Well, I still haven’t returned to a whole lot of photography, but I did recently create a pretty decent video summarizing some of my talents’ work in teaching Rumba (they took a couple of years off to recuperate). During those years I dabbled off into painting. This is my latest watercolor — my impression of the visitors center at the [Carl] Sandburg Estate [the American poet] in Flat Rock North Carolina.
For the moment, I am continuing in the painting medium with perhaps a chance to return to photography later (my test shots recently have been very different and concentrate on light more than ever).
Just finished another mixed media, mostly watercolor. Pleased with the rendering of the background trees; pleased with the rendition of the really unkempt look of the boat; OK with the reflections in the water. Really upset with the booms and rigging and will not use black ink should I do another of these. This image was based on a photo I had taken during a visit to Amelia Island Florida.
I came across the most curious discussion. I searched for a watercolorist presentation and discussion group on one of the popular artistic media websites. What I stumbled into was an intense debate on the subject of “who *really* is an artist.”
It started with a discussion over whether a piece of work which was predominately watercolors but also included some ink lines was *really* watercolor art? That moved on to discussions concerning *how much* of the work was ink and how much watercolors (ah, the artist ink police!). Not stopping there, the discussion went one about whether one should use a pencil sketch as an underdrawing, and if one did were they *really* a watercolor painter.
That wasn’t the end. The next subject concerned why watercolorists represented only about 10% of the marketable art world. (Internecine fighting would be my answer) Another way to interpret that was “are watercolors really art?”
So here’s what comes to mind. Watercolors in basic sets are available to most kindergarten children, just as water-soluble finger paints are available. The argument seems to be that if the medium is available at the kindergarten level, anything produced with that medium is probably not *serious art.*
Oh balderdash (I cleaned that up). The result can be art regardless of how it is produced. I would tell my new colleagues to stop trying to be so full of themselves, or to paraphrase Laura Ingraham — shut up and paint, don’t worry about what you use.
Every now and then I need to produce a post which shows potential buyers how to find the formatted pdf files from which they can produce their own A2 sized (e.g. Avery 8315) notecards. I have them on sellfy and although these are not hot linked, the link is listed correctly in this screenshot. Here for example is the hotlink to “Old Glory.” And this link may show you the complete product catalog. Read the descriptions carefully because some of the products are pdf files for full-sized photos.
I continue to keep at the watercolor work, although for those that have followed my journey I have some ideas for photographs — just waiting for the right light conditions to proceed on that front. The two of an old Spanish mission were pretty much learning pieces, but I did move the Old Glory painting to my art link here. The Spanish mission pieces, which are posted on my FB timeline were about testing mixed media and a bunch of other things. Anyway – here they are.
If you follow Eric Gorges in his PBS series “A Craftsman’s Legacy” you know at some point in each show he asks his guest if they consider themselves artists or craftsmen. This year I have experienced a journey from never having created a painting to sketching and now to watercolors. At each step of the way I had to find someone who had mastered the technique I was trying to learn to “show me the ropes” very much like a blacksmith, just to name a trade, would start out as an apprentice to another craftsman who would teach methods.
It occurs to me that every artist, whether in music, writing, performing, film making, or in my case painting on paper or canvas must at some early point be shown the skills and techniques of the craft they want to pursue. I suspect even naturally talented graffiti artists at some point are “shown the ropes” by an experience individual in that skill. Having learned those techniques does not make the individual an artist, as hundreds perhaps thousands of people sitting around small town America thinking they are writing the next great film script can attest.
It seems to me that “art” is the vision and “craft” is the method by which that vision becomes a reality. Every artist must be a crafter (to coin a less gender specific term) first — and a decent living can be made as a person skilled in techniques, but not every crafter is an artist. Sometimes the vision is lacking, or simply not in tune with the times.
So here is my very first “craft” piece — an ink and watercolor wash drawing — Iris, 2017