Things are getting more and more eccentric at Casa de la Swain. Changing styles in my textile work, falling in love again with painting and photography...and then there is the ever illusive quest for continuing creativity through working with Eric Maisel. Still on the road teaching, posting now at the Ragged Cloth Cafe and taking the pledge to keep handmaiden up to date.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

More on Artistic Responsibilities

Somehow in the coversation we got side tracked into what was everyone is creative (not necessarily true) and what an artist is. Debra suggests maybe we need a new or better lexicon for these terms. She also suggests just because you have creative potential doesn't necessarily mean you can bring it to fruition. When I was younger, we called that "born with the genius, but not the talent." I prefer to re-phrase that as "born with the genius, but not the discipline."
Becoming an artist is just like any other job. It takes hard work, discipline, study and practice. When you only draw, paint, make quilts, every now and then your skills have to be re-discovered, leaping through a huge learning curve. When you work at a constant pace, your learning curve increases with each piece driving you to explore more; instead of have to re-learn what you already knew.
If I designed, appliqued, or quilted once every six months, I would be at a huge disadvantage. Instead, I do some art every day. Realizing that is a luxury everyone doesn't least, once a week makes all the difference.
Becoming an artist is much different than being creative. We are all creative in some way but that in no way means artistic.....there are many artist who are very creative and tons of creative people who aren't artist. My thoughts are we are mixing apples and oranges when we use these terms interchangably.
On another note, nature is not art. It is creative and beauty but it is also violent and chaotic. It is our responsibility to take this chaos and make order from it. Beauty surrounds us everyday but if we don't capture that moment somehow it is gone forever. Art is a way to keep that moment and reveal it to others.
Okay, I know I'm on the soap box again and Val and Caity will be having headaches from all the thinking.....but if we don't know where we are going how are we going to get there. If we don't have some intention, direction, desire or vision, how can we bring it out to ourselves much less the viewer.
And yes, I definitely agree with Val that art is a dialogue between the viewer and the artist. Through our images we are speaking to someone, somewhere....and that dialogue may or may not bring about a change within the viewer...but hopefully, the image will make them smile, think, or just be engaged with the beauty.
Enough for now.....thanks for all the great conversations...hope we can continue from time to time to discover the answers to some of these questions.

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