So, twice last week I had someone say "You are a true artist" and then a student/friend and I had a conversation about what makes
"a true artist".
She was talking about my story and my art and this is basically what I wrote to her:
"I think story is the key element in art. It gives the artist the passion and sensitivity needed to produce meaningful art.
There is a LOT of "art" out there and good "art" but it has no story. It's just nice to look at and that is fine for some people but not for me. When I look at other peoples art, it needs to tell me a story of the person who created it."
Several years ago I wrote short stories about my art and put them with the art. The stories were actually part of the art. I made little pockets on the front of the piece, in the area where the signature goes, and put a little piece of paper inside with "the story" of the piece. This piece below is a piece I happen to have because it belonged to my daughter Shari, who is a huge part of my story, and due to her leaving this earth, I now have it back.
In 1999 we went to Maui together and had a wonderful time.
This was a memory of that trip I made for her.
Sometimes the story can't be put into words, it just has to be "said" in the art itself.
For a long time I put the title of the piece somewhere in the art itself. This is just one example of many along with the "Parrot in my Parlor" piece.
But as time goes on and my art changes, I have felt the need to let the piece, and the title weave the story together without words.
Titles alone sometimes tell the story. I'm not one of these artists that can do "untitled". I just have too many stories in me...And, I love to tell them. That is what I miss about art fairs....that direct contact with people and getting to tell them the story.
If you are selling your art, you are considered a professional artist and that is fine and good, but does that make you a "true artist"?
Most people feel an artist has to be weird, act weird, dress weird and be liberal in all their thinking. Well...that may work for some but it is not me. Some may think I dress weird in that my clothes always have paint on them, and yes, I "see" things a little different than most...but my hair is naturally grey, not purple and my clothes (other than the paint) are normal and I am pretty conservative in my way of looking at life. I am first and foremost a Christian...a believer in the Son of God, Jesus Christ and unfortunately yes, that makes me look weird to most art communities.
I KNOW where my art comes from.
My signature reflects it.
The symbol behind my name is the Chi Rho,
the first two letters for Christ in Greek.
I have a passion in my heart and it comes out in what I paint. I also encourage my students not to imitate what I do, to find their own path. that is why I give them the tools to work with and don't do the "everyone paints the same thing" gig, and I'm not saying that is wrong....I'm saying "is that a true artist"?
You be the judge....I'm not saying who is a true artist and who isn't...that is not my place. I'm just sharing my story....and I'm stickin" to it!!
Thanks for stopping by,