Kokopelli Conga

Kokopelli Conga
"A work of art that did not begin in emotion is not art." --Paul Cezanne

May 10, 2019

Have you ever met a Troll?

Background image source: Death to Stock Photos







Have you ever encountered a Troll?

When we post artwork online, sometimes we get hurtful or controversial comments intended to start an argumentative dialogue. These people are "Trolls." Sometimes we even meet Trolls face-to-face!

This happened to me when I posted a copy of my painting "Kokopelli Conga" on Google+. 
"Kokopelli Conga" | Watercolor | Jennifer Love

















I very quickly received a comment from a Google+ user (not someone in my circles) saying that he didn't think he would consider my painting to be "Art" but maybe "art" and asking what did I think? Basically, he was telling me I'm not really an artist and my painting is not worthy to be called Art.

Ouch.


Well, after my initial reaction of hurt feelings from criticism without any constructive advice or suggestions, I realized what this user was about and what he was trying to do. My first "troll." First, I decided not to bother responding at all. Second, I blocked this user from my profile.  

Even though our initial reaction might be to respond with angry or defensive words when an online troll attacks, if we take a minute to think things over, we realize that this is exactly what they are looking for. These people are looking to create contention in our lives, to make us question our art, question our abilities, and hurt our feelings. 

Nobody has the right to tell you that the work you produce is not "Art." If you spend your valuable time creating it, you use the best quality materials you have available, and you do the best quality work you can do, then what you have created is Art.  
And...by the way, that very same painting ("Kokopelli Conga") was later juried into a competitive exhibition by a national and international-award-winning watercolor artist.

Additionally, many people have opinions on what constitutes Decorative Art vs. Fine Art, and many believe that people creating art to make a living and for sale to homeowners aren't really creating "Fine Art" - that Fine Art is only found in museum collections.

"Quickly" | watercolor | Jennifer Love















Gallery owner Jason Horesj recently wrote a great blog post about this very topic on
Red Dot Blog.

His post is very insightful, but I especially appreciate the definitions he includes about Fine Art vs Decorative Art - pulled directly from the dictionary.

    Decorative Art

noun
1. art that is meant to be useful as well as beautiful, as ceramics, furniture, jewelry, and textiles.

2. Usually, decorative arts. any of the arts, as ceramics or jewelry making, whose works are created to be useful.

3. works of decorative art collectively.

Fine Art

noun
1. a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness, specifically, painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolor, graphics, and architecture.
No matter what your skill level, the art you are creating is Fine Art. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise! Go forward...be brave...keep creating...and ignore the Trolls of the world!

As always, thank you for stopping by my blog!

May 3, 2019

Recreating the "Magic"

"Inspiration is for amateurs!"  Have you heard or seen this quote? I have many times, and I believe it as well - in a sense. If we are to be professional artists, that means we show up to work as any other professional would. Some days you have a successful and productive day, others...not so much. But, you plug away at it no matter what if you want to create that paycheck!




But, setting that attitude aside for a moment...sometimes artists are also inspired! When we are, we have to act on our inspiration, immediately if possible. And, a lot of times, that inspiration results in something magical. A painting that you truly love, where all the techniques and color harmony and everything just came together. Sometimes it is just a happy accident, when you are experimenting with new ideas and techniques.

The question is...once you've created the magic...can you recreate it? What if you did that magical painting on inferior quality materials because you were just experimenting. Or, what if it was larger or smaller than you really wanted. What if you decide you want to do an entire series of the same design. Are you able to recreate the magic? 

I pondered on this question for a while (a couple of years, in fact) because I wasn't sure I'd be able recreate the magic discovered in a painting I really loved.

In recent years, as my work evolved into creating woven paintings, I find I have to use tracing paper to copy my design and then transfer it to another sheet of watercolor paper so that I can create two of the "same" painting in order to weave them together. Suddenly, I find that my fear of not being able to recreate the "magic" of a sketch has drastically decreased, as I am not expecting myself to freehand draw that exact same composition over and over. I can work off the original design that I drew the first time. And, while each subsequent painting is never exactly the same, I have found that the more I work with mingling my colors, and as I continue to learn how my paint and paper behave at different moisture levels and drying techniques, my fear of recreating the "magic" of color and texture decreases even more. The result? I am loving each new painting I create.

Loving your work is a good thing! Love the process, and love the outcome (even if it ends up being a painting you wouldn't send to a gallery for sale)! If you are always creating with love, your paintings will be infused with that energy. Every time, you will be creating magic!

Inspiration is certainly helpful for us when we are excited to try a new subject matter, design, or technique. So, in that way, inspiration is not for amateurs. But, don't let inspiration dictate your work pace or create fear in the process. Don't fear that you can't recreate the magic of a painting you loved because you don't feel that same flash of inspiration that you felt the first time. Show up every day, or every week, or every month (whatever your schedule is), and just create. Then, repeat, repeat, repeat. After a while, you will find that you are, in fact, recreating the magic every time!


Mountain Fall | watercolor | ©Jennifer Love












A Patchwork Fall | Watercolor | ©Jennifer Love












Fallen 1 | Watercolor | ©Jennifer Love










Fallen 2 | Watercolor | ©Jennifer Love










Fallen 3 | Watercolor | ©Jennifer Love










Fallen 4 | Watercolor | ©Jennifer Love










Fallen 5 | Watercolor | ©Jennifer Love











How are you inspired? How do you keep yourself coming back to the studio even when you aren't feeling inspired? How do you "recreate the magic?" I would love to hear your thoughts. 

As always, thanks for stopping by my blog! :)