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Old 09-05-2017, 02:33 PM
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winking cat press winking cat press is offline
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What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

You know.... back when I got into printmaking, it was for a purpose. The world was a very screwed up place, and we (meaning the printmaking community at large, not just myself) used our talents to spread the word that there was a better way than what was going on at the time. AND if you look at what we had a part in accomplishing.... it was amazing!

It wasn't all sex, music, drugs and tie-dyed shirts, although they were certainly a part of the culture. NO! Many of us had a vision for the future, and we printed posters, flyers, stickers, and all sorts of things that said: HEY! THINK ABOUT IT!.... whatever "IT" was. AND we helped folks wake up to things like the Environment, Rampant HATE Corrupt Politics, Forced Conformity, and all sorts of issues. We also created a lot of lasting, fantastic prints in the process.

Nowadays, I look at the Printmaking community I see a lot of talented people, but very little passion. Sure, we as a group are making a lot of decorative prints but it looks like that's all we are doing. Where is the passion? Where has our "raison d'etre" gone ? Are we just producers of pretty pictures nowadays? Are we just burned out by society to the point where we don't see how much good we can do?

I was recently looking over my body of work for the last few decades.... and while it has a lot of technical merit, and has won some awards, it's all crap. Instead of following my real artistic instincts that tell me to reach out beyond pretty pictures and actually engage my audience, I've been making prints that are "politically correct" and/or meant to be sold at stupid art fairs. It was a shocking self-appraisal..... and it sent me for a spin.

The great photographer Andreas Finninger once said: "If I see another picture of weathered old fishing boats, gnarled hands holding crucifixes, or cats sitting in windows of old houses, I think I'm going to throw up!" (I'd assume he was talking about MY work... except he said it back in the 1950's!)

Well.... I'm with Andreas! I'm breaking out of my little "Pretty Picture Cocoon" and getting back to my roots! I've still got strong opinions about life, love, politics, and the world at large, and THAT'S what I'm going to print from here on out. No more "pretty but meaningless pictures". ( Screw Political Correctness! We've got far too much of that sort of thing already! )

AND I'm going to post my prints all over the place! On buildings, on sign posts, on the Internet, at the Ball Field..... and any other flat surface I can think of! Then I'm going to Tweet and Facebook them to my friends. Sure, some (or many) folks will disagree with me.... but that in itself will help bring things to being discussed!

AND I invite you, my fellow printmakers, to make a similar appraisal of your own work. Are you really passionate about something? Is THAT what you are printing? .... or are you just making Art-Fair / Pretty Pictures / Overdone Cliches?

If find that you, too have gotten stuck in a cycle of meaningless (no matter how technically perfect) prints, then I invite you to join me in BREAKING OUT of the doldrums! Instead of wasting our talents, let's use them to once again change the world!

Are any of you with me?
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Old 09-06-2017, 09:19 AM
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Re: What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

I hope you get a response. It is only one day since you posted.

Doug
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:05 AM
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Re: What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

Doug-

Actually.... the lack of a response is in itself a response. At the moment, some 260 folks have read the post..... yet not a one took the time to say "Yes! I agree with you" or "No, I can't agree with this".

That, combined with the fact that this particular forum only gets a few comments per month, seems to indicate that this is no longer a viable place to discuss printmaking.

Please delete this post, and if possible all of my other content
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:30 AM
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Re: What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

Specialist forums are like that.

We get regular requests for specialist forums and they all have low activity.

Doug
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:35 AM
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Re: What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

Good point. I think balance might be the key.

I read an article recently about the idea that producing joyful work in these trying times is in itself an act of defiance. I love that. We need art and music, etc. to feed our weary souls.

I love prints and printmaking, though I have not done any since college in the mid eighties. I go to this forum once in a while to see some, but it's all about discussion LOL. Is there another place where I may be able to see your work?
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:38 AM
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Re: What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

Hadn't been in the forum for a bit and when I did visit it today saw your post and read your comments. You have got me thinking (as I am hopeful that others are who have read your post). Given the times we live in it this is relevant and not just isolated to particular areas of our planet either.
The great movements of earlier times where art, music, literature, film, and ways of thinking and living were a focus I believe are still there but maybe haven't been as obvious as certain periods in history? Case in point. I visit galleries and see political statements being made by artists. Here in Canada there has been a lot of attention over the past few decades revolving around issues including treatment of our indigenous peoples, environmental impacts of pipelines, cultural identies, human rights, separation between classes...( many of these issues of course are not confined to this country). Messages are also apparent in music I listen to (not so much top 40 record label formula shlock), books I read, films I watch, posts by others in social media, protests and rallies that take place in my community when something happens that many think requires a response in person.
I confess that my passion for creating art has been driven by other influences...nature mainly. But, in the past few years I have become more aware of how nature has been increasingly under threat. I began studying factors and making mention of them in artist statements for series of works I present in public exhibitions. I learn about things in the process and I have a very new found respect for all the wonderful plants, creatures and beauty that our planet has given us. I am very saddened by all of the negative changes mother nature has been subjected to. I now network with environmentalists, naturalists and biologists. I also sign petitions, attend rallys and contribute what I can to causes that will hopefully make change for the better. Perhaps most importantly when working with our younger artists I share my experiences and thoughts with them. Teachers have paired with me with printmaking projects to pursue studies such as human impact on nature, social responsibility, etc and additionally incorporate use materials that are earth friendly and also derived from recycled materials for use to create art.
I hear what you are saying. Everyone has their own thing for why and how they utilize their creative energies. I tip my hat to you as you are following your path and renewed passion and hope that you never lose this.
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Last edited by bridog : 09-16-2017 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 09-16-2017, 11:50 AM
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Re: What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

This has always been a sticking point for me. While I do "try" to print pretty pictures, there has always been that nagging "what is the real point." It feels selfish in that I am not really "helping" anyone but me. I understand your feelings. I don't have the technical ability nor am I of the confrontational mindset so I am resolving my own feelings with volunteer work in other areas of my life. I do have passion. I am using my art to help others but I applauded those who who DO confront and DO step out to gather others in the momentum and show how to pull together to make changes happen. I don't get on wetcanvas often but I look forward to seeing where you go. I hope you will post a website. Plant the seed...
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Old 09-18-2017, 03:26 PM
BeLing BeLing is offline
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Re: What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

I consider my prints to be "commercial." But yes, many of them make me gag, and I have done my last mermaid!!!

But posters aren't what they used to be. There's already too much advertising all over the place, and stapling papers to telephone poles isn't cool any more.

Making a statement for shows is also risky. No one likes to pay entry fees, knowing your work might rejected because of the statement (I just got rejected from just such a show, where a statement was mandatory---I think I was a little nasty towards development) so after all your work, where can you put it?

But I like your energy, and I know I'll be thinking of what you said for some time. . . because I also believe COMMUNICATION is really what printmaking is all about, more than any other media.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:26 PM
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Re: What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

I don't think anybody should have to explain why they create art. There are no print police or motivation patrols, thank goodness. The truth is that most artists will get little to no recognition or fame. It doesn't matter. In the end I find great joy in printing - the process. I have been through the wringer - trained by pro's as an apprentice and not getting paid diddly for years, going to Tamarind, getting an MFA in printmaking, listening to under-talented and ego maniacal professors, hustling for art shows and maybe selling a print every blue moon, and trying to get a job as an adjunct. I still love printing and to just print free of all the aforementioned is a real treat now that I have a "real job". Change the world? - not my agenda. Maybe somebody out there. I tell people who are just starting to print as much as they want and can - forget about the rules of editioning (nobody is going to lash you if you don't cancel your plate), if you are just trying to make some money - who cares?, not contemporary enough - so what? Print all the bright swallows going off into a sunset that you can. Each individual artist will come to their own conclusion (and maybe not) regarding why they create and as far as I'm concerned. I would not get concerned at all if they do so without any great or deep reason. I remember the blowhard lead professor telling me that it was "pejorative" to tell my thesis committee that I enjoyed printing. In retrospect that memory makes me smile.

Last edited by lovestofish : 09-18-2017 at 05:28 PM.
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:40 PM
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Re: What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

I wish we had a "LIKE" button here. I see a few comments that would get a big "Thumbs Up"

Lovestofish- I'm not asking you to explain why you create art... that's your business. What I AM asking is that you ponder the topic in your own mind. When I did that, I made some profound realizations.

By the way... I went much the same route you did, enduring the same egotistical professors who held my scholarship over my head constantly. "If you don't do it my way, we'll take away your grant", and later hustling art shows. The work I produced during those times sold very well, but was absolutely the worst I ever did. For me, there is a lot more to art than just selling pictures. I'd rather be poor, but true to myself than produce work that I myself don't like.

Bridog.... you are one of the folks who's artistic vision doesn't seem to get get lost in translation. Your bird prints go a long way toward pointing out to folks how wonderful the natural world really is.

Leigh- purpose. that's the real question on the table isn't it? When I first got into printmaking 50 years ago, i had it. Then like so many artists, I sold it out. now I'm working to get it back.

Phranque- "I read an article recently about the idea that producing joyful work in these trying times is in itself an act of defiance". yes it can be, yes indeed. A truly joyful work is a powerful statement. Pretty pictures done just to sell at shows are not so powerful.

BeLing- if the commercial nature of your work made you gag, then at least you understand the concepts of remaining true to your own artistic vision. That feeling will guide you.

I love your comment: . ." because I also believe COMMUNICATION is really what printmaking is all about" for me, THAT is the purpose of printmaking.

I disagree that posters are passe'. The right image, posted in the right place, can make a lot of people think. Of course, we may have to post some of them on the Internet.... but isn't that just a modern version of a wall?

All.... thank you for commenting. Even if we don't see things exactly the same 100%, we have been talking, pondering the idea of purpose, and sharing what we think.
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Old 09-19-2017, 02:32 AM
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Re: What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

There is a Rate this thread tab at the too but unfortunately it appears to be broken.

Doug
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:24 PM
Jeffro Jones Jeffro Jones is offline
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Re: What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by winking cat press
Many of us had a vision for the future...
Ah yes! But I'm closer to 70 than 17 these days
I feel your frustration, but the bright young things aren't coming to me for posters advertising the Revolution anymore
They used to...
Maybe we should post those tattered old "posters" and relive the days of the counterculture
I was going through some old boxes and came across a bunch of old posters of the "jackboots of the establishment" trampling over human rights, etc.
Takes you back


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Old 09-20-2017, 01:32 AM
ic.Art ic.Art is offline
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Re: What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffro Jones
Maybe we should post those tattered old "posters" and relive the days of the counterculture

Yes!! Love to see everyone's old images! Please post....
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Old 09-20-2017, 09:45 AM
Jeffro Jones Jeffro Jones is offline
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Re: What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ic.Art
Yes!! Love to see everyone's old images! Please post....
Well maybe just one... I'd love to see some of Winking Cat's work, so maybe we can encourage them...
This is a poster for a rock show back in the day...



ah, memories


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Old 09-23-2017, 12:35 AM
Jeffro Jones Jeffro Jones is offline
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Re: What the BLEEP are we doing with our talents?

Quote:
Originally Posted by winking cat press
We also created a lot of lasting, fantastic prints in the process.
And will you show us some?


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