Patti Edmon Altered Attic: Leave it to Jane

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Leave it to Jane

So what makes art fine, anyway? Is it fine art photography, like the panoramic photo published by my friend (and recent groom) Jeff Rogers, that appears on the coffee table book, Kentucky Wide? (for which I wrote the forward:)

What makes art, for that matter... Is it my son marching with the Thriller ensemble, channeling his passion in rehearsed and spontaneous rhythm through his drumsticks?

Or the grace and amazing beauty of my daughter, who has been a ballerina for 7 of her 11 years...

I admit it may have been a bit petty to even post the cartoon below, and Jane's comment is beyond perfect. But after living for years as an 'invisible' artist, with a painter who has a BFA in Fine Art (and earns our living at our graphic design business), I was curious to see what kind, if any, response it elicited. 
According to my dictionary an artist is "a person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby; a person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker; a person skilled at a particular task. 
In Kentucky there is a diverse, amazing wealth of art, including some of the most popular (and pricey!) folk art that is, to me, finer than much I see labeled fine art. Like Lady Feeding Chickens, by Lonnie & Twyla Money. But, that's the issue isn't it... labeling. Living in Kentucky is a factor - cosmopolitan islands awash with waves of good-old folk and rednecks. Now that's prejudice, and that's another story.

So, whether it's one of Jim's (dh) paintings

Or one of the mixed media puzzle/hanging art/magnet pieces I so love to make...

Or a Jackson Pollock, it's pretty wide open to interpretation.

There's a guy, excuse me, a professor who teaches art and design at a private university, along with being a fine artist of some regional acclaim. He gets really bent when referred to as a teacher or instructor. At an opening several years ago I studied one of his new pieces, which was essentially collage, non-original material integrated into his painting. I really liked it. When he had a free moment I asked what was going through his mind as he worked, was there an inspiration, did it begin with an idea... He shrugged and said, "I don't guess I think about anything when I work, they (pieces) aren't about anything, really."

Cartoons like Speed Bump may well be intended to poke fun at those who take such matters to heart. That by separating the masses (crafters) from the few (artists) with hope that by lowering their entry standards they'll attract enough students - or talent - to have a real sign. Who knows and, now that I think about it, who cares?


Anonymous said...

It truly is a fascinating subject and how ironic that the professor can't explain any depth to his work. For those of us who do express our deeper inner selves through our work I believe that's true art. I look at the color, depth, imagery and beauty in your work and feel no matter what you created it would be "fine art"

Lucy said...

I really have a hard time with labeling art, fine art, crafting--I think that anyone that produces with their hands is artistic and creative. I wouldn't worry about labeling what it is that we do--just by doing it shows that we have that flair for creativity and are artistic.The rest will just fall into place. :)

canvas wall art said...

nice work :)

random notes said...

Love the Wordle link - It has certainly kept me at the computer trying all the fonts colors etc.
Very cool.


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