Yesterday, some kind soul left a couple of comments on the blog expressing his disdain for both my style of artmaking and for this project altogether. One remark in particular that I found interesting was “I can tell that your no artist, you shaded in the canvas with pencil.” I think he was referring to charcoal, which I like to use in conjunction with acrylic, since it combines drawing with painting, and drawing was my first true love.
So I thought it was time for part two of the Art Public Service Announcements. The term “artist” can be defined pretty loosely, and it definitely isn’t based on what type of media one uses. As I’m a huge fan of the dictionary, I looked it up. This definition states: “One, such as a painter, sculptor, or writer, who is able by virtue of imagination and talent or skill to create works of aesthetic value, especially in the fine arts.”
There are quite a few imaginative and skilled artists out there using pretty unconventional media. For example, Jim Victor creates amazing sculpture in butter. Italian artist Piero Manzoni sold several works for approximately $150,000 each from a series entitled “Artist’s Sh*t”– 90 tins filled with said material, apparently. Marcel Duchamp, an extremely famous artist from the early 1900’s, used a urinal as sculpture, entitled “Fountain”.
Piet Mondrian once made charcoal drawings on phone book pages when he had no money for supplies, and those rare pieces probably sell like the tiny $12,000 pencil drawing by Renoir I saw up in a gallery in San Francisco.
The point here is that simply choosing one medium over another is not the deciding factor in what makes someone an artist. The beauty of art is the freedom to create. Whether or not you like the end product is an entirely subjective experience, of course. I think being an artist means being creative and making artwork consistently, and I’m going to go out on a limb and say I fall under that description. 😉
To honor our pencil-loving blog readers, today’s piece is a charcoal sketch of a scene I noticed on the car ride back from spending Easter with my family in the bay area. The glow of city lights made the night sky gray instead of black while a lone palm tree shook off the cold rain.