25 October 2013

What is art and who is an artist? - my 200th post

As you may remember, I am currently in the process of making artworks for a Graduate Level Art show as the culmination of my M.Ed in Art Education.   I've been working like crazy, trying to find my "style" and I have been struggling with this dilemma; an I a "real" artist?

When I was in college in my ahem younger years, the arguments over what is really and truly "ART" were never ending.  The fine art majors believed they were superior to the art education majors because they took themselves more seriously as artists.  They were the ones dressed in ripped tights and black boots, with pink and purple hair (in the 90s that was unusual) always trying to be as different and unique as they could be. 

On the other hand, those of us in art education were thinking ahead to working in the schools systems, where pink and purple hair and pierced eyebrows would surely put our resumes at the bottom of the circular files after our preliminary interviews.

My artworks from high school were all watercolor buildings and landscapes.   Very realistic and naturalistic.  Many people would classify those paintings as art, without question, because they are now framed and behind glass.  You can recognize what is there.  Plus people (around here anyway) want to hang things they like and recognize above their couches.   So are these "couch paintings" art?  Is that my style?

Every day I work in the elementary art classroom, trying to get kids to color the sky all the way to the ground.  Introducing the elements and principles of art at their basic, first stages.   But I also draw and paint.   I draw dinosaurs and butterflies for and with my own kids.  I paint murals in kids rooms and at their baseball fields.   I'm currently painting soccer balls, volleyballs, and footballs for the seniors in my district.   I make things with my hands with traditional art materials.  Does that make me a "real" artist?

Today I'm creating some works with handmade papers and layers the colors and shapes to make a textural surface.   I will later go back and add in some hand-stitching.  It is definitely abstract.   Is that more "real" because it's abstract?

So to you, my readers, I pose this set of questions...  What is Art to you?  and in your opinion, who is an artist?

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