Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Is reality real?

"Is reality real?"

Remember the age old philosophical question?  If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it fall does it make a sound?  One can extend the question to does the tree exist, does sound exist if no one hears it no one sees it.

Well if no one is around to hear it then no one hears it. But that does not mean it doesn’t make a sound.  It is an objective fact that the tree makes a sound.  Just as it is a fact that just because no one sees it it still exists.  It is real.  A tree is a tree, a sound is a sound.

I believe that reality does exist within our perceptions.  We can’t make sound anything other than sound, we can’t make an object anything other than an object.  A tree is a tree.  A sound is a sound. 
But we can create other things that we can identify as a tree, a sound.  We can make purple trees for example.  And sounds that sound like a falling tree but it isn’t the sound of a real tree falling. 
We allow creativity, and we identify with things that we create because of their relationships to some reality.  Something real.  We create ourselves, self.  If a collective: a group say a gang, a political party, creates a notion of self, example all the individuals who belong or identify with the political party or gang, then the self does not exist for the party is just taking relating the elements of the party to a real self.  Good examples, a rich self, a poor self, a flamboyant self.  The real self can only be “you” your foundations, your personal contexts.  They are like no other reality.  Just like no two trees are alike and no two sounds are alike. 

Self is an original, unique one of a kind.  Art is also unique, original and one of a kind.  We create art not to give it’s power to identity and others to use but so one can identify with being a thing in itself, not a thing of a collective.  The power of a collective destroys self.  The power of a collective label destroys art.

The collective cannot exist in a vacuum cannot exist without a concept of the self and without the context of the self a collective power cannot exist.  If we had all individual, independent selves and no social collective there would be no need for an individual independent self.  Same is true for a social collective.  We need a binary, opposites, differences to create values for the self and the collective.  Omit the binary and just have harmony and you end up with nothing. 

The self changes, as self changes collectives change.  It should not be the other way around.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

"Galaxy"  by Christine Alfery  22x30 Watercolor 

How Do We Know It Is Art?

To know something is to have knowledge of something. So how do we know something?  Do we used words, numbers to know something?  Words and numbers can be manipulated to suit desires and needs.  So we may know something that is based on desires and needs but that isn’t a kind of knowledge that can be valued and judged by all as a truth.  How we know something, our knowledge of something needs to be based on facts.

Words numbers need not be related to something, they can be arbitrary and based on social conventions.  Facts need to be related to something, visible to all, they cannot be arbitrary.  Words often are based on social conventions.  If knowledge, how we know something, is based on social conventions such as words and numbers then knowledge is arbitrary.

Knowledge with this kind of foundation, words and numbers based on social conventions and desires, is only valid because it is convenient for it to be valid.  To validate something in this manner makes value and truths arbitrary and variable simply said not valuable. 

Knowledge with a foundation of facts that don’t change based on desires and social conventions can validate something.  Facts are valuable.

So how should we validate art?  How do we know a work is indeed art?  Should art be validated through arbitrary words such as, I like it so it is good, or I call it art so it is art. 

Where is the power behind art?  In the past and indeed to this day art has been validated through aesthetics.  But the aesthetic is arbitrary and personal and filled with desire.  The power behind art lies in the values we place on art.  Art must have value, it cannot be anything and everything. 

Where is the power behind art?  It is not in arbitrary words and numbers that change with desires, rather it is through facts, real facts.  What are the real facts of a work of art?  Is it original?  Is it one of a kind? Is it unique? Does the artists self shine through the work?  Does the concept of what the artist is trying to convey shine through the work?  Is the context of the work evident? 

I have talked about concepts before, so I will just give a brief summary here.  Concepts are created from abstractions, abstractions are floating around in the artists mind, and when the artist relates them to something, interlinks them to something they become conceptual.  Once they are conceptual they are integrated with context.  Context is how we know something.  How we know something can be based on facts which are real or words and numbers that can be manipulated. 

The power behind art is how we value it.  How we value art is based on how we know art.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Art needs to be valued.

                What should art be within our culture?  There is no question that there will be many diverse answers to that question.  Some see art as a social tool to manipulate a political agenda, others see it as something mystical that appears out of nowhere and is beautiful, others see art as historical showing the reality of a time.  However you understand or see art, art needs to be questioned as to how it is understood and used.
                Art today illustrates the enormous gulf between what we know, that is what is objective, physical, real and knowable and the mystical, the unknowable, superstition and imaginings.
                Art can be understood, judged, questioned through the knowable.  Art cannot be judged on the unknowable.  Aesthetics is not an unknowable.  Aesthetics are knowable and can be valued as knowable, beautiful and real.  Aesthetics magnify discovery.  And are identified and judged through our lives and how we live our lives. 
                For an artists that means judging the work they create through the abstract meaning of their work.  Abstract meaning is the concept/s that are formed by the artist through real life experiences.  If an artist can convey meaning that can be understood and seen by a viewer, by one who would judge it then it can be valued. 

                Art needs to be valued. How we value art, is the same as how we personally value life.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

What Ever Has Happened to "Play"?

"Rubies Rider"  Artist Christine Alfery

"Mike The Mallard, Flash Gordon, and Jenny Dolls.  What has happened to the concept of "play?'"

I was in an antique shop recently, just meandering through the antiques that allowing them to stir up memories from my youth, from my family, from my foundations.  There was a 7” doll that caught my attention wearing a little green gingham dress.  I became convinced that that dolly used to be mine.  I had a doll just like it and a she had a dress just like that one.  I gave all my dolls away during my last move as no one in the family wanted to keep them so it was a wonderful to come across this treasure that I sure used to be mine. I purchased the doll and she now is on my memory shelf.  This shelf is currently with inspirations. Mike the Mallard a ladder climbing fireman resides there.  Flash Gordan in his rocket power flying machine that has wheels that work when you wind up a key, along with an old box of crayons, Dick and Jane readers, an old doll cradle and a glass piggy bank. My parents gave the bank to me so I would learn to save money, they encourage me to putting my tooth fairy dimes into it and told me I couldn’t get them out until the bank was full. I found a way. 

I came across another old memory, in that antique shop paper dolls.  I remember one Christmas, the only present for me under the tree was a paper doll which my father got free from the place where he worked.  It was a 3-D life size doll that my dad helped to assemble as he didn’t want me to cut off important tabs that helped hold the doll together.  I tended to do that with the clothing tabs on other paper doll books I had and he didn’t want me to ruin the doll.  Personally, when it came to paper dolls I could see no sense in spending all that time cutting out all those extra tabs on the paper clothing when you needed only the top ones to hold the clothes on to the paper doll and besides I changed them frequently.  Part of my restless child’s personality that appears to still be with me and which I cherish.  There were no pills to tame my personality in those days.  I am sincerely grateful for that.

These memories made me think back to other toys I played with.  My best 3rd grade friend and I used to play jacks on her front porch all the time.  We found the little red ball that came with the jacks set was totally inadequate after a couple of months as it lost its bounce and we could never get the ball high enough to pick up all the jacks.  In searching for a new bouncy ball, we discovered golf balls worked great. Trouble was our dads wouldn’t let us use their good balls only their damaged one.  We found that these damaged balls bounced crookedly and made it hard to play jacks.  We discovered if we took the white plastic shell off the ball that the inner core made a perfect jacks balls and had a great bounce.  I rarely won in jacks with my friend Linda.  That was ok, she was my friend, a friend with a wonderful blonde ponytail.  It was the playing, the working out chaotic problems that happened with the toss of the jacks.  It was the struggle that I learned from, and that has been very valuable lesson for me even today.  To not become frustrated with the struggle. 

Linda taught me many important lessons.  She wouldn’t trade paper doll clothing with me if I had cut off all the tabs except the top ones.  I had a choice, trade or cut the way I wanted to cut out the dolls clothing. I chose to continue to cut the way I wanted to.

I have never been a good one to follow rules when it comes to choices I make that are my choices and effect only me.  I live with that fact and I want to live with the fact I made the choice, someone did not make it for me. So contrary to most thinking, when I said Linda taught me many lessons, my guess is that most of you reading this would have chosen to cut out the doll dresses the “correct” way like Linda wanted.  The lesson Linda taught me is that I had to live with my choices – and that I did have a choice.  And I knew no reason why I needed to be “normal” in this case. 

There are other choices I had to live with. In fourth grade we were to memorize the multiplication tables.  I could see no sense in memorizing them when I had this net little ruler with the tables on it and I told my teacher, Mrs. Brown, that if I knew my 2s and 5s I could figure everything out by adding or subtracting – forget memorizing a table.  Mrs. Brown was desperate towards the end of the year because I had not memorized the tables.  I remember sitting in the bathtub the last day of school before I was to head out really worrying about my choice, because Mrs. Brown told me that she would not pass me to 5th grade if I did not memorize my tables.  I remember sitting at my desk afraid to open my report card to see if I could move on.  There was no social promotion back then.  To my delight Mrs. Brown must have decided that the way I chose to do the multiplication tables worked and I could move on.  Turns out my thinking about multiplication tables way back then is one of the ways to teach multiplication.  I was just ahead of my time.  And I had to live with my choice one way other another. 

These memories make me think about the concept of “play.” How children play today and what toys they play or do not play with.  How different it is today. No wonder children try to grow up too fast, have their noses into a computer, and can’t imagine “breaking the rules” and cutting off all the tabs of the paper doll clothing and discovering that perhaps that is ok. 

Playing today – really playing appears to be mindless. How do I understand mindless? One chooses not to think conceptually from abstractions, that is too hard many of the choices children used to be allowed to me have been taken away from them, like my dad helping me with putting the 3-D paper doll together for fear I would ruin it, or my friend Linda refusing to trade paper doll clothing with me if I continued to cut off all paper tabs that held the clothing on the paper doll except the top ones.  For me my childhood was filled with conceptual thinking from abstractions, my childhood and the toys I played with allowed me to make and live with personal choices I made.  I wasn’t asked to grow up too soon and solve problems beyond my ability. Adult Barbie dolls come to mind here. I solved problems at my own level, I cried when I made a choice that was in my personal interest, and I learned I was responsible for that choice and had to live with the consequences.

I have no trouble understanding why we as a culture are where we are, living with warring forces within our own culture, our own families. We continue to take personal responsibility away from the individual and try to place it within a collective and hope that we all get along and agree to disagree.  There is no room for those of us who want to cut all the tabs of the paper dolls clothing except the top ones.  There is no room for living with our own choices.  It seems everyone is encouraged to cut their paper dolls clothing the same way.  There seems to be less and less room for concepts coming from abstractions that can create new paths to roam.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Art and Aesthetics

"The Story"  (Also known as "Trip To The Beach")  Artist Christine Alfery

Art and Aesthetics

One of the definitions of aesthetics distributed on a video by the J. Paul Getty Museum was the “ah ha” moment.  In the video, there was a classroom instructor who had distributed his teaching materials for the day, which included a glass of water and a small amount of color.  The students were instructed to drop the color in the water and not to speak.  The camera zoomed around to the faces of the students as the color hit the water, the aww was visible on their faces, the fascination held their interest for a long time.  After a couple of minutes, the instructor stated that moment was the aesthetic moment in the arts. 

The aesthetic moment is about immediate pleasure and stimulation with the focus being on personal satisfaction, it is a focus on the self.   It is fleeting and not permanent. The aesthetic moment can never rest, it is always in motion and the self, the soul, the self tries to recall that pleasurable moment and sometimes fails to do so and struggle and suffering occur.  So the aesthetic in actuality also causes pain, struggle and suffering, because the self is constantly searching for that pleasure, that aesthetic moment of joy, love.  The aesthetic moment is only found in the moment, so one needs to repeat over and over the attempt to have that pleasurable moment but that never happens because the aesthetic moment is fleeting and not permanent, the aesthetic makes no commitments.  Many artists return to their drawing boards just to have that aesthetic moment repeated, and many of those same artists attest that it is often meet with failure.  As an artist, I have never been able to repeat what I have done, if I do the aesthetic moment for the most part was not there. 

This constant motion – the repetition is searching for a commitment from the aesthetic moment and this search for a commitment changes the nature of aesthetics, it becomes political, ethical linking the values of freedom associated with the aesthetic moment to the political, the ethical.  It can never be found because it is no longer about the self and the values that are good for the self the soul, but the values that are wonderful for the self, the soul are not necessarily those that are good for the collective and collective values. 

Many envy the artist and the artists constant quest for the pleasurable, the wonderful, bliss and they in turn argue for this bliss to maintain the arts as we move forward in time but because the aesthetic is not permanent, and the calls for an aesthetic commitment cannot sustain the concept of art and moves the need for values to enter the art arena.

The question becomes can the values of self, of pleasure, of wonder extend to the collective notion of art.  Presently if we look at the arts, and postmodern funk they seem to be in where everything is relative and nothing is concrete I would have to argue they cannot.  Art can never be anything, if it is everything to everyone.  I would argue they are not because there is no commitment with aesthetics, they are fleeting.  An ethical person moves away from this fleeting bliss, for the art for art’s sake, art for the pleasure of the self, and commits to sets of abstract ethical principles, something that is done for the sake of it is right to do, and wrong not to do.  The ethical person needs to be weary of the power struggles that exist within these ethics and not loose site of the self’s aesthetics and authenticity. This happens when politics enters the values arena and binaries become part of the discussion.  Suddenly the notion of the values of aesthetics that drive the notion of art is lost, the struggle is how to maintain aesthetics and the self or the soul gain the commitment of freedom, and pleasure that exists in the concept of aesthetics when working with the concept of art through the collective. 

I argue for and objective set of values to define the arts, one that a collective can recognize and agree to along with the subjective set of fleeting aesthetics that pleasures only the self.  Art cannot sustain itself only through aesthetics.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Authenticity in Art

"Tightrope"  Artist Christine Alfery

Artists stylize reality.  Artists take the metaphysical, something that can never be anything other than 
what it is, water is water, flowing water in a creek, trees, trees moving in the wind, sun rising, sun setting are all examples of the metaphysical.  Artists isolate what is important to them and they stress that importance in their work.  Their work is hand-made, their work if it is authentic, stresses the truths, the values the artist hold.  Art can be judged by the authenticity of the artist, the viewer recognizes this authenticity in the work and relates to it in one way or another, positively or negatively.

Artists who create work from a subjective state such as I feel, I wish, I believe, these mystical beliefs have nothing for their work to be judged on.  It is impossible, because it is an I feel state and is subjective

Should art be judged?  There is really no escape from making choices in art, and judging art, if we don’t make choices, if we don’t judge, we leave a blank check to those who wish to dominate art and make it what they want to make it.  The subjective state is an excellent example of this, how many times have you heard, when someone looks at a work of art, “art can be anything I see in it?”  The I in that quote is important as it is again subjective.  And it makes art nothing.  To not judge art is offensive and does not give credit to work that truly can be called “art.”

Make no mistake the illusion of freedom that goes along with “art can be anything I see in it”  is just that an illusion.  There is a sense of freedom because the work created came from the subjective mind of the artist and the viewer.   If the work remains in that state and never becomes a solid conceptual reality, then the work can never be called a work of art.  The concept of art cannot be stuck in subjective neutrality.  Art cannot be neutral, there is value in art, to abstain from judgement of a work of art is to encourage all things visual to be value neutral, and if it is value neutral then it is nothing at all.

What are some objective values that can define art – fairly?  True, feelings and senses are all a part of what art is, they are not all that art is.  The values I use to define a work as art and not visual design, display are: authenticity, uniqueness, originality, technical skills and truth be they representational or
Authenticity/uniqueness/originality. The artists perceptions, senses.  It originates from the artist.  It captures the artists sense of life, the artists, values, not the values of another, or of a group of another’s.  It does not simulate another’s ideas and call it their own because it had a different author/creator. The work stylizes reality. The style is the artists own and belongs to no other, the idea is the artists own, it belongs to no other.

For a work to be truthful it recognizes what has be identified, concepts have already been created, that acknowledge a reality.  The work cannot be all subjective mystical based on wishes and beliefs, it also needs to be objective based on ideas and concepts. The artist can no longer leave their thoughts at the sensational, perceptional level when they are creating, they need to develop their thoughts into concepts that relate and integrate with other concepts so they can be something and so others can come to know it also.  Artists and those who are art junkies need to bear the responsibility for how art is understood and known.  

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Art Is A Sense Of Life.

"Release Me"  Artist Christine Alfery Acrylic on Canvas - 58x60

Art is a Sense Of Life.

Art and aesthetic must be guided by more than emotions and feeling.  Art must be guided by more than, it makes me happy, it makes me feel good.  I say this because if art is just subjective then it has no identity because it can be anything and everything.  For me when I am creating, the goals I attempt to achieve, and they don’t always happen, are to have my work have speak to, relate to my sense of life. Some of the unique, marks I create, that relate to my sense of life and my life experience include, bridges, ropes, ladders, wheels, flying critters, wings and hills as well as smooth and chaotic lines, monochromatic colors, and bold colors.

When I step back and look at a finished work I always ask myself, is this work a thing in itself, it is not the same as anything else. Is it unique because I created it, and it is my unique, original style and marks that speak about my sense of life that makes it one of a kind, unique and original? And at the same time does it speak, does it say the things I want it to say yet at the same time, is it independent of me and my experiences so it can speak to others and their sense of life?  If it does then I believe I have created “art.”

Sunday, June 25, 2017

"All That Jazz"  Artist Christine Alfery

                Is reality nothing more than a narrative? A visual and or linguistic construction that can be controlled and that controls what we say and how we think?  I reality nothing more than words and images?  If reality is nothing more than a visual or linguistic construction than reality is a figment of what we imagine, what we create and what we produce. Reality is then governed, controlled, by and through words and images and how we think, how we know and how we live would then be governed by words and images. 
                If this is indeed the case, then those who create and produce are the ones who govern. And the question is no longer what is real but how is what we imagine to be real governed, how are we governed? Historians seem to agree that we are in the process of a change in how things are understood. The historical era of modernism is integrating into the post-modern or neo-modern. Today subjectivity dominates were all things are relative and no one thing, has more value than another. The glue that holds this relativism together seems to be socialism or social progress.  So it is no surprise that our subjective words and images, our notion of I, has melted into the social stickiness of how to govern, how to think, how to create change and movement towards a richer life and way of understanding and knowing things. 
Art is no stranger to this social relativism, where subjective relativism seems to reign. And if what is happening in art is any hint of what is to become our governing agent it will be the consensus of the subjective.
This way of governing destroys the subjective I.  It has destroyed art. Where uniqueness, independence, originality once was defined the subjective I, now uniqueness, independence and originality appear to be a rare occurrence in images and in words.  
We need to return to a notion of reality isn’t just words, images or anything we can imagine and create and then say it is so is so.   That would make reality filled with only wishful, hopeful, thinking and ways of knowing. Reality needs to be objective and to be objective it needs to have a materiality to it and not just wishful thinking and imagining. Thinking about reality in this manner would change how we think about the subjective I.  We need to see the subjective I as objective and complex, not just hopeful, but also sorrowful, not just sublime but also filled with chaos, there needs to be a struggle for the subjective I to exist and for an image to become works of “art.”
What would objective words and images in art, society and culture.  It would respect the I as a thing in itself, subjective, but it would not expect the subjective I to govern art, society or culture. Controlling art, society and culture should be based on a reality that is objective, not imagined and created out of wishful thinking.

How does that relate to my work which is filled with the imaginary is something I am struggling with? I do recognize though that there is more value to what I create if my fluid struggle is evident, and if an idea or concept emerges that inspires one to think differently about how things are governed and controlled.  Inspires one to think differently and is free to be able to do so.  It seems impossible that the subjective forms into a collective subjective, which is an oxymoron to say the least, but it has.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

"Sunflower"  Artist Christine Alfery

A couple of weeks ago I stated that I was again thinking about "what is art?" Tough question and Hedy Mainmann reponded that art is like life. I ask is art really like life? She isn't the only person who has made that statement. It is a simple statement but the complexity of thought behind it has been discussed for many years. If art is life does it imitate life? Just the word imitate causes a problem for me. Without going into huge detail I will just say no imitation - if it is art it is a thing in itself. 
Several years ago I wrote a paper on Michel Foucaults statement "Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not our life." I agree our life can be an art object as Foucault suggests here - but I disagree than just any lamp, or house can be an art object - not just anything can be "art." Many things can imitate art but not many things can be "art." 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Kandinsky and Rhythm

"Figuring It Out"  Artist Christine Alfery Watercolor and Acrylic on Paper.

Wassily Kandinsky continued. How to Be an Artist, According to Wassily Kandinsky

For the past three posts I have been making comments on an ARTSY EDITORIAL BY RACHEL LEBOWITZ JUN 12TH, 2017 7:07 PM. This is post 4 on "How to Be an Artist, According to Wassily Kandinsky."

Lesson #4 Inject rhythm into your painting, like a musical score.
It makes sense that Kandinsky would link rhythm to his work. His lines and mark making are very gestural. And it makes sense that Kandinsky would say as he did in #1 that art expresses the inner world of the artist, and not artistic trends, and in #2 where he states that an artist should not paint things, but paint in abstract form. Kandinsky was an abstract expressionist. 
Again though I return to the concept of the abstraction. A materialist would conclude that the concept of the abstraction or abstract art is a frill, an indulgence unrelated to reason or to man’s life in this world. Could this be Kandinsky’s abstraction? The spiritualist would agree to the materialists concept of abstraction but would also go off into parts unknown and non material. Many say Kandinsky was not interested in this concept of abstraction. 
Kandinsky’s notion of abstraction and in turn abstract expressionionism, I believe is how he lived and how he searched for freedom. A freedom not linked to some mystical notion that could not be seen, but in a metaphysical notion of what could be imagined, and explored and intertwined with what is worldly. Abstract Expressionism was Kandinsky’s way of talking, expressing how he understood freedom. It was filled with rhythm, and movement and color and self. For Kandinsky his art was ties to his need to survive, not physically, but his need to survive in his consciousness, in his mind.
The mind is conceptual, it is a consciousness which integrates with philosophical values, like ethics, and freedom and choice. To inject rhythm into his work, like a musical score was to inject as Kandinsky stated his inner world and the conceptual conscious choice to integrate it with reality and to integrate it with his own happiness. That is how I understand Kandinsky, that is how I understand his work, and that is how Kandinsky has influenced so much of what I do.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

How to Be an Artist, According to Wassily Kandinsky


  Lesson #2. Don’t paint things. Paint in abstract form. 
               Don’t paint things, but rather paint in abstract form, the editorial by Rachel Lebonwitz went on to say, “Monet’s now -iconic haystacks were an early influence on Kandinsky, who was struck by his own inability to identify the real world objects that the forms referenced. At first taken aback by this disconnect,” which I must admit I too have been taken aback, “Kandinsky soon embraced its possibilities, eventually insisting upon art that was not only abstracted but entirely non-representational.” And again Rachel Lebonwitz refers to the artists interior world, as if that world was an abstract form, that perhaps is “simplier” or different than the real world. Perhaps more imaginary and "non-representational."
               At the time that Kandinsky painted, his ideas created change in how one thinks about art. His works and ideas were revolutionary. But now because his thoughts have become common place, and abstract works are indeed "non-representational" and indeed do not represent even simple forms I find it hard to call this kind of work "art." There needs to be some some connection to reality – abstract works that represent nothing, cannot be art, as they are nothing. If even the simpliest forms represent something to the artist or the viewer then there is content and perhaps meaning and some value to the work which "might" be eventually be called "art."

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Individual Artist and the Collective Concept of Freedom.

There are five lessons here from Kandinsky - I will just comment on one today.
"Kandinsky did not intend for his theories to be prescriptive. Artmaking, he insisted, was about freedom. Nevertheless, there are several lessons that artists should heed if they are to meet Kandinsky’s requirements. We start with five below." https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-artist-kandinsky
Lesson #1: Express your inner world, not the latest artistic trends.
I totally agree that artmaking is about freedom. Two points - here the concept of freedom - if art is about a collective freedom then it isn't about the artists inner world? I think the point here is that the artist, does not have the power to create entities out of a void, the inner self being a void as the inner self is only interesting to the inner self and very subjective. This subjectivity makes art everything and anythings. In order to entertain the notion of freedom along with the self the notion of freedom needs to be objective not subjective. To make art totally subjective creates contradictions and a whole bunch of nothings. But then how does the artist make their subjectivity into the objective world that is out there and have it become a collective thought? The artist has the power to bring into existence an arrangement, integrations of natural elements that have not existed before. Artists have the power to change, creatively not forcefully, what is there into something beautiful. The self of the artist is not the self of the viewer or another artist, but linking this power to self and the notion of freedom there is then a collective creative concept of freedom that is a beautiful idea. This way of thinking as Kandinsky suggested cannot be prescriptive - yet at the same time can relate to freedom. It is a very tough thing to accomplish as we all fall into the trap of thinking our thoughts about freedom and self are the same as another individuals or artists thoughts. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017


When I begin working in the visual space of abstraction where imaginaries and concepts are floating around, I attempt to create a visual space where my free will makes choices as to what I want to see and what I want others to see.  That is where my training comes in, I have learned how to help others visually read the imaginaries, the concepts that float around in that abstract visual space. These concepts are real – a beautiful reality, they are objective, so others can see them also. They are not nonobjective. This for me is the struggle when I come to a blank white sheet of paper, to look for and emphasize in my work those concepts for which I believe in – independence, individuality and freedom and hope that others can see them also.  This is the challenge of my work.  These are the subjects in my work.

The piece I recently finished.  “Tightrope” Which is part of my Precious Jewels series.  Let me know if you can visualize, independence, individuality and freedom here.  Would love your feedback.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

What is Art

My current thinking seems to be asking the age old question,  "What is art?" 

I don't know why I say my current thinking. I have been asking that question ever since post modernism with all of its relativity. Not only has art become part of the postmodern movement, it has also become less precious. It seems that everyone accepts comments such as "anyone can make art" and "it's all about your own personal interpretation or how one sees things." 

I believe art, aesthetics, are all about personal interpretation. That does not make art relative and subjective. How can I say that?

Everyone is unique and all “art” is unique.  If an object is not unique, original, and one-of-a-kind, then it isn’t art.  The idea, the concept and their uniqueness is art.  

Just like one person is unique to themselves and to their own individuality, “art” is unique to itself and its own individuality.  It does not depend on collective thinking.   NOT everyone’s ideas and concepts are art.  Not every individual is an artist. They may create something that looks like art. It may have a frame, and be in a gallery and the person who made it calls themselves an artist and their work art.  But it isn’t – if it is not unique. 

What makes art, art? Value. We should value it as art.  If everything is called art, there is no value in art. As a lifetime romantic, I believe art must have the ability to stress goodness, imagination, creativity, discovery, ability and virtue. These notions are all subjective. Subjectivity is unique, individual and not based on collective thinking. Modern art stops right here.  Modern art is nonobjective art. It works toward an unattainable utopia, white bless. It is based on a blissful romantic anticipation of something, a notion, a concept that never becomes real. 

What gives art reality?   I believe it is based on an objective reality, perhaps a romantic objective reality but still an objective reality.  The origin of the concept, the idea begins with the maker and their subjective individual uniqueness.   Art gains value through the maker's subjectivity. The objective reality is that others can relate to as they search for their own pursuit of happiness and their own liberty as they live their own lives. Life has struggle and creating value comes with a struggle. Without the struggle art, is nonobjective and mindless.

My current works speak to the subjective fluidity in concept and idea forming.  From this fluidity, a concept or idea is not yet objective.  I search for this objectivity, I struggle to find this objectivity as I create.  Why? Because I believe that the combination of fluid subjectivity and real objectivity give meaning and value to art.  I struggle to make this fluidity become real and relate to reality, to life, to my struggles and to my happiness and the happiness of others.  I believe that by making the work objective I make that reality work for me and what I believe in and hope that I inspire others at the same time to do likewise, as they too struggle to give meaning to their lives and have the meaning that they have created work for them.  Objective reality can be, personal, individual, and have unique meaning, not the collective meaning, of one size fits all.  If everyone worked towards their own happiness, their own reality and allowed others to do the same, I believe we would live in a very rich time indeed.  Instead, we seem to be sucking the creativity out of one to give it to another. Doing this, there will be no creativity, no art and no imagination. They will have no value and no meaning.  It is up an individual to create things for themselves, things that will make them uniquely happy.