Thursday, January 22, 2009

Illustration is art

I know my posting isn't super timely, but better late than never. Andrew Wyeth died a little over a week ago. His death while not a huge news item brought up an argument that has plagued me my entire art career. 

Many artists claimed Andrew Wyeth was an Illustrator, NOT an Artist. Ok, I am just sick and tired of the blah blah blah of 'Artists' professing Illustration is NOT art. It is about creating vision, it IS personal, it IS inventive, it IS smart. Yes, it entails solving a visual problem - for someone other than yourself. Illustration is aesthetic, it is about creating something visually appealing, but it also is about telling a story or conveying a message. Whereas Art as is often defined is purely aesthetics. So by that reasoning, I feel Illustration is more cerebral, more evocative, more compelling. More importantly, what bothers me most is that being called an Illustrator is a put down. As though being an Artist is so much more prestigious. Illustration is an honorable path and I for one am proud to be an Illustrator.

Friday, January 16, 2009

personality of the talented

My family and I were watching American Idol last week with our Turkish exchange student. She likes to sing so we thought she would find it entertaining, and well we often find the auditions entertaining too. While we were watching the show, my husband pointed out that you can tell the people who have talent as they enter the room and speak their first sentence. There are traits that are fairly consistent. Now if you have watched the auditions, or seen the trailers you know that some people who try out are awful, no terrible. Some come in with brazen attitude and are 'ok' or maybe they suck. But the ones with the real talent, the ability to shine come in with no fan fare. The tend to be 'real'. They enter with a calm self-assuredness. Not easily rattled, not visibly nervous, and often with a slightly humble air. The cocky, the flamboyant, the trash talkers, the beggars, the nut jobs, they are so obviously faking, pretending to be talented. So what does this tell us? I think we can apply this art as well. When you go to an illustrators site that feels forced, over the top, contrived, self-ingratiating, it feels awkward and the art feels amateur. But when you go to a calm site, with purposeful art that is not boastful, you can tell this person knows what they are doing. Letting the art speak for itself, thereby letting us see the artist as the art.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

sketchcrawl rocks!

Yippee! Yesterday was my first 'SketchCrawl' and it was a great time. I met fellow artists, and spent some quality time drawing. I remember when I was in college and used to survive on public transportation to get around. The best part were all the unsuspecting victims on the bus and train. I have page after page of innocents, sketched on their treks, the business man reading the paper, the tired mom with kids, the skater boys, the girlie girls, oh yes the down trodden and the bored, the drugged out, the hipped, the oblivious. I love those sketches, I remember almost everyone, really I do. 

SketchCrawl reminded me to slow down, watch the world go by and of course, make a permanent record of it! My thanks to the Portland group, Alanna Randall you kick much butt. And to Antoine, the subject of my first sketch. 

Looking forward to the next SketchCrawl.

Monday, January 5, 2009

sketch crawl

Calling all fellow Portland artists. This Saturday is 'Sketchcrawl'. Come join me and my groovy new friends at Pioneer Place at 10am, this January 10th. Just bring your sketchbook, pencil (or whatever it is you sketch with) and meet us at the downstairs Starbucks for some coffee and drawing of randomness. Should be fun!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

losing friends

Goodbyes. It seems we don't often get to say goodbye to the people who have helped form us along our path in life. Twice in the last year I have lost important souls along my artistic journey. Both came without warning, both I stumbled upon the news. 

I knew Terry Toedtemeier in the mid 1980's. He was a photography instructor at PNCA and the curator of photography at the Portland Art Museum. He was such a genuine and robust soul that his persona was deeply magnetic. Terry was quirky, passionate about his art, a gear-head, fine cook, and always seemed to have time for anyone with a heart. He was a very good friend of my college boyfriend so I got the good fortune of getting to know him better (being that I was an Illustration major, and my boyfriend was a photography major). I enjoyed going to his house, crazy trips into the desert, and learned a deep appreciation for basalt and geology of Oregon - specifically the Columbia River Gorge. My boyfriend was not only a talented photographer but also a talented carpenter, so I found myself at Terry's often as Terry was remodeling his home with my boyfriend doing much of the carpentry. The time I spent with him was punctuated with laughter, unbelievable quantities of obscure facts, and penetrating artistic vision.

Terry taught me about many things. But most importantly he taught me to be passionate, patient, true to oneself, and to love life. His loss will be felt for years to come. I am grateful that I was so blessed to spend time with him, to learn from him, to share a bit of his beautiful life.

Friday, January 2, 2009

another cupcake of love

Here we go, the last of my half dozen cupcakes! I would love feedback so please send me your notes and suggestions. Not sure I love this one. Sometimes I love them, sometimes I don't. The funny thing about art is that the ones I love most, are not necessarily the ones others love. I love the sketch, but just not sure about the finished piece. I will start on repeats after I have posted all my art to the Podgallery. Need to get that up there to start the new year!