The Laws of Nature

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Statement Worthy of Permanent Expression

The Art Spirit by Robert Henri

It is a question of saying the thing that a person has to say. A man should not care whether the thing he wishes to express is art or not, whether it is a picture or not, he should only care that it is a statement of what is worthy to put into permanent expression. (p. 137)

Gertrude Stein once wrote: "Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose." Or, is it?? In the paintings (permanent expressions) that follow, these artists found something worthy to say about a rose:

Georgia O'Keeffe: a rose is a sensual and beautiful form

Salvidore Dali: a rose is the object of a meditation

Vincent Van Gogh: a rose is an interesting design

John William Waterhouse: a rose is a spiritual symbol

The point is: if a statement is worthy of expression, then it is worthy of permanence through art. So, what personal statement is worthy of your time, efforts, and materials today?


-Don said...

It's a secret.


Tonya Vollertsen said...

Good Morning Ms. Katherine! Let's see, paint, make a statement, AND be worthy?! Okay, maybe not today.

hwfarber said...

Holidays bring memories and I've been thinking of six grandchildren hunting Easter eggs at my parents' house years ago.

This morning I sketched my mom, not in an Easter bonnet, but, in her plastic rain bonnet. Women who spent an hour in the beauty shop each Saturday had to preserve the hairdos. I need to find one; then I'll consider a painting.

Worthy of my time? Yes. I never consider whether it is art or not.

Kathy said...

Hi Pam - good morning! (now, afternoon). Being open is one of the best things any artist can do!

Hi Don - now I'm in suspense!

Hi Tonya - yes, it does seem like a tall order, but not really. After all, the daily things that we think about or experience are often profound. Life's challenges are interesting to all.

Hi Hallie - I hope you post that sketch of your mom. I'd love to see it!

Margaret Ryall said...

I don't even feel like I have to answer the question because the examples in your post are very akin to any statement I would make and in different ways I have made them all though my work in the last several years.

I love the title "A statement worthy of permanent expression". I think it is important to remember that there is a range within the kind of statements we might make as artists and that we may set our standards too high in how "profound" our statements need to be. This is a downfall for me.

Mark Sheeky said...

Hi Kathy, a great question.

A statement doesn't have to be personal to be worthy of permanent expression. The divine is necessarily impersonal. Either of those two sentences :) But the painting I'm working on today says that the simple human life of the neolithic past is gone forever.

Kathy said...

Hi Margaret - you make a very good point about the relative importance of the statement and the artist's decision about it. This is good to ponder.

Hi Mark - your work is always filled with profound truths, and I like looking for the layers of meaning.

Casey Klahn said...

Maybe this is trite, but I do like it a lot. Bob Dylan said that anything worth thinking about was worth writing a song about.

Art subject? I go with anything. Art content, though, turns out to be a very personal thing.

I love the rose analogy, and the examples.

Stan Kurth said...

A sexy rose, a floating rose, a painterly rose, a Godly rose; I think I would paint the existentially absurd rose.

Kathy said...

Hi Casey - I can't argue with my hero, Bob Dylan!

Hi Stan - now, that would be a painting worth seeing!!