Beautiful, beautiful flutterbyes

Does anyone else have this problem? I just keep on... and on... and on... creating artwork... until I have one of those "V8" kinda moments. No one can see all this creativity if it's tucked away in a folder somewhere on my computer! Duh! So, this blog gives me the excuse to start showing off.

Here's a beautiful black Eastern Swallowtail that I almost missed. If I hadn't stopped to rest... well, you know!

99% of my artwork comes from my own photographs, the rest are from clients for restoration, retouching or for a digital painting.

Thanks, Sue, for my very first ever comment yesterday. I feel like such a success now! :> Let's hear from some more of you, okay?


"...it's pretty, but is it ART?" (2)

Yesterday, in my hurry to argue my case about digital art, I forgot to post the quote the title came from...

"And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart, till the Devil whispered behind the leaves "It's pretty, but is it Art?" Rudyard Kipling

That has been my most favorite quote since I went back to school in 1995 to become a graphic designer. I became a student again at 55, and, to quote Ancient Artist:

"I went back to college when I was 51. I sat in chairs designed for the young, next to my fellow students who were also...well, young. Adding insult to injury, I needed tutoring -- from the young -- to learn the new technology that these kids in their late teens and twenties grew up with and used as casually as I once used the rotary phone."

My problem was in convincing instructors that my design ideas were just as valid as the ideas coming from the young students! I would work twice as hard only to be told that my concepts were "weak" or "bland" - in fact, my final semester's portfolio review was a disaster! The only things I got good marks on were appearance and communication skills. (Of course, my first job, which started 2 days before graduation, was for a hearing aid company whose target market was people in their 50s & up.)

It took me 3 years (and an invitation to the school to present my new portfolio to a graduating class)to be able to throw away that evaluation. So, that's the explanation behind the quote.

And, perhaps there's something in a lot of artists that makes us question our creative abilities in such a way: "..it's pretty, but is it ART?"


"...it's pretty, but is it ART?"

Okay, I'm ready to start some serious blogging, now! And I thought I'd start with my biggest hurdle as an artist - the controversy over whether digital art is "real" art.

In the September issue of Artists' Magazine, (which I subscribe to because I consider myself an artist,) there were half a dozen letters to the editor about whether digital artists produce "real art." The majority opinion was NO!

There were statements like "...I'm glad that you (Artists Magazine) feature artists who have spent years mastering their craft, making art that sometimes takes months to produce." Or, another... "I, too, can produce a so-called painting on my computer, but I would never consider it to be included in a real art competition." And, how about "Digital art doesn't get the fingers dirty(....)the result may look similar-though it will lack the wonderful texture and thickness we can build up with our "dirty" media-but the process is worlds apart from working with a real brush and real paint."

Well, as you can probably tell, I'm tired of having to explain that what I do takes creativity, imagination and talent. Sure, there are lots of paint filters and programs out there in computerland, but just because you have the tools, that doesn't make you an artist, just as having a complete set of automotive tools doesn't make you a mechanic! (one time I took the carburetor off my car, thinking "How hard can this be? If I put it back in the same order I took it off, I should be able to fix this!" Well, guess what? I sure ain't no mechanic!)

Here are several interesting links about digital art - the first one is "Convergent Media - Stretching the Imagination" an article by Barney Davey, posted on http://www.artprintissues.com/.
JD Jarvis, MOCA contributing editor, has many articles on the Moca website.

I will be posting more on this issue later, but in the meantime, let's hear from you out there... what do you think? And while you're here, check out my galleries at pbase. There is quite an eclectic assortment there, some photography, some digital art. Hopefully, you'll enjoy looking.