Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Mark of the Artist

Urban Urchins: obsession continues:

Associated Sketch Book Pages - more stream of consciousness: visual and verbal

The Mark of the Artist:

The following are the views and opinions of this artist. They do not claim to reflect the philosophies of anyone else, past, present, or future, although there may be others of the same ilk.

There is a constant struggle between the right brain and the left brain (no politics intended - overtly or covertly!) in artistic endeavors. One overanalyses, oversimplifies and overasserts itself while the other walks merrily into the rabbit hole, oblivious to anything other than the rabbit hole. Feed into that mix the desire of an artist to be accepted, approved of, even championed plus the fact that many of those who play the role of acceptor, approver and champion are unaware that the rabbit hole even exists and you have more cause for creative angst. I'm speaking about perfection vs imperfection in art.

Volumes have been written on this and there is still no consensus on which has more merit, so I'm voicing my personal opinion. I like to see the mark of the artist in any given work of art. Although technical skill of great degree is required to produce perfection, such as photoreal paintings or perfect sculptures, etc., it does not intrique me. It does not draw me in. It does not make me wonder about the artist who created it. It does not get me thinking about possibilities or potentials or reasons other words, it does not engage me, and to me, art is a collaborative endeavor - the artist creates it and the viewer responds in some way, thus completing the act of creation. Otherwise why ever present a work of art? Why not just put it in a back room to be seen only by its creator?

Because of this I make a point of slapping my wrist when I labour over a piece trying to make it perfect. I have to literally remind myself that I LIKE to see imperfection. I LOVE to see the mark of the artist, whether a piece of hair, a partial fingerprint, an uneven seam or whatever. Stepford wives don't interest me at all, but our culture and our era is obsessed with obliterating our individualism. Many of the younger generation rebel against this and, in adopting some form of societally unacceptable behavior end up spawning a group of neoclones all sporting the same "difference". The flaw in a work of art connects me with the artist who created the piece, and so my question to myself while creating is, "could this be made by a machine that would produce 10,000 just like it?"

I'd love to get your comments.


  1. I agree with your thoughts, you phrased it very well. I thought to myself... Exactly That!

    The most fun have I have is with the pieces that I don't stress over making them perfect... let them evolve and just BE.

    1. Hi Stacie, Thanks for leaving your comment. I think a lot of people feel the way we do but worry that their work won't look "professional". Being authentic and leaving the mark of the artist behind doesn't mean the work has to be sloppy or amateurish. And I so agree with you that letting go of the stress of perfection makes this effort so much more fun.

  2. Hey Vickie,
    I really like your work and your comments about expressing yourself in your work. Sometimes I get an idea from another atrist work, but would never try to duplicate it. I seldom sketch on paper, but do on the pc. I find that if I just start, the process will flow. Even if you don't like some of it, just keep going. You might like it later or find yourself getting another idea from your own work that you didn't like. I sometimes find things in my stash that are so likeable,I can't believe I made them. When I just let it flow, I never make the same thing twice. I do not like identical matches. I looks too assembly line or mechanical. Natural things are not identical. Close, but not identical.
    Thank you for sharing your ideas.

    1. Hi Jay,
      Thank you for leaving your comment. I know many artists feel the way we do, but some need to hear it from many of us before they feel confident enough to leave their "mark" in their work. I absolutely agree with you as far as natural things - just look at snowflakes - designed with the same basic structure yet each one different from the other. I never get tired of looking at them and marvelling at how incredible something so simple yet complex can be. Yes, I also agree that the seed of future work is often in work we've already done, and coming back to things later on we often have a different perspective and notice things not seen initially.
      Thanks again. I really enjoy these comments.

  3. Just wanted you to know, your designer necklace is beautiful artistic work! Thanks for sharing silk screening with the Saran wrap idea, great idea!

    L. Love

    1. Hi Liz,
      Thank you very much for your kind comments. I will be posting more "tips" as I know there are so many out there who would rather not have to re-invent the wheel if they can possibly help it, lol!