Monday, February 9, 2015

Crafters, It's Time For A New Paradigm

As I was struggling with my 12 window pane project and cursing the paints I was using, I found that what I had to do was use flat colors, much like Apples new OS icon format. I suddenly remembered that was what I had done when I started painting my birdhouses. It was only after my first Las Vegas Painting Convention back in 2008, that I became aware of how to create depth and learned to shade my creations. What a revelation!!! I got better and put some of the items in a store on Etsy,, my store.

Jackson Pollack changed modern art forever! Do you think would would
qualify at the Society of Decorative Painters even now?
Looking at my art magazines, books and projects I'd been doing, I realized that everything has become a formula, one that hasn't changed in quite awhile. The final nail in the coffin for me was when I came across this call for entries for CERTIFICATION for the Society of Decorative Painters in their newest issue. You have until February 28th for entries to be considered and the artist allowed into the inner sanctum. OMG! Is this the French Salon? You can enter each year until accepted or you give up. You will be judged on the following:

It is about paintings that demonstrate freshness, spontaneity, movement and flow. (Like that's gonna happen with the requirements below.) Have you looked at the 2015 Convention Classes? Compared with last year, I found this years selection weak and certainly not up to the standards you would need to be "certified."

Entries will be judged on overall effect, color management, blending kills, stroke control, value control, intensity control, linework and detail, background, frame neatness and finish.

The floral and still life's require smooth applications of paint, lack of transparency, and lack of brush marks. There are more requirements. If you are a fan of Impressionism, don't apply here. You will recognize almost the same requirements as the French salon of the 1860's. It is these requirements and many more that made Manet, Monet, Degas, and the rest rebel and start their own artistic movement. It changed art forever. We don't even know who was in the French Salon today.

We all want safety. The types of crafts we see today had a beginning and no doubt were revolutionary at the beginning. Yet today, look at any magazine, craft books offered for sale, class offerings and there is nothing new or even very adventuresome for nearly 50 years now. Maybe this is what people want. Yet how many cutsy items can you hang around the house? How many can you sell on Etsy, CraftStar and the rest? While I rarely revisit a series after I'm done, I am constantly looking for a new twist. A new way to express myself be it painted crafts, birdhouses and paintings. I firmly believe staying in the same style traps us much like Thomas Kincaid. He found a style clients liked but once established could never leave. Art is about growth not comfort.

My as the New Yorker magazine cartoon shows,
how far the abstract expressionist artist has fallen
Change is scary yet, I believe that crafting, as a artistic form, is ready for a revolution of spirit that needs to look for a new paradigm, one that will again breath new life into what we like to do. Watching Donna Dewberry on PBS yesterday, I realized adding clay geraniums to an already finished painting of geraniums was not the way. The painting, while no masterpiece, quickly degenerated to kitsch.  Maybe that's what it takes. It is just not my thing. She is trying!

Personally I say follow Joseph Campbell's advice to "follow your bliss," not the herds. Unless art is your way to make your living, and even if it is, create what you like (at times), what moves you artistically.

I have a store, so if you are interested in a variety of birdhouses or crafts, photography or one of a kind paintings, please be sure to check out that store as well. Most of my items are one of a kind and very, VERY unique. Stop by Be sure to tell your friends, artists or anyone about this blog and my store!

Thank you for visiting.

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