After last Wednesday’s blog about what sort of art sold the best, it seems a good idea to follow up on some of the content that I covered. I must admit, some of it was a bit tongue in cheek – because despite the friend who will paint anything as long as she does not sacrifice the financial viablility of the painting, I will only paint anything as long as I don’t sacrifice my integrity!
Issues arise when one paints to sell, rather than just painting because of an inner need to paint. (Oh wouldn’t it be luvverley..?)
I’m straddling the fence here, doing projects that I really want to do regardless of commercial value – like the Rope of Words illustrations and the dancer book and the piece below, and then projects that I enjoy and work hard at but which are more likely to commercially support my other projects, like the watercolour flower studies. But if I was in advertising I’d probably be quite okay about painting people with toothy smiles to advertise toothpaste. Perhaps the real issue might be that some works masquerade as art when they are not worthy.
This is what Ruskin says about books and I think it can be applied to art too:
“For all books are divisible into two classes, the books of the hour, and the books of all time. (This is where most people stop quoting, but if you read further, another meaning emerges – as Ruskin continues… Mark this distinction – it is not one of quality only. It is not merely the bad book that does not last, and the good one that does. It is a distinction of species. There are good books for the hour, and good ones for all time; bad books for the hour, and bad ones for all time.”
My dream is that the forms of art I am working at will come together and that I will find what fulfills me best and hopefully I will still be able to contribute to the family coffers. Remember, I am in the last year of my five year plan – to rediscover myself as an artist. I think I am getting there and there are some exciting things emerging.
So how would YOU define art that has integrity? (We are not going the art vs craft route, although I’m happy to debate it some time!)
I would suggest that Art with Integrity is:
- Producing art that is made with love, thought and consideration.
- Art that uses the best of your talent you have to offer.
- Art that comes from your own experience and not second-hand from someone else’s experience.
- Art that is honest and not filled with tricks and slickness and ‘special effects’.
- Art that has at it’s root, a desire to create first and foremost; rather than to sell first and foremost. Even commissions can have this desire to create rather than to sell, because when selling comes first, aesthetic sacrifices are usually made.
Please read the thoughtful comments made by some of the readers after last week’s blog. Thank you for commenting and please keep your comments coming.