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.

hw (hallie) farber 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.

Unknown 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!

Unknown 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.

Unknown 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.

Unknown said...

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

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