Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I have been illustrating basically all my life. From desk tops and school books in elementary school to commissioned walls for Christmas in Jr. High to wall posters and newspapers in High School. I loved it. It was who I was. But I never really knew much about the "Art World", or art history, until I got to college. That's when I became really "introduced" to art. From Warhol's soup cans

to abstract sculptures, the high standards of the Renaissance to the hard work and immaculate detail of people like Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

At first I was shocked. Certainly, there was a lot of art that was clearly "art"... good design, well-thought out pieces. But there was other art that was, well... shocking to me. Shocking that it was called "art". See, I was always told to follow my talent. If I could draw, then art was the obvious avenue for me to persue. If you sing good? You'll be a singer. Work well with tools? Then you'll make an excellent architect. You get my point.

So you can imagine my surprise when I at last began to learn about art and the vast myriad of what is considered "art". Standards change. Artistic styles fluctuate nearly as rapidly as fashion trends. A child working hard to hone their sketching skills to perfection has to struggle to find their place amongst new "ideas"... like this:

"Odalisk" by Robert Rauschenberg

So, you can see that what the majority called "art" was really not what I expected. It seemed that provacative or crazy stuff won out over true drawing skills. Put a rooster on a box? You end up in a museum. Draw a person's face in perfect detail? You end up on a street in Manhattan, trying to get people to pose so you can sell a drawing to pay your rent. Talent no longer seemed to hold the weight it did back when I drew "wonderful" pictures in school.

Alright, I've gone on enough... weigh in, please. I know I'm not the only one out there with an opinion :)

And don't forget to enter my awesome giveaway for DailyRepose for this wonderful prize!!! Just click on the pic to go to the giveaway! :)


Julia Badgley said...

I have a couple friends who debate about this all the time. One of them, who majored in Art in University, seems to think that art shouldn't imitate life too closely because then a photograph should suffice. He likes the new ideas and one of his most well received pieces of art is paint chips magnified many times. He has sold some to our city, won prizes for it, etc.
So has for 'what is art?' I honestly don't know.

MYSAVIOR said...

Having loved art my entire 65 years, I have seen it all OR I thought I had seen it all until I came to Etsy and realized that a majority of the art that is selling is very strange. A person sitting on a couch only with a deer head?

Art is in the eye of the beholder. I know what I love and that is what I look for.

I have a cousin who photographs garbage. Ummmmm! not my cup of tea! LOL

Keep on making your art, Jennifer!
I love it.


Angels and Everlastings said...

Somehow doesn't seem fair does it!

Sue Runyon said...

I majored in Drawing and loved Art History. Variety is the spice of life. But yeah, I had a professor who photographed road kill. Where do you draw the line?

krafterskorner said...

I see stuff all the time that I think, Who said that was art?" There are a lot of art pieces out there that I would never buy, but the artist thought it was pretty and maybe someone else will too.

sammysgrammy said...

Very astute observation. Reminds me of the scripture quote "woe to those who call evil goodand good evil" Isaiah 5:20

Loretta said...

Very interesting. This topic is often debated, but never resolved.

Faith Caroline said...

I wouldn't purchase "art" unless I liked it . . . and I don't like the weird stuff. But, if some people do, I guess it is art? I don't really have an opinion on the subject.