Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Slowed down by a cold

Well, I've had several days without lots of errands for everybody else in the family but yesterday came down with a cold. Sore throat...stuffy head, aches, and tired so every little thing becomes an effort.

It took me two days to get the bindings sewn on these two new pieces. I still have the binding to go on the blue piece...just have to finish the hand part of it.

Then, have to come up with titles for these...your help is appreciated, gentle readers!

I really put myself out there on the QA list with my comments about being an artist. Much as I like everyone to feel good, I really don't believe that everyone can be or become an artist. It takes a lot of work and studying and doing it to get there.

I really liked the crafty part of it and the issues around if a quilt artist would use a pattern. I used to do clay work at the wheel. I figured when I made plates and bowls, I was a craftsman. When I made scultural pieces, I was an artist.

Just like quilts...when I make a pattern (usually for a baby quilt) then I am doing a craft. The rest of my stuff is art.

If we decide, in this strange society that feels there should be cooperation and no competition (at least in the school setting) that everyone is an artist, we still come back to the issue of who's better. Being an artist, I don't believe, is self-proclaimed. Oh well, I should get Melody's take on this!

Lots of us can be and are, creative in our crafts...moving to new things, adventuring, but not necessarily going into art. That's it.

Someone responded to the idea that if took a traditional pattern, changed the layout, changed the colors and wonked it a little, then it was an art quilt. I disagree.

What has been interesting is the number of people who responded to me off list in support of what I had to say...a lot of big time names. Do we need a group for those who are a little further along and want to share ideas, and critiques and get honest feedback? How hard that would be but could be really exciting. However, someone would need to be the arbiter of who gets in and who doesn't. Oh, no, jurying and judging...woe is us!

My Mama quilt didn't get in at Houston. I had about 20 minutes of feeling down about it, mostly because I would have like to have had my mother and her life in a book. However, I do have one from the first year that will be in the book and it is about another part of her like.

Like I say, you enter a lot of shows, you get accepted to some and you don't in some others but you just keep on going.

13 comments:

Gerrie said...

You know that I agree with you about the above stuff. I certainly would not get in to the list for big time quilt artists, but I feel the blogging list has some true artists and maybe the blogging can meet your needs. When you post lucious new work, like you just did, you need to let people you trust know and help you critique. I absolutely love it! Did you screen print the black images over the monoprint. I love the graffitiness of it. Or maybe it is brushstrokes. Anyway - looks great. I've been thinking of doing some fusing of shapes and screenprinting over it.

PaMdora said...

You've brought up some really interesting topics in this post and it would be fun to discuss them more. I agree with what you're saying about the difference between art and craft, but then I also think about what draws me to making art quilts is the craft.

I like the tangible, touchable aspect of it. There's something about the quilted fabric (when it's artistically done) that to me is the best of craft (as in high-end, ie American Craft) that seems more approachable and humanistic that pure art alone. Does that make any sense?

I also agree that just taking a pattern, reorganizing it, and picking different colors is not creating art. It's just rearranging the furniture.

Dumbing down of art is also an interesting topic. The problem here is that if everyone can do it, then it does become a problem for artists to view and present themselves, and be accepted as professionals. In almost every other profession I can think of such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, architects, psychologists, etc. etc., people are respected, consulted, and paid to do what they have studied for a lifetime. And yet "anyone can make art." I don't have any answers, just questions.

Frances said...

Liz I didn't see your post on QA it must have come through when I was away and now taking mail I think I will go into the achives for it or perhaps you could send me copy,

I agree with you and pam about changing a pattern not being an art quilt,

to me there are 3 elements, art, design and technique,

art and design are not the same thing but a lot of people cross them or think they are the same,

I have not yet read your next post as when I went to I saw you related it to this post so have read this first, will now read the follow up,

Frances said...

Pam has written in her post >>
(as in high-end, ie American Craft)<<
as a non american (meaning usa) does this mean my art/craft is not high end?
I do not think it does but do think before you write, Liz feel free to forward to Pam,

Lisa, Procrastinator Extraordinaire said...

This makes me feel sad. I have absolutely zero training as an artist so I don't feel like I should be here at all. I just do what I like without knowing anything about the rules such as why things should be where, etc. Maybe I should just go away...

Debra said...

Liz, I think it would be so much easier if there were two words:

maybe Kraft... for the crafty kind of creations (using patterns, etc.).

and CRAFT for those real techniques used making art.

Think about it. Actors always say that their work is about perfecting their craft. It's something they are proud of saying. Yet we who's art runs a parallel course to Kraft have to fight to distinguish between the words.

Is this the difficulty? one word, two meanings?

lizzieb said...

Lisa,
That is certainly not my intention...for you to feel sad and that you don't belong. Becoming an artist is a continum. Learning and studying is a part of that. Take the time to read about art, about compostition, and design elements and start using some of those and see where it takes you. You may work from what you feel looks right and you may have a good sense of compostition already, but understanding some of the design issues certainly helps all of us to determine when to break the rules and why.

You are obviously having fun with what you are doing and that is the most important thing about art. My comments are about those who really want to be serious and enter the professional world...it's hard work.

Thanks for taking the time to comment...I hope this helps clarify what I am trying to get across.

Shoshana said...

Liz, thank you for a very thoughtful blog and your post on QA. I agree that not everyone is an artist. I was a professional classical musician for many years. We in the music world reserve the term artist for someone who as truly mastered her craft, has become not only technically brilliant but also interprets the classical ouvre in a unique and identifiable way.

One poster on QA seemed to suggest that those of us who still use patterns are stealing the ideas of others. This is a unique viewpoint, especially considering that pattern makers are selling their patterns. While I would agree that those who take pictures of quilts with the intention of copying them are being less than original (wink), I would hardly call it theft unless they attempt to sell the quilt and pass it off as their own idea. Buying a pattern is theft? Well that is a stretch.

Thank you for not insulting those of us who are still at the craft level. There was a time when being called a "craftsman" was a high compliment. In some areas such as woodworking it still is a high compliment. I'm sad that it appears to be a derogatory label in the art quilt world. As a craftswoman, I would never dream of insulting an artist in the same way.

Much food for thought in your comments. Thanks!

Karoda said...

Well, let me throw in the mix what I know and have learned...there is the echo and the hollerer...the hollerer is the initiator, the creator if you will...the echo spreads out duplicating, carrying the hollerer's message to reaches the hollerer cannot do alone. The echo can change the furter it sound goes...neither are less or more...just different.

I believe everyone can produce art but that doesn't make them an artist. I believe in self-definition first and foremost...after that, it is finding your audience as part of the growth as artist. Communal recognition of one's self-definition is part of the growth...but not required depending on what motivates the individual.

Karoda said...

and i'm still waiting for the day when artists aren't compared to that of doctor's, lawyers, etc. i actually believe that doctors, lawyers, etc. should look to the artists to improve their crafts and knowledge.

lizzieb said...

good thoughts, Karoda...we do need to define ourselves as artists. Since it is so hard to define what art is, I don't think it will be easy to define what an artist is.

I do feel, however, that craftsmanship is important. And I don't believe there is anything wrong with being a craftsman/woman. Some art education will go a long way.

I also feel that good give and take about work is very beneficial to an artist's growth.

Tina said...

Hi! I remember some of the discussion on QA, and, like Debra, believe that there's something missing from the English language to cover this. In Norwegian there's a word called Brukskunst - this translates literally as Useable Art. And unlike what Liz said in her original post about bowls and plates being 'craft' and not 'art', a beautifully made bowl can be 'brukskunst'. Why does it have to be that if something has a function, it can't have also be art? In fact, I believe that that is the ethos behind the Victoria and Albert musuem in London, UK.

Tina said...

Hi! I remember some of the discussion on QA, and, like Debra, believe that there's something missing from the English language to cover this. In Norwegian there's a word called Brukskunst - this translates literally as Useable Art. And unlike what Liz said in her original post about bowls and plates being 'craft' and not 'art', a beautifully made bowl can be 'brukskunst'. Why does it have to be that if something has a function, it can't have also be art? In fact, I believe that that is the ethos behind the Victoria and Albert musuem in London, UK.