The Laws of Nature

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Community Discussion continues ....Day 2

So far, we’ve had a great community discussion here – thanks to all of you!! It began with Rhonda’s question about fear and art:
fear of ruining a creation,
fear of judgement by others,
fear of taking on challenges.

Some of us offered up other types of fears:
fear of creating work that won’t sell (Lorna)
fear that our art won’t outlive us (Carolyn)
fear of expressing our true feelings in our paintings (L.W.)
fear of trusting in ourselves when subject to the authority of instructors (Sharmon)

And, some of us offered up solutions to our fears:
what’s the worst that can possibly happen? (Robin)
age gives us wisdom and perspective (Robin)
embracing “crazy” (Hallie)
create an art trust or will to preserve our work (Carolyn)
don’t let others dictate what our art should be (Sharmon)
creating a large volume of work diminishes and removes fear (Jean)
paint or draw every single day overcomes fears (Celeste)
realizing that making mistakes can be a positive thing (Celeste)
fear can make the process exciting and make us try new things for the thrill of it (Don)

These are great contributions to our discussion!

A special thank you today to all of our veterans who served so we wouldn't have to fear! Your bravery and sacrifice is extraordinary.

Who’d like to begin today's discussion?? You may either continue this discussion or begin a new topic. Go for it!


M said...

I miss so many discussions lately because of my work schedule and I'm often playing catch up.

One of my concerns about artmaking is producing worthy or "serious" work - not fluff. It seems that everything I am drawn too - beauty, florals, patterning, the decorative is the stuff of art fluff as defined by most art critics. It hasn't stopped me, but it is always a stream that runs through my consciousness as I create. I'm always playing a rating game with every piece I produce.
What are your thoughts on the content /subject matter of you work? Do you have a built in rating system as I seem to?

Robin said...

this is an old topic that always brings new debates amongst my artist and non artist friends - what defines being a "professional" artist? Is selling your art the key? Can you be a professional artist without the sales? does an income from art sales determine your success(or non-success) and legitimacy as an artist? what is the definition of "professional artist" anyway?

Meera Rao said...

I was at TEDxNASA event last week listening to speaker after inspiring speaker from 9-6 :) Josh Koppel -smart phone app developer- spoke about how a big failure with one idea led him to tweaking it and taking it into an entirely new direction, blazing most innovative new path. The takeaway from his talk : "Your failures propel you to your next big idea." And watching, listening and reading about creative people in all different fields, I feel being passionately creating what moves you is the only way to be :)

Robin said...

Yikes~ I think I posted my topic at almost the same time as Margaret! (sorry) I agree with meera and just think you should follow your passion and stop rating yourself. I think you have to paint what makes you feel good, how could you force yourself to paint something differently just to please others? then you wouldn't be true to your art.

Linda Roth said...

A professional hockey player, skier, shot-put thrower has been paid by his sport and can't partake in the Olympics. There's been a lot of discussions about that, but the Olympics is the gateway to becoming professional for amateur athletes only. They've stood fast.

I think you have to sell your art to be considered a professional artist--and pretty regularly if you want to deduct the cost of supplies, promotions, and the space where you do your work, (IRS).

I'm 70 years old, and my art is not going to be my fourth career. To make money, I channeled my creative talent down another path: architectural design, the money was more attractive than any art sale I've made. I am a professional designer and an amateur painter who, in retirement, is seriously having fun with the talent I've taken for granted since birth and have protected all my life from being tainted by money issues.

Paint what you want Margaret and quit reading art magazines. Critics are high hifalutin snobs looking for the next Picasso, the best example of the artist as showman short of Andy Warhol who had himself shot at a trendy NY club to draw public attention to himself. Commerical art is a circus. Forget about grabbing the ring and just paint.

hw (hallie) farber said...

Margaret, your work has always seemed very serious to me--you deal with memories, life, death, captivity, escape--definitely not fluff.

Robin. The very first Kathy blog I read dealt with the "professional artist." It mentioned paper work, schedules, accounting, marketing, goals, etc. I decided I wasn't one--I just paint.

RH Carpenter said...

Serious vs fluff. As Bill the Cat used to say, "Akkkk!" Only we can decide for ourselves whether our work is serious or fluff. We know when we've put our heart into something or not. Asking yourself that question while you're working may mean that you are letting yourself be led astray by others' voices. Shut them up and create what makes your heart thump!

Unknown said...

Hi All - great discussion! Concerning amateur vs. professional artist status, my November 2, 2009 post highlighted definitions from UNESCO and governments of Great Britain and USA. Here's the link if you want to take a look -

Now, back to Margaret's point. I think we should paint what's important to us both emotionally and intellectually. That's what makes our work authentic. I tend to focus heavily on content (the idea or concept) when I develop a new series, but it's much more than that when I paint. I must also satisfy my aesthetic sense and make the work something that serves my emotions. But, everyone's different and our motivations are and should be different. I agree with the others who have encouraged you (Margaret) to continue and not worry about it. As Hallie pointed out, your work is serious and contains many layers of meaning.

Carolyn Abrams said...

I have to say content has become very important to me in helping me achieve a higher level of skill and creating more exciting artwork than i have in the past. Working with Kathy has propelled me to dig deeper into myself and express it on canvas. I think in the past i was just skimming the surface and now i feel like i'm really getting to the root of my soul. Don't know if this makes any sense to anyone but there is a definite difference and it is more for me than the critics.

Mark Sheeky said...

I think that Carolina has pinned down what serious art is; it's art that the artist takes seriously no matter what everyone else thinks. If everyone else thinks it's "serious" but the artist doesn't take it seriously then it's "fluff".

If you care about it and it means something to you then it's worthy/serious/good art AND any good critic will spot that.

Dan Kent said...

This is so related to the question I wanted to ask that I am going to throw it into the ring. What techniques do you all use to help spur expansion and growth? Like Margaret, I find myself repeating. I am growing restless, not with the subject matter, really, but with the format and technique. The answer, I guess is -duh- explore different formats and techniques. As Kathy says, continue and don't worry about it. As Meera says, explore and fail to get to the next big idea this way. The art and fear answer of yesterday, volume, may be the key. Any other thoughts?

Carolyn Abrams said...

Dan, I am totally spurred on by reading and looking at books. I have such a library of "how -to" books because i love learning just one more new technique and then I play with it to see how far i can take it. A lot of what ifs....

hw (hallie) farber said...

Dan, I agree with Carolina's suggestion. Twelve years ago when I thought I might like to try painting again I stumbled on a big book at B&N--The Joy of Art--a creative guide for beginning painters, by Clement & Kamina. It is a joy to look at and has drawing/painting info on pastel, acrylic, oil, ink, egg tempera, perspective, etc. If I try something and like it, I then buy an in-depth book. Joy of Art is funny and has great illustrations. My problem is I want to try everything! The library might have this book.

Linda Roth said...

Dan, a technique occurs to you while you're painting--if you're familiar with them. The painting suggests the appropriate technique. If nothing pops to mind and you know you need to do something different in a passage, glance through your technique books--one will pop up. --Technique should never be the reason to paint anything but an experimental board.