Phyllis said...

Hi Susan, Congratulations to you for all of the good things coming your way - how exciting. I think when you are on the right path, that is what happens. :)


i should say so, Susan!! I should say so.

Ms. Becky said...

well congratulations my friend. I love the collage. even though it's a combination of images, it has the Susan stamp all over it. yes ma'am. good job Susan. happy day to you.....

Gilly said...

BIG congratulations on your CD cover! - that's wonderful.

I haven't managed to call myself an artist yet; I've only just got comfortable with calling myself a photographer......