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Khadres
04-21-2004, 01:41 PM
Since things seem entirely too tame around here lately, I thought I'd quote a message from the "Rocky Shore" thread and stir things up some. :evil:

For a long, long time, I've harbored a bit of -- well -- I guess it's scorn for the folks who appoint themselves judges and juries when it comes to art and new art techniques that naturally crop up here and there over time.

So this is in response to one person's observation, as follows:

A bit off-topic but there's a guy called gaz on the still life forum (I think) who does these paintings using an airbrush that are not the photo-realistic airbrush stereotype by any stretch of the imagination. He has been totally disillusioned by all these people who look down on airbrush art after trying unsuccessfully to market it. His stuff is really good, but just mention the word "airbrush" and everybody turns up their noses and turns their backs. Sad.

It is sad, very! As human beings, we just never seem to get any smarter over the ages about some things. I often wonder if the first cave artist snubbed the first fellow who got the idea that hairs tied to a stick spread the colors around more effectively.

We have the same debate raging now over "computer art" or "digital art". It all seems like the same silliness to me. I've done my share of digi-art and let me tell ya...one can spend LOTS more hours perfecting a computer image than it takes an oil painter or pastellist to create a painting on canvas or paper. Obviously, we're not talking simple manipulations of photographs and such but original art work created by an inventive mind. A lot of the snubbing comes from folks who figure (erroneously) that the airbrush artist or the computer artist have come up with unfair advantages over the traditional artist and those artists who feel their work threatened by the "new-fangled" artist's "better" product.

It's all silly, immature, and it always ends the same way if one can hang in there long enough. Art is art, whether it be done on a cave wall with a rock and a bird feather dipped in blood or an image carefully created using computer technology or everything in between. Art is an effort to communicate with whatever means are at hand and are useful to the artist. Sooner or later, the snubbers will get the boo-pie in their faces and the world will move on.

From OUR standpoint, I simply cannot imagine anything Kitty (or any of the rest of us, for that matter) does with color and heart and imagination being ANYthing but Art, with a capital "A". Can you?

K Taylor-Green
04-21-2004, 02:39 PM

K Taylor-Green
04-21-2004, 02:45 PM
YOU GO GIRL! I got so excited, I punched the wrong button and may have left an empty post. But I could not have said it better. Who has the right to tell someone, that something they have put their heart into, isn't art, just because it doesn't match their own idea of art? If we all did the same thing,uhhhh! We would all be the same size, same color hair, same old, same old! How boring. Where would the inspiration come from?? Kate

Laura Shelley
04-21-2004, 07:12 PM
I feel for the airbrush guy. You know what I think he should do? Aim straight for the art snobs and call his method something like "brosse d'aire". ;)


We have the same debate raging now over "computer art" or "digital art". It all seems like the same silliness to me. I've done my share of digi-art and let me tell ya...one can spend LOTS more hours perfecting a computer image than it takes an oil painter or pastellist to create a painting on canvas or paper.

I was cleaning old work out of my nice leather portfolio today, and ran across a number of Iris prints of 3-D interiors and exteriors I did years ago. Yes, I was a computer game artist, and still am when I can get work. In order to make those scenes, I had to:

Read the 800-page manual from front to back.
Build the objects from scratch using a 3-D modeling program.
Paint surface textures for each object in a paint program, then apply them and tweak them until they look right.
Arrange everything in the scene. Rearrange.
Set up the lights and cameras.
Render over and over to check everything. Change camera angle, change lighting positions, colors, intensities. Rebuild objects. Redo textures.
Read the manual again. Add new effects, bells and whistles and render a high-res version that takes three hours and comes out wrong the first six or eight times.
Now I have to show it to my boss for approval!

In order to do a basic room with furniture and windows--about 20-25 hours. If I had sat down and drawn it in similar detail? Maybe 4 or 5.

Computers don't make art into an automatic process. They raise the bar, like most innovations do. Why am I doing pastel portraits and getting dust all over my dining room? Because that's simpler and more straightforward than doing the same thing on this machine!

prestonsega
04-21-2004, 07:22 PM
" The outcome justifies the means!" If I feel the need to drink a cup of prussian blue paint and projectile vomit it on my chosen support to get the effect I need, then yes, even that would be art! (I now humbly digress)

SweetBabyJ
04-21-2004, 07:31 PM
Preston? Dear? If you feel that need, please see a Doctor *first*. They can treat that now....

Lemnus
04-21-2004, 08:18 PM
This reminds me of a Star Trek Next Gen episode. In it, there is a device that this advanced race uses. You hold it, you think of something you want to sculpt, and it instantly does all the work for you, leaving a piece of sculpture that is an exact rendering of what you imagined. Is THAT art?

I have thought about that episode on and off ever since I saw it. My first inclination is to say - no, that's not art because there is no labor of love involved to create the piece. If a machine could create exactly what is in my head, I wouldn't need to master the techniques. Somehow, I feel like that would take something away from the finished piece.
But, where do you draw the line (pun intended)? The cave man example is perfect - the brush was just a tool that allowed the artist to more effectively realize his or her vision. That's easy. But when you start thinking about Poser software, and using templates (even if customized later), I just don't know. I think if you are starting from scatch digitally, just using the electronic brush/pencil and that ALL you use, then yes, it's the same as conventional medium. But when you start using the advanced editing features or templates, I start becoming ambivalent.

Kitty Wallis
04-21-2004, 09:59 PM
I think people who don't trust their own responses, who don't want people to know they may not be in the know, are the ones who make the rules. I think it makes them feel secure.

I got news. The very definition of art is No Security.

Like any other passionate effort to achieve excellence, martial arts, sports, dance, music, there is no well trodden path, no guarantee, each human has to find their own.

Khadres
04-21-2004, 10:03 PM
Some good questions, Lemnus. New technology/tools/whatever always go through a time of transition where the result is put under scrutiny to judge its worth. But I would say that even the Poser user is an artist as long as the figure created is his own vision. The Star Trek thing is a great example, too. You hit the nail on the head...the device that magically creates what is in the artists head is just another tool, too, don't you think? It's what was imagined that makes it art, to my mind. Even with such a device to hand, there will be "bad" art and "good" art and everything in between. I would think there would be great skill involved in 'imagining' just the right balance, color, texture, and so forth. An entire new art form would evolve in a world where paper and canvas may not even exist any longer.

Computer programs and Star Trek devices are just more sophisticated tools...neither more nor less useful to the artist than traditional tools. One still has to have a vision, a "message", if you will, and the mind and heart to compose the message in a way that communicates what you intended to. Why do I use pastels and paint instead of Photoshop and Poser, etc.? Because I just love the tactile, visceral process of using pastels and paper. To me, they are actually the "easier" way of communicating what I'm trying to share with the viewer. What digital stuff I've done was more trouble than it was worth to ME. That may change someday, but right now I like the hands-on, admittedly messier approach. That doesn't make me any better or worse than the digital artists who produce reality on their own terms.

And as for airbrush....I think the operative part of THAT word is "brush". That's all it is...a different type of brush. I've seen abyssmal efforts in aribrush and stunningly beautiful work, as well. The tool does not the artist make.

Khadres
04-21-2004, 10:10 PM
I think people who don't trust their own responses, who don't want people to know they may not be in the know, are the ones who make the rules. I think it makes them feel secure.

I got news. The very definition of art is No Security.

Like any other passionate effort to achieve excellence, martial arts, sports, dance, music, there is no well trodden path, no guarantee, each human has to find their own.

I think you've got it in a nutshell...the new has always created insecurity among the establishment and always will. I guess I've got a weird attitude to it all. I don't know if I'll ever achieve what I consider to be "perfection"; in fact, I'm pretty darned sure I WON'T! But that's the fun and the wonder of it! The day when I think I have nothing left to learn, nothing left to risk, is the day when I might as well quit breathing. I'd be bored spitless from that moment on.

At the same time, I don't consider myself the judge or arbiter on whether someone else is "a legitimate" artist or not. That's something THEY have to answer for to themselves! If the result communicates something to me that I admire or value, I just may buy it! If not, I won't. But I won't say I didn't buy this fellow's airbrush painting because I don't consider it "real" art.

Stoy Jones
04-21-2004, 10:31 PM
Usually people who have negative comments had never recovered from negative experiences in creating. Art is big, scary, and terribly humbling. It is capable of making the most of us (especially newbies like me) angry with ourselves and other people (not to mention just plain giving up), if we don't have the right perspective.

What is overlooked is the process and a person's passion for perfecting what he or she does. This airbrush artist is living in that moment with each piece they do while facing those "no-guarantees". That takes courage and that is something worth honoring!

Stoy

SweetBabyJ
04-21-2004, 11:03 PM
This reminds me of a Star Trek Next Gen episode. In it, there is a device that this advanced race uses. You hold it, you think of something you want to sculpt, and it instantly does all the work for you, leaving a piece of sculpture that is an exact rendering of what you imagined. Is THAT art?

I have thought about that episode on and off ever since I saw it. My first inclination is to say - no, that's not art because there is no labor of love involved to create the piece. If a machine could create exactly what is in my head, I wouldn't need to master the techniques. Somehow, I feel like that would take something away from the finished piece.
But, where do you draw the line (pun intended)? The cave man example is perfect - the brush was just a tool that allowed the artist to more effectively realize his or her vision. That's easy. But when you start thinking about Poser software, and using templates (even if customized later), I just don't know. I think if you are starting from scatch digitally, just using the electronic brush/pencil and that ALL you use, then yes, it's the same as conventional medium. But when you start using the advanced editing features or templates, I start becoming ambivalent.


I have to disagree. In digital manipulation, *knowing* which filter, which template, to use is just as important as knowing which value, which hue, which brush, which ground support, which underpainting.... Just because you use a filter, doesn't mean you are not controlling it's effects, either. Most decent manipulation programs allow the user to control how much of an effect, and where, and where not. It is a complex dance- and no different than stick-dipped-in-iron-oxide-applied-to-cave-wall, really, when seen that way.
Take a look at some so-so work, some good work, and one really spectacular work: http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=181916

(mine is not spectacular- mine is barely so-so- the last one is spectacular)

Lemnus
04-22-2004, 12:12 AM
SBJ: The thing is, I absolutely agree with you...in theory. I have a digital art website bookmarked in fact. When I first started studying the power of digital art, I thought I would go that direction. I love computers and appreciate the powerful tools they have brought to help all of wo/mankind work more efficiently in every field of endeavor. I have booted up a checkout basket on Amazon.com for a Wacom tablet and Corel Painter 8 more times than you can shake a stick at, but I've never been able to pull the trigger. I've played around with friends' software, and I really like it, but for some reason, I keep viewing it as an assistant for composition or to try out ideas, but not for the finished product. This is my problem, okay? Not anyone elses. I think original digital art is beautiful. I respect it. It's my problem.

Lemnus
04-22-2004, 12:36 AM
Why do I use pastels and paint instead of Photoshop and Poser, etc.? Because I just love the tactile, visceral process of using pastels and paper. To me, they are actually the "easier" way of communicating what I'm trying to share with the viewer. What digital stuff I've done was more trouble than it was worth to ME. That may change someday, but right now I like the hands-on, admittedly messier approach. That doesn't make me any better or worse than the digital artists who produce reality on their own terms.

I think it is interesting that you say "viceral." This rings true with me. When you paint in pastels, your fingers get pigment on them (or something does). You touch the stick, which touches the support. You feel the pressure you apply to the support. You caress the form you are drawing. There is something to be said for that. I don't know. I think that "art" implies more than the finished product. It's got something to do with that tactile process your refer to. There is a level of craftpersonship that is involved. This seems essential to it's value. This seems right to me, at least in my gut, if not my head.

Stoy Jones
04-22-2004, 01:45 AM
Lemnus, I think you are finding out a lot about yourself and your work... however I have to agree with you, after getting your hands dirty it is rather difficult to feel warm and fuzzy over those digital filters :D

Stoy