follow your bliss

we don't have an eternity to realize our dreams, only the time we are here -susan l. taylor

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

what do you think?

i've known since last night what the library art committee decided on my "artwork" submissions. i waited to discuss this on my blog until now because i wanted to take time to compose my thoughts. going to yoga class today {kinda sorta} helped me to be calm. my herb society friend, elsa, phoned me last night to tell me what the board decided {her husband is on the board}... and while they absolutely raved about my watercolor sketch of my niece & wanted to see more of that kind of work, they didn't view my mixed media art as ART. i know i wrote that i would be OKAY with whatever the board decided, but somehow, i am NOT OKAY with the board not deeming my {ORIGINAL}{UNIQUE} {ONE OF A KIND} works as "ART"... it's one thing if the board did not like my style of art, but it's entirely another if they didn't believe that my collages were art at all! i'm sorry, but what the heck is mixed media art then???! chopped liver or something????? i believe there is an ENTIRE LEGION of mixed media ARTists worldwide. AND mixed media art IS recognized worldwide as a legitimate ART form, is it not?>>> in fact, isn't there a growing trend in the art world these i right or am i plainly hallucinating???! i was more than a bit distressed when elsa first dropped the bomb on me...i wish that the instructions were stated clearly that the board only wanted traditional forms of artwork ...then i would have been spared this GRIEF! good gravy! elsa said, the board would love if i would re-submit watercolor works for next year's consideration. excuse me???? i really don't think so. & get a load of this>>>elsa said that while the board didn't find my mixed media as art, they did think that my collages would make a wonderful CRAFT display & wouldn't i like to display my paper CRAFTS? uHHHHHH, i think the JURY is out on that one! when i asked elsa why the board did not recognize mixed media art as art, she said that they decided to draw a "fine line" between FINE art & ARTFUL craft. SAY WHAT ?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i dunno, i just don't get it. too highbrow & elitist for me! i had no idea that the art committee {was smokin' crack, i mean}had such a strict {& narrow} definition of what ART word, it's just the local public library>>>not the louvre or the art institute for goodness sake! i know that if i were in my little town in maine, i would not be having this RANT!!! yes, i keep forgetting at times that i am in b-f CHEESELAND!! what do you think? is mixed media art, ART? or is it CRAFT?? how about fibre/textile/quilting arts>>>are these art or craft? how about jewelry making>>>art or craft? how about knitting? art or craft? scrapbooking>>>art of craft. PEOPLE, i need to know what y'all think on this matter, like this gal's essay. maybe i'm wrong, but isn't art the result of crafting? all i know is that whatever the hell you call my creative works, they are ART in my eyes! & you know what? that's all that matters to me.


  • At 11/07/2006 03:15:00 PM, Blogger melba said…

    I think craft is art.
    The board should have stated what they were looking for...sketches, water colors, drawings. I wonder what they would say of abstract art? Thinking about it in museums there are whole wings devoted to furniture as art and clothes as art.

    You have every right to be...mad, disappointed, confussed.

    You are an Artist!

  • At 11/07/2006 08:53:00 PM, Blogger JUST ME said…

    Mary Ann... I don't know what to say... I am confused.... I agree with you though and I would also be upset. You are a very creative person and am in AWE of how you just collage so freely.... Let me tell you that as I was driving home yesterday from work I was thinking my gosh Mary Ann is just so good at adding and collaging and my stuff is just plain and then I thought WELL Angie HELLO she comes from a line of artist it flows freely. EUREKA SHE is a CREATIVE person.... and always has been it comes without struggle....

    You are an incredible person, friend, writer, teacher should I keep going.. I would just keep on going girl and not worry about it... Gosh Darney you will be teaching at the Just Be BLOG Convention... Do I need to say more. Your art is your art and if they don't consider that art then what do they know... That's just their say and why should you listen to their words...You don't have to...

    You keep creating what you create mixed media, watercolor, painting, baking cookies, sewing, collecting, all of this above is what makes you.... Don't let them make you.......

    love, angie

  • At 11/08/2006 12:35:00 AM, Anonymous looney said…

    woa... today, after voting in the elections, i kept thinking about how some individuals can view certain things and how their ideas can actually obtain, sway and persuade votes in their favor to accomplish their goals. voting can be such a powerful tool to control so many situations but sometimes, when you have an overzealous individual their ideas can be too persuasive and thinking on ones' own feet may go to the wayside...i just can't believe that ALL of the board members couldn't see your mixed media as being "ART" and why they couldn't reconsider their decision and proudly display your work of "ART" on the walls of their library.

    you have real feelings here and i'm glad that you're expressing it!

    i have to agree with you, melba and angie wangie that art is a craft and a craft is art...when you called me this morning and told me what the board decided, i was floooooored! when they decided that your water color was considered art and your other watercolor paintings should be displayed throughout the library yet your mixed media collage of art was not considered "art but crafty" and was willing to display it somehow in a glass case of some sort because it was "unique and artfully crafty"...i was in utter confusion about their decision.

    as the webster's II dictionary states: "art is 1a. the activity of using imagination and skill to create BEAUTIFUL THINGS. b. works, as paintings, that results from this creativity. 2. a field or category of artistitc activity, literature, music, or ballet. 3. a nonscientific branch of learning, esp. one of the humanities. 4. a trade or "craft" and the methods employed in it. 5. a practical skill: knack. 6. the quality of being cunning:artfulness".

    ok now here's what webster's II says about a craft: "1. a special skill or ability. 2. cunning: guile. 3.a. an occupation, esp one that demands manual skill. b. the members of such an occupation or trade".

    now, i really think that your mix media is "art" and you do have a special skill or ability as defined in the word "craft". so don't fret, my lovely sis! here's a great case in point: one of our sisters has told me that in art school, she had a classmate who introduced himself as a mixed media artist. however, because he was creating extraordinary things by adding rocks or other elements to his art, some of his teachers and classmates criticized his work as not being of the "fine arts" caliber or that he didn't follow the rules...whatever the case maybe, he had enough of the negative feedback, quit school and ventured out into his own and he is internationally well-known and respected now as a true artist.
    When he had doors shut on him, he found new doors that totally opened so much opportunities and never gave up his dreams or on his "ART".

    so forget about these high falootin socialites who stay inside the box...cheer up and keep on creating beauty, whether it's "fine" or "crafty" -it's all the same-BEAUTIFUL ART-who knows someone's loss is another man's gain/treasure (i think that's the sayin, right?! but i think you get my drift) so proud of you!!!! xoxo looney

  • At 11/08/2006 05:21:00 AM, Blogger Suzie Q said…

    Good grief, Mary Ann, and this is all for a display in the local library?!! What planet are they on?
    I have always thought of Art as a very personal thing, open to interpretation and seen differently by each & every individual. But Art has to be created, and that is the 'craft'.
    You, dear lady are an extremely talented Artist (along with all your other gifts to the world) and should take a lot of no notice of those folk who are so, as you rightly suggest, narrow-minded. If it was up to them, we would all be stuck with the Old Masters, going nowhere! It's great to have a fine tradition in Art, but who says that's all there is?
    Shine on, Mary Ann, you have so much more to offer!
    Much Love & Huge Hugs,
    Q xXx

  • At 11/08/2006 07:04:00 AM, Blogger Nancy Baumiller said…

    I am blown away with this! I feel that if something is created with ones hands it is art..Id like to see the board sit down and try mixed media art...its not as simple as they think...alot of heart goes into your pieces! I can definately understand why you are upset! I would be too! And I am upset for them not seeing your creations as art..Sounds like the board has tunnel vision and need someone to open their eyes! They need to get off their high horses and take their nose out of the air and recognize Mixed Media as ART..You are an artist darlin! You keep doing what your doing Mar! They don't know art from a hole in the ground! Much love and big hugs!

  • At 11/08/2006 07:21:00 AM, Blogger Rhonda said…

    Mary Ann,

    Your work is art; beautiful art. There is a trend of disdain for anything that is not traditional art for some reason. People see certain forms of art that they themselves are not familiar with or do not know the history of and deem it a craft. For whatever reason, "craft" has become a bad word. This baffles me, as crafting and art both involve making unique things with your hands, with often the same materials.

    Perhaps it would benefit the committee that is deciding on acceptable art, to actually take a class in art history or an actual art class which would open their eyes to the many forms of art in the world that do not fit a traditional definition.

  • At 11/08/2006 10:30:00 AM, Blogger Leah said…

    it's unfotunate that they are so close-minded about the definition of art, but heck, it's their loss. don't let it get you down, that's only their opinion. you are an artist, creating art!!

  • At 11/08/2006 05:45:00 PM, Blogger Tammy said…

    You are most definitely an artist - an inspiring one to me!

    It is so hard to have someone else "define" your work as NOT art... You pour your heart and soul into your work, and it is art! Don't let this get to you - and don't let it keep you from being an artist!!

  • At 11/08/2006 08:58:00 PM, Blogger artsyfran said…

    Mary Ann,
    I think it takes time for different forms of art to be considered art. When I read your post, I immediately thought of the Impressionists. They were told they were poor painters because they didn't paint EXACTLY what they saw. Look how far the art world has come since then! Mixed media is a movement and it will be mainstreamed as long as people like you with a ton of talent are willing to go out there and give juried shows a hint of the talent we have in this movement. Don't give up! You're incredibly talented. They did themselves and the community a disservice by not sharing their definition of art. Sleep easily knowing that there are legions of us behind you and who feel for you!


  • At 11/08/2006 09:22:00 PM, Anonymous Susan (RetroAlchemist) said…

    Your mixed media art is original, creative, and inspiring. In other words, it's ART!

    Your "what do your think?" post inspired me to write something, but I don't think Blogger takes trackbacks, so go to
    2006/11/what_is_art.html if you want to see how mad that library art committee made me!

    Keep creating!

  • At 11/09/2006 12:48:00 AM, Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said…

    Mary ann

    What a a backhand way.
    Artist around the world, and for centuries have been told the same thing.

    I think to be told you art isn't art, is actually a compliment, because you enter the ranks of those who went before you!


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