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Point #22-Walm-Art is okay.

4 Aug

I have invented a word. Following in the august footsteps of such lofty wordsmiths like Shakespeare and Sarah Palin, I have felt the need to create a term to describe some of the “art” I do. I have stated many times that I do not consider myself an artist. (Sidenote: there is one exception to this. If I am at a party, and I don’t want to sound like a useless, space sucking slacker, I will not respond to the query of “So what do you do?” with “As little as possible as I wait for the bleak and barren landscape of the economy to bloom with fertile majesty and bear fruit in the form of a low stress, high paying job for my exclusive pleasure, but in the meantime I mostly eat Hot Pockets and troll Facebook.” No. I say, “I am an artist.” Craftswoman, artisan, etc I believe indicate more industry and practical application of the concept of work than I am usually capable of rousing. Artists naturally slack.) Sometimes, though, I feel the need to have something on the walls that I have actually made. Some crafty type items, like decoupaged mirrors, or painted doodads count as decorative items, but because scrapbook pages or comical crocheted hats or whatever else my craft de jour look odd tacked haphazardly to walls, I make “art”. And I have dubbed it Walm-Art.

It’s simple really. You go to Walmart or similar discount emporium, you can find some surprisingly decent pieces for a normal, non-art buying person to hang above the flat screen. Sometimes the flat screen IS the thing on the wall, but your bathroom could use a picture of some flowers in a rustic jug sitting on the edge of a well in springtime. (raise your hand if you have seen the picture in your home, your parents’ home, or the homes of your friends. I knew it) It’s inoffensive, sedate, non-meaningful eye pap that can be bought for a song and cover up that spot the pizza hit the night you were so drunk you thought it was a Frisbee. I have made a few pieces of Walm-Art, in various media on canvas, and I think they do much toward making the walls of your cheap and beer soaked rental less, and I mean this from the bottom of my artistic soul, “gross”.

This are three Big Lots canvases, cheap as butt, painted by me to be vaguely evocative of a dogwood or something.


and this:

were just made with Dollar Tree canvases printed with birds and flowers and shit that I painted over black and decoupaged paper pieced designs to.


Point #3-Art vs Craft and the Explanation of my Persona

21 Oct

The whole art vs craft debate has gone on for a while and I am sick and tired of reading about it. I am sick of pretentious namby pamby art farts arguing that unless it “soars” and means something and is part of some big “vision” it is not art. And I am just as sick of people who stitch a few half-hearted rainbows on some plastic canvas and try to tell me how “artistic” they have always been. Shut up, both of you. You both suck.

Then there is the third category, and I was one of these myself, and that’s the apologists. The folks that are good at what they do, and may be very skilled in a particular or various disciplines, and explain that they realise it isn’t “art” per se, but that folk art and craft have been hand and hand through the years and thus they are artists as well. I will never be one to tell somone how they can label themselves, but as for myself, I am proud to be a craftswoman, proud to be a crafter. To try to persuade someone that what I am doing is art as opposed to craft is to somehow concede that craft is somehow less…less valid, less creative, less marketable, less important. And while we are at it, yes…craftswoman. Not “-person”. Woman. I am proud off that, too. My femininity is part of me and I don’t think I need to apologise for that either.

So I “take back” craftswoman proudly. I am, for the most part, not an artist. I like crafting and I like making things people can use and admire. Which brings me to The Accidental Artisan. If you’ve read my about page, you know where the accident part came in. As for artisan, I like that word. It implies someone who works with her hands, who is a worker as well as thinker, who knows her bread and butter will come from creating some beautiful and functional. What is created goes beyond the basic tool or vessel, and becomes, if not art, at least a thing to be revered for its workmanship. It doesn’t rely on temperment or vision. It evokes days of guilds and apprenticeships. It straddles the beauty of art with the function of craft.

I strive to be an artisan.