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Old 04-16-2012, 09:39 AM
frujin frujin is offline
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The noob questions

Hi Guys,

I started painting recently (like few months ago). So, far this forum has been wonderful place and I believe I learned a thing or two. However, these two questions keep troubling me often.

1. What is art and what not? When it comes to paintings - is there ANY definition really?

2. Who is artist and who is not? When you guys say "I am an artist" .. what gives you the confidence to say it? The qualities of your works? The fact that you managed to sell something? What it is?

I guess similar discussions happens every now and then and I tried to find some previous ones - but I couldn't. Well, not on the first few pages of threads

Thanks,
Frujin
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:04 AM
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jemmett jemmett is offline
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Re: The noob questions

I could tell you, but I'd rather say this, it depends upon our understanding of ourselves and reality.
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Last edited by jemmett : 04-16-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:32 AM
claude j greengrass claude j greengrass is offline
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Re: The noob questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by frujin
Hi Guys,

I started painting recently (like few months ago). So, far this forum has been wonderful place and I believe I learned a thing or two. However, these two questions keep troubling me often.

1. What is art and what not? When it comes to paintings - is there ANY definition really?

Not a universal definition. Each must seek out their own personal meaning of what art is. One man's junk is another man's inspiration. I was going to say that art is the use of one's feelings and emotions combined with personal skills to create an aesthetic object such that others can share your feelings and emotions. Others can experience the story you want to tell in your art. YMMV

Quote:
Originally Posted by frujin
2. Who is artist and who is not? When you guys say "I am an artist" .. what gives you the confidence to say it? The qualities of your works? The fact that you managed to sell something? What it is?


I'm a painter. If someone asked me what I do, this is what I tell them. If they look at my works and say that I have skill or talent I say that I paint a lot and I have gotten better at it the more I painted. If they say I'm an artist, I thank them for their flattery. If my works become good enough that most viewers say that I am an artist, then and only then will I start calling myself an artist.


"ART A friend of mine in Tulsa, Okla., when I was about eleven years old.
I'd be interested to hear from him. There are so many pseudos around taking
his name in vain.
"
- The Hipcrime Vocab by Chad C. Mulligan
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:49 AM
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Re: The noob questions

What is art, lol, that is very subjective and I will fall back on an appropriate saying - There is No Arguing in Matters of Taste.

Everyone is an artist, some just haven't discovered it yet and maybe never will.

I believe all it takes to be an artist is the interest in producing/creating art. Being a 'good' artist on the other hand, please refer to the saying, above.

There are some who will work hard at creating 'brilliance' - and never sell a painting. Does this make them less of an artist? I think not.

There are some who pour a cup or two of paint on a canvas, call it 'original', market it and sell it. Does this make them more of an artist? I think not.

la
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Last edited by La_ : 04-16-2012 at 11:53 AM.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:22 PM
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Re: The noob questions

What you appreciate, value, and embody, will be what your art is appreciated and valued for, because it will embody it.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:56 PM
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Re: The noob questions

I say I'm a painter too. I say I try to make "art" and some people seem to think it is. I would say that art is subjective, but that it is basically something with an aesthetic purpose instead of a functional one. Even that can be argued, but it's a place to start.
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Old 04-16-2012, 02:12 PM
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Re: The noob questions

What is literature, or music? Different definitions by different people, different centuries, different circumstances. Since you have just begun, it is only fair to say it is a lifelong challenge and quest. I've been doing it for at least 25 years so far-- Still don't know much.

I agree that saying you are an Artist is presumptuous, while saying you are a painter of sculptor is a bit more concise and humble. A musician, actor, or dancer is also an artist. It's a linguistic thing.

The common thread thing is that Artists make art. Sitting and talking about art does not make someone an artist-- they have to produce the goods.

And hopefully they have some skill.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:49 PM
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Clive Green Clive Green is online now
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Re: The noob questions

1. Art is what artists produce
3. Anyone who produces art is an artist.

I don't think sales or genre or technique are of any help in creating a definition. It's rather like saying all artists are craftsmen (when they are obviously not) or that all craftsmen are artists (when equally obviously they are not).
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:41 AM
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Viking55803 Viking55803 is offline
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Re: The noob questions

Some folks adopt the persona of the Artist. They identify themselves this way for many reasons: it's how they make a living, it's what they are trained for, all their friends are artists, they show their work (or want to,) they sell their work (or want to,) they wear funky clothes, they hang around coffee houses, they struggle with existential angst, etc. etc. Some don't even do any art!

I happen to be an executive in the health care field. No one outside of my immediate family even knows that I paint. I have no interest (at this point) in showing my work except in my own home. I am self-taught, which has gotten a lot easier with the advent of the internet! I love art, study art, visit art, but mostly I just do art. I call it playing, because that is the childlike spirit that moves me. Art for art's sake.

My advice is to leave the labels to someone else. To me, a persona (we all have one or more) is a restriction. If you choose a persona like Artist, you will have something to prove, people to please, an image to maintain. All of this can be very detrimental to true artistic expression, which comes from the inside and requires a great deal of freedom (at least in my case) to be fully realized. There is intrinsic value to doing art: it can be healing, fun, and life affirming. Just do the work. Someone else can decide whether you are a "real" artist or just someone like my who likes to play with paint and canvas (and collage, pastels, etc.)
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:07 PM
frujin frujin is offline
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Re: The noob questions

Thanks guys, I have some more qustions .. I would ask a bit later. Viking, that was really inspiring what you said. Sometimes all this is connected somehow to the life we live. Sometimes it is like your case .. somtimes its different. My case is very .. uhmm .. ugh .. don't have words. I also fear someone else could read this forum even without being registered and I am afraid to express myself. May be one of the biggest mistakes I would regret most when my last day comes. pff ...
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:41 PM
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Re: The noob questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by jemmett
What you appreciate, value, and embody, will be what your art is appreciated and valued for, because it will embody it.

excellent!
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:38 PM
fritzie fritzie is online now
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Re: The noob questions

My first thought when someone new to artistic endeavors asks what art is or who can rightly call himself an artist is, why are these definitions important to you right now? Would the answer change what you do or what you want to do? Are you trying to paint what you want to learn to paint? That's what matters.
In terms of who is an artist, many times I had heard people pose this question because they somehow believe that they should be aiming to cross some line- that until they have, they are incomplete in their efforts and once they have, they can consider that an accomplishment or goal met.
I tend to think that isn't a productive way of monitoring your progress.
Interestingly, it is mostly artists one hears pose this type of question. One doesn't hear people ask when one can really be called a physicist or a biologist, and yet such labels carry ambiguity also.
Typically when people say they are artists or writers or teachers or biologists ... one still knows little more than the discipline to which they apply themselves in some form. From the label you cannot tell where along any sort of continuum the person is unless you see something tangible. And then you know, oh, he does stuff like that.

Last edited by fritzie : 04-17-2012 at 10:42 PM.
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:36 PM
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Viking55803 Viking55803 is offline
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Re: The noob questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzie
From the label you cannot tell where along any sort of continuum the person is unless you see something tangible. And then you know, oh, he does stuff like that.


I know this may seem like a morbid thought, but I am already a senior citizen so I am allowed to think morbid thoughts: because my artwork is totally a private activity for me now, I have told my wife that should she outlive me (very likely) I think it would be a hoot to display some of my work for friends and colleagues. It tickles me to imagine their surprise!
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Old 04-19-2012, 02:11 PM
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Re: The noob questions

I am becoming more comfortable with calling mmyself an "artist" as more people, both artists and non-artists, compliment my work.

I still think of myself a a dabbler in painting. I don't pursue it seriously enough or exclusively enough to call myself a "painter".

As for what is art and who is an artist it gets a bit circular. An artist is a person who creates art. Art is what an artist creates. Round and round we go.

The real breakthrough for me was having a couple of pieces in an invitational community show in a local gallery I respect and admire and watching artists who's work I respect and admire stop and respect and admire my work. I felt like I had finally arrived as an artist. It is hard to say "No, I am not an artist. I'm not any good at this." when artist you admire return the complements. Either they are all lying or they now consider you a peer.
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:18 PM
frujin frujin is offline
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Re: The noob questions

Viking: I knew it can't be hold purely and only for individual private thing. It has to be shown somehow ..

Horsa: so, that's the key? The approval of already approved?

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