soft pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix
by Miki Willa
There are so many people out in blog land who have much to say about what art is and what makes good art. There are quite a few people who have differing opinions on the subjects. I didn't want to be left out, so I decided to jump into the fray.
There is a rather large camp who think that a work by an artist must make a statement about the state of the world in some way in order to be considered "real" art. It is not good enough to be sell executed, or to be visually appealing. As I came across these opinions, I wondered what grand statement about the human condition my art makes. So far, I can't see any.
There is another camp that says to be considered good art, it has to be technically well done. It has to follow all the rules. And, it has to convey the feeling of the artist about the subject at hand. I do try and put my feelings into my paintings.
There are also a group of people who think that anything that smacks of realism is not true art, but merely copying. This seems to have been happening in the world of academe for a while. I have known a few people who were not accepted into university art programs because their art was too "predictable and inside the box." But I like realism. Does that mean that what I like isn't art?
I do have more questions than answers in this discussion. However, I have come up with something I think is important. I think art should be celebration. I should celebration human emotions, the beauty of the small stream or majestic mountain, the ingenuity and resilience of humans, and the ways in which the earth reclaims what humans reject over time. There is much more to celebrate in art, and I guess that is what I think my work does. I celebrate the earth in my landscapes. I celebrate the power of water in my waterscapes. I celebrate glass art makers. Not everyone will agree with me, but that is okay. What is a discussion without opposing viewpoints.
The painting is a celebration of a landmark in Renton, Washington. It has survived earthquakes, fires, and the gentrification of the neighborhood. I took the reference photo on a glorious fall day because I loved the colors on the hillside, and the plume of steam and smoke against the brilliant blue sky.