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There are few professions in which one must justify a career so much as in the art field.  Perhaps it is because many people do not realize the role art plays in everyone’s day-to-day life.  Every gadget, gizmo, and thingamajig that was mass-produced began with sketches, diagrams, and technical drawings.  While most of it is done on computers now, it is still design and design is art.

Technical design with obviously practical applications is easier to justify than that thing called “fine art”, though.  Fine art doesn’t really serve a function, does it?

Art is a form of communication and expression, and it is often what remains of a society when archaeologists are sifting through the remains.  I sometimes wonder what will remain of our art in several hundred years, and what future societies will think of us, based on what our art says.

But what about art that doesn’t seem to say anything except, “Look, I painted fruit.”?  I could go on about how we know what the ancient Egyptians ate because it was painted all over the walls of their tombs, but instead consider the impact of environment on the individual.  One of the reasons interior design tv shows are so popular is because aesthetics matter.  The old proverb that “what fills the eyes, fills the heart” is true.  

In fact, art has such an impact on individuals and on groups, that it has often been very successfully used (or misused) as propaganda.

Because the world seems to demand a label for an artist’s style, and because what/how I paint is often so heavily influenced by the moment, I tend to call myself an “abstract expressionist”, even though not all of my work is so abstract.  Abstract art with no obvious reason or message is perhaps one of the hardest forms of art to justify (I say all art is abstract, but that is an entry for another day).  Fortunately, I stumbled across a quote:

“Abstract Expressionists value expression over perfection, vitality over finish, fluctuation over repose, the unknown over the known, the veiled over the clear, the individual over society and the inner over the outer.” –William C. Seitz

I originally began exploring these ideas as a painter; then I also began exploring the same ideas in some of my still life, floral, and nature photography.

Now I suspect God might be an abstract expressionist.

coming soon: more art stuff

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