Tuesday, April 20, 2010

When Is Art Really Art?

I have not blogged in sometime now. But I read something this morning that has my mind flailing around for the correct answering.
I just finished an easy read fiction novel and decided I needed to read something a little more informative this time. While at the library last week, I picked up a book on William Morris by N.M. Wells. I am a great fan of the Arts&Crafts movement and of that style. Morris set the way for that movement by his influence of setting a purpose for designers, steering them away from the mass production that was happening in the Industrial Revolution. I am in awe of all he achieved in his lifetime. I tend to agree with his thoughts on art and life for that matter. Morris believed that you should have nothing in your home that is not useful, that also includes art that brings you great joy, comfort, etc. This I truly believe this because I think clutter in the end makes you unhappy and blocks creativity. But here is the kicker for me. This morning as I rode along on BART headed for the city, I was reading the first chapter of this wonderful book, and Wells' statement about what Morris believed an artist was kind of stopped me in my tracks...he said that Morris believed that true artists were people who could express themselves completely through the material they worked with, benefiting from the full value of their labours. I stared out the window and thought about that for a while and asked myself, was I just making "stuff" or am I expressing at least a part of myself in each item I create? My answer seems to come out that I am just making "stuff" that very little of who I am goes into .. Perhaps it is time for me to decide what I want to say and then say it in my work. Then again perhaps just making "stuff" and making others happy sharing it with them is enough. Maybe making others happy with the things you make is an art too. These are the thoughts that will going thru my head the next few days. Maybe I should stick to fiction....:-)

Will try to post pictures of some "creations" on Sunday as well as some pictures from our first hike of the season.

1 comment:

  1. Well, that is a loaded post. Without really knowing what WM was referring too, I can tell you that a cry against mass production was probably at the heart of his comments. I think as long as you make something that pleases you first and foremost, then all will be well. No matter if it is imitating someone elses technique or style, your own style and voice will eventually come through. Just keep doing what you are doing and try to enjoy the process and results. It is all we can ask for.