Well, it’s time to paint again. It’s a very strange thing to be going along and then one day like a bolt of lightning it hits me that I need to create more art.
I’ve decided to do a series of paintings that I’ve had as digital ideas for a few years and stop wondering what I should do next. Just do the art and get back into the “habit” of being a fine artist. That feels like a healthy idea and a very productive thing at this point of my life.
This is the first image I’ll be working on. Let me know what you think. I call it TV-Cows! It’s based on a photo I took in Aruba. This cow sculpture was sitting on top of a restaurant with a antenna sticking out of the top of it. Strangely amusing!
This is the $65,000 question. When is graphic design or graphic art fine art or is it ever? I took a course a few years ago and fine art was more or less defined as art that the viewer could contribute to. What does that mean? Well, I took that to mean that the person could look at the artwork and find his own communication he or she was getting from it or what they thought it all meant without it being spelled out as it is in an illustration or graphic design.
It’s an interesting thing to me because as I’ve worked primarily as a graphic designer almost my whole life I’ve really had a problem with the idea that there is a line that separates the commercial and the fine in artwork.
Example number one; Andy Warhol was an editorial illustrator and art director first and became known as a fine artists after he illustrated (painted) 57 paintings of the Heinze 57 varieties of soups in their cans. Voila!! Illustrations that were heralded as fine art and even given a new category; Pop Art!
Then there’s the mondern day version of warhol in Murakami. His art is being used on hand bags for Louis Vuitton. This artist has a team of artists working on his paintings as he lays them out in pencil and writes inthe colors as PMS color numbers for his assistants to use. Now that’s pretty commercial to me personally but that may just be art in our time today as it is mass produced.
I’ve also seen many advertisements that seem like fine art to me as they are very simple and want the customer to fill in the message. Nike does that all the time. Guess Jeans. How about some of those beautiful photos used in makeup ads.
I think there is a line between the two forms of art, but sometimes it can be razor thin and sometimes a block wide. That’s the real beauty of art…it’s creative that way.
Case in point; A painting I did last year using commercial art techniques!
It’s been a long time since I really looked at what it takes to be a fine artist. There has to be a commitment to it like anything else. It can be a very lonely trip creating art and then having someone else see it, find out what they like about it and even why I do it.
For as long as I can remember I’ve had a very strange relationship with the idea that I could be a successful fine artist. I mean, really, how do you know if you’re a success at something as organic and natural as creating art. You could have such a high standard of what success is and someone else could look at you and say you’re a success just by the mere fact you created something.