Friday, June 08, 2007

What is "Art"?

PBS recently did a 3 part series titled Craft in America. Because it ran at 2:00 A.M., I recorded the programs for watching later (ok, some mornings I'm awake then, but I try not to make a habit of it!)

This of course afforded me the pleasure of enjoying the entire 3 hours when I was ready (as well as being able to pause it for a break as necessary without missing any of it).

I watched the entire tape in one sitting the other evening, and it was excellent. Well produced, great music behind the scenes (I HEAR those tunes, even find the lyrics swimming through my head even when they are just background to a scene).

PBS (and most of the rest of the world) classifies the work of these artists as craft (real ART being only those who paint I suppose). I feel honored to be part of that amazing group as well.

It was interesting to hear one of the people who works in clay talk about his work as "a statement of what makes me angry", and his work reflects that, beautifully executed but dark.

My vision of my art (and a good many of the other people presented in the program) really has 3 parts:

Part 1 Can I make you smile?

A good many of my plush creations fall in this catagory. I work with fabrics and other accompaniments to create almost cartoon like animals and birds. Plush, especially at the adult collector level is much more about comforting the soul of the collector, and I tend to do this in ways that also makes my collectors smile.

Part 2 Is it beautiful?

This is what I do when I work with beads to create jewelry or other beaded things that are decorative. The search for beauty in our sometimes confusing world is what makes this more joy than work. Its challenges keep my mind working as I create each piece as a one of a kind work of "art".

Part 3 As offered prayer

The icons and the eggs created with religious symbols are made more for my need to connect than with thought of being able to sell them.

As we watched the tape, my husband commented that he did not have my discipline to work on things when we were not scheduled right away for a show.

It really is not discipline except in terms of what it is I'm working on. Since I was very young I have made things with my hands. The creative process is ingrained so deeply that I am convinced I brought it with me from the world before my birth. I can not imagine NOT making something (and it has lead me to experiment with a huge number of materials and projects).

If you are at all inclined to create things with your hands, I highly recommend you try to see this PBS series.

So, what is art to you?


Marty: said...

I am left-handed and my mom and my kindergarten teacher insisted I couldn't cut straight. My mom also re-tied every bow I tried. I don't know how much of this is real or imagined, but I've known my whole life that I'm NOT crafty. I'm good at buying art. I love something unique, with bright colors, balance and symmetry. In paintings, I love realism. In photography I love people, especially old people or children. I love architecture, and I even love the look of freeways when they crisscross each other. I've got the "eye" but not the talent.

Kay Dennison said...

I have issues about what is art and what is not and I'm tired of people trying to define it. Art, in my mind, is in the eye of the beholder which is why some of us like Picasso & other love Monet. I find beauty in crafts & consider them art -- consider the famous Faberge eggs -- if they aren't art, I don't know what is! I think all of God's creations are art. Some music is art. I've seen furniture that is art. I refer to the pictures my grands send me as "refrigerator art" and cherish it more than I would a Rodin sculpture.

Art is where you find it. Art is what touches your soul. You are an artist, Bev.

Kay Dennison said...

Ohhhhhhhhh and writing is an art, too!