Thursday, October 6, 2011

Appreciation of art

Many years ago, I gave a drawing to a friend as a gift, making sure to frame it nicely and with colors she would like. She hung the work for a few years until the colors went out of fashion, and then placed it in a closet, where it remained for the duration. Feeling astounded, I never worked up the nerve to ask her why. Apparently, it no longer matched the couch.

I took it personally, as most artists would, and spent time wondering if a different piece of art would have been a better gift. At some point, however, the conclusion was reached that not everyone has appreciation for art and what goes into the creative process. Many feel that a wall hanging is simply that.

The painting pictured above was sold sometime ago. I still like looking at it, and I hope whoever owns it does too. My mind often thinks about where they hang and who looks at them after they leave me. For each painting created, a process evolved, a very personal one. The time spent on it, whether lengthy or not, came directly out of my head. It really has little to do with my hands. Knowing this about my own art, makes me dearly love the art I own from other artists, whether paintings, pottery, jewelry, fabric or sculpture. Their hands touched it, and what remains is representation of heart and mind. To me, that is highly valued.

In our society, to many people, artist is not valued in this way. Education doesn't seem to matter anymore. Skill tends to be secondary. Artist is valued by popularity, marketing, trends and often gimmicks. The human race has always been prone to follow the leader, or keep up with the Joneses. Perhaps that's why we have so many artists now, and why the quality is questionable. I know that there are those out there who still get it, but they are becoming fewer.

Many an artist himself has fallen victim to the dollar rat race. It may be naive, but this artist chooses to believe that it isn't about the price tag. It isn't about the glory. It isn't about social climbing. People who think it is, are missing out. Art is about the individual, how the work was born, and what it speaks to you.