"IS IT ART?" - (Final installment on this rant!)

How 'bout a pretty picture before I get started? The original photo is at the bottom of the page.

Now for the ending to the post I began on June 24th about whether or not digital art is "art" or "whatever." I did think of another analogy - If all the tools, the supplies, the land, and a blueprint were provided, could just anyone walk out there and build a house? Probably not. It would take a person with the skills and the talent to build a house to be proud of. Same with art - the tools don't make the art, the artist does. So:

There is an art site that invited me to be one of their original members. I was also invited to be co-moderator for a yet-to-be-established group for Digital Art.

"Wow," thought I to myself! "I'm a real artist!" And I began uploading various pieces I've created and received lovely, re-affirming comments such as:
·         Comment by (name deleted) 1 day ago This is an excellent piece of digital art. I like the painterly effect you have achieved and strength of colours.
·         Comment by (name deleted) 1 day ago Pretty colors - so luscious and vibrant!
·         Comment by myself on May 24, 2011 at 8:53am Thank you. All of my digital paintings start out as a photograph I take. Then comes the fun part, where I can play with it in Photoshop and Painter.
·         Comment by (name deleted) on May 23, 2011 at 1:57pm Amazing. I thought it was a photo
·         Comment by (name deleted) on May 23, 2011 at 9:09pm This is beautiful. How did you do it?
·         (name deleted) replied to Margie Hudson's discussion 'Digital Painting Group' Thank you so much for partnering with me to do this. Your work is such an inspiration to me and i am sure it will be the same for others! I will find out how to add you as co-leader!
Now, really! I felt like an artist! And then came the hammer....
As we get ready to roll out live with The Art Colony we are making some revisons to our site and I wanted to talk with you about the changes we have made to the gudielines for Digital Art.
Our intention is to get this genre defined before we go live so we are not confusing anyone. I am so sorry that we didn't have this taken care of before you joined.
After much careful consideration we feel it is critical that we keep to our no photos policy and have called this out in the Digital Art guidelines. (name deleted) created a link to help distinguish between work that is photo editing and work that is digital art.
Look at this post for guidelines on digital art pieces for The Art Colony galleries:

I know this is a difficult topic and do not want to hurt your feelings. What I am hoping is that you will look at the guidelines and determine if there is any of your work that does not meet the guidelines and remove the work that is more like an editied photo than digital art.
If you feel uncomfortable removing work and feel that The Art Colony is not the right place to be, please let me know.
Guidelines excerpt:
The Art Colony accepts digital art but not photography. [...]
Our goal is to promote and discuss ideas about artistic processes created by hand, and for that reason we make this distinction between digital art and digital photo editing:

Digital art = Computer-generated art that is created by hand (i.e. using a tablet, stencil etc), either from scratch or from a reference source
Digital photo editing = running a photograph through Photoshop filters, making adjustments, adding and subtracting elements to enhance certain qualities of the photo.
While digital photo editing is a creative process that can result in some beautifully artistic images, the end result is still essentially an edited photograph. Edited photographs belong on a photography site, not a fine art site like The Art Colony - just as a photograph printed onto canvas and then painted over with acrylics belongs on an art site, and not a photography site.
So! If I print out my photograph and then paint over it with acrylics it's art! Well, who knew? Gee, that takes a lot of talent, doesn't it?

So, thanks for listening to me, whoever you are (if you are out there!) Most of us have to struggle with that little voice inside that says "That sucks!" So, why shouldn't we, as artists, do everything we can to uplift others rather than tear them down? I've seen art that made me shake my head, but I wouldn't dream of telling an artist "That sucks!"
The picture at the top was painted, using both Painter and Photoshop, using my original photo, taken at an air show in Virginia in 2007.

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