Saturday, March 21, 2009


I read on Richard Schilling's blog "Landart" that he questions whether his art is authentic or not. He also questions his ability to accept criticism well and is grappling with how to deal with it. He asks for advice on how to showcase his work on his Blog.
I say to him "it is your own art if you created it". Sure, we all wonder if we have copied an other's work occasionally and grapple with the idea of it not quite being our own. But, aren't we all inspired by other things?

In my own art I see inspiration from art done by Paul Klee in 1921. From Gerhardt Richter. Recently, since perusing the blogs of many fine artists that I have linked to my blog, I have seen shadow art done by some people. I have been doing shadow art for quite some time yet I had never seen any of these blogs until just recently. Does that make me a phony too? Richard's blog makes me question where all this art comes from and where do we receive our inspirations.

Personally speaking, I get my inspiration from many different places. I love sewing and quilting and so I try to incorporate thread-work and fabrics into my art somewhere along the line. I also love certain colors and tend to stick to that range although I think that I need to branch out. Speaking of branches: I receive inspiration from trees and twigs and all sorts of natural things. These sometimes show their "faces" in terms of a pen and ink drawing or a colored pencil drawing, even sometimes just a photograph. Yet, I call all these works of art. I have been inspired by "something", I just don't always know where it will lead me.
And so, turning a corner, I see that (as that old saying goes) beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And, so is the art we create and the art we view. And, perhaps I should clarify that statement and say that it doesn't always have to be "beauty" that inspires the art. Art can be inspired by some really awful looking sources. But, it still remains to be art. And that, to me, is what is truly wonderful about being an artist.

That one can take a horrible situation (a death or a sadness experienced for instance) and turn it into a work of art that can be displayed (or not) for all the world to see. We can also celebrate life and beauty and nature in all it's glory. But, always remembering that the antithesis of life is death, the antithesis of beauty can be gross or disgusting, the antithesis of natur(al) can be artificial.

We, as artists, are always struggling with feeling authentic; original. We have to remember that at the core of each one of us there is that word which says it all: unique. We are each unique. One of a kind as the word implies. What we choose to do with that is our own authentic version and no one can take that away from us.

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