Thursday, May 25, 2017

What is Art?

Is there a better question?

I occasionally get in a questioning mode. That’s good thing. Its healthy to question, unless that gets obsessive. Anyway, one of those questions I have is about art. I start thinking about "what is art?". If I draw a diagonal line is it art?

Should I write about “what is art”?

So, what do we do when we get that curious, questioning feeling?

We Google it, right? Well, right off I found lots of definitions and opinions about “what is art?”. I mean there is lots. So much so that I realized that I didn’t have anything additional to add. It has pretty much been covered.

That wasn’t exactly a dead end, though. My curiosity began to take me in another direction. I began to wonder, “When is art”? Was that diagonal line art when I drew it? Was it art when I imagined it? Or perhaps, was it art when someone else saw it? I found these to be interesting questions. In fact, I found these questions more interesting than “what is art?”.

Let’s say I go on a walk and I have my little sketchbook with me. I see this interesting scene. I stop, I sit down and take a careful look at this scene. What was it that I found interesting? Why would I want to draw it? Before I start sketching, I start imagining how that scene might look on my paper. An image starts to form in my mind. So, did I create art at that time?

Ok, lets say maybe not. Maybe generating an image in our mind is not art.

Let’s take the next step. I do a light pencil sketch.
Just enough to start working out the proportions and composition. Is it art now?

Continuing. I ink in the lines I want to keep. I emphasize some lines, let others disappear. Is it art now or is it still becoming art?

What if I stop now, declare I’m done? Have I also declared it “ART”?

Is it art now because I declare it so? Am I the only one that has a say in this?

There seems to be something missing. That is a closed loop. Shouldn’t there be more to it than that? Does it require someone else to see it? Someone else to take the image of my drawing into their imagination and conclude that it is art.

I wonder, because now it seems we have come back to “What is Art?”….

I am interested in getting your thoughts.

I am also thinking "why is art?". But, that's another day.

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