Monday, April 4, 2016


Our community, like many others, has an arts festival.  You could say we have more than one but when the College of Fine Arts holds its Sunday show, we have the real thing.  Very high level work, almost beyond human possibilities.  Crowded and good prices for art.

Lynn does pottery so she spends time at each pottery booth.  Some is inspirational and some is the same old thing.

Some friends are just taking painting classes.  All my life, "art" has meant painting and drawing even though dance, poetry and pottery are also definitely arts.

Some people can get in quite a stew about whether they are artists and about whether a given painting or sculpture or poems is art or isn't.  When we were in London, we learned of an exhibit at Britain's modern art gallery, the Tate.  The exhibit was called "A Child of Six Could Do It".  It was a collection of cartoons published over a 100 year period on the subject of modern art and people's response to it.  Non-representational art can be and can actually seem simplistic and childish.  Some of it is quite elaborate and not the sort of thing a child is likely to pull off.  The link above can show some interesting examples.  The book "The Shock of the New" by Robert Hughes was a good one for me to get a feel for attempts by those interested to get beyond representation of the world.

However, the art we see in local art festivals and shops, is for the most part, representational.  The French Impressionists, like Monet and Renoir, seem in my limited experience to have most clearly and most helpfully shown visual impressions that do seem to be what we see and at the same time, are clearly not actually what a camera picks up.

Some of the local pottery, woodwork and sculpture are clearly not representational as is much of the jewelry that we see.

I sometimes feel that a good statement is that "we are all mystics", that we all are guided daily, even hourly by impulses that cannot be articulated, maybe even can't be consciously sensed, whether we are choosing from a menu or selecting music or composing a remark.  Similarly, in one medium or another, I think we are all driven by hunches, design considerations and the impulse to play in our daily lives.

You wouldn't know it from what I have written here but it is the photography that really impresses me.  There are some glorious closeups of water flowing on stones in a stream or the foam in water after a wave crashes but the panoramas, the mountains, trees in sunlight, moonlight!  The framed results are so large that it can be a little disorienting to go from the desert to a snowfield to a valley of farms as fast as I look from one photograph to the next.

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