Tuesday, June 23, 2009

To My Art's Content ...

Art and me, we have a funny relationship. And I don't mean "ha-ha" funny.

My definition of art is: "If I can do it, it's not art."

Except that I'm not so useless with pencil. I can sketch OK. Depending. Not everything comes out looking like the scrawl of a serial killer.

When I first moved into my house, I was sitting, oh, about where I'm sitting right now – I've moved in the meantime, I promise – and looking at a little palm my mom had bought for me for my first apartment, which was now sitting in my first (and to date, only) house.

And so I started to draw it. On off-white construction paper. I've since bought an acid-free sketch pad, but I'm rarely overcome with the urge to sketch these days.

Anyhoo, I started to draw my little palm but then thought, "Well, the palm needs to be, you know, like, in something. I can't just have a levitating palm." So, I figured rocks made sense. River rocks. Pretty, smooth river rocks. So I drew some of those, too. Played around with shading. Whatever.

Sometime after I was done with it, mom saw it and – as moms are wont to do – really liked it, so for the next Mother's Day that rolled around, I framed it very crudely, figuring it was only a temporary thing, and gave it to her.

Mom, who isn't at all fussy, liked that I'd used kraft paper as the backing instead of getting a mat cut, and so it's been hanging in her house, as is, ever since.

Here's a not-altogether-awful image of it, as captured by my camera phone. You can see mom's reflection in the glass. I believe she was making us sandwiches for lunch!

And then there's one of my all-time favorite paintings, "The Lovers" by Rene Magritte. I love how realistically he paints the folds in the fabric covering their faces.

And then there's this.

Henri Matisse had talent, I grant you. Many of his paintings are very vivid and evocative. But I'm sorry. Give me a pair of safety scissors and some construction paper and I can knock this out for you, too. I've had Matisse lovers glare at me for suggesting that he was anything short of a genius, but first of all, art is subjective. We don't all have to like the same things. And second of all, c'mon. Sorry. In my view, this is not the work of an artistic genius. This is the work of a kindergartner. Well, OK, maybe a first-grader. Those "stars" might be a little tricky to cut out with safety scissors. Some more-developed manual dexterity might be called for there.

Art in my house runs toward "muted." I don't like lots of color.

I wrote this blog post a couple years ago about creativity (and I read it a little while ago and I must say, I was having a lot of fun, penning that piece) and included a picture of the art that hangs in my dining area.

It's huge, about 60 inches wide. It's not worth a lot, but it's worth about 10 times what I paid for it. Heh. I love an art bargain!

Which leads me to the point of this post. Yes, all the way down here.

Today, at long, long, long last, I took a piece in to get framed that I bought, oh, seven years ago? Maybe longer? I dunno. The point is, I saw it, I loved it, I bought it, I meant to get it framed properly, and then, well, I didn't. I found it in a cheesy antique store in a frame that Walgreens would be embarrassed to sell. But I loved it instantly and it was, if memory serves, around $25. This is it.

The day I bought it, I brought it home, did a little poking around online, and found that another copy of it is part of the collection of the National Gallery of Art. Cool.

And then, tonight, I found another copy of it, a pencil-signed copy, like mine, for sale online for $1,250! Woo hoo! Art bargain, part deux!

It will be ready next Tuesday, my pretty little signed drypoint etching. I opted for the museum glass. And an aged-looking frame (that almost looks dirty) with egg-and-dart carving, and a mat that matches the "dusty" effect in the frame's detail. I think it'll look really spectacular when it's all put together.

Now I really need to do something with that watercolor that looks like a portrait of Leonardo DaVinci ...


Blogger Mercurie said...

Actually, I think your sketch is pretty good. Better than I could do!

10:36 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Thanks, Mercurie. I do like it. It's simple. I like simple things. Like our ex-president. Badump bump! Goodnight, everybody! I'm here all week! Try the veal!

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lovers reminds me of a recent blind date. Alas no magic tresses either.

7:31 PM  
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8:38 AM  

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