Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Grandmothers are Great, but I want to talk about ART today

I was just reading in another blog (Alisa Golden's at about Art being cut first when schools need to save money. A pretty bad idea, I sez--when I was in school, Art was a good refuge from the bullying I was subjected to, and I reckon it was for others, too. Making art has so many "uses"--like explaining your abuse when you are too young to write about it: you draw it. Or helping to explain a story in a book you are reading; then it is called "illustrations," but of course it is really Art. I'm sure you can think of lots of other things Art does for folks, even little kids, whose toys start out as someone's conceptual drawing--Art.

One of the textures I made from Lost and Taken and Valleys in the Vinyl  downloads

Art is Everywhere, and Art Never Sleeps.

Now, I don't recommend tossing out science, math and language arts just to make room to keep Art in the budget, but a little thought and effort can integrate Art into everything and anything. Scientific American is a magazine full of science, of course, but it is also a goldmine of breathtaking illustrations and photographs; somebody, somewhere in that magazine's organization has had a hefty dose of Art. Edwin Tufte has written several books on making information visually accessible to everyone; again, lots of Art involved. Geography? Some of the old maps are amazingly artful. And of course, National Geographic makes maps into art on a consistent basis. History? Well, before there were photographs, there were--wait for it--Paintings! And drawings, and mosaics, and who-knows-what-all that were used to depict battles, coronations, disasters and other memorable events. Language Arts (including all its children, like spelling, reading, and writing) can be connected to Art in lots of ways: illustrated alphabets, calligraphy, rebuses, and on and on and on. You name it, and there is Art connected to it somehow. Don't throw it out! But if you can't find a separate place for it in your budgets, Schools Everywhere, integrate it! Make Art a part of it all--won't be hard! Art has a great head start: think of the wonderful Cave Art that has come down to us after millions and millions of years. Once you have food and a roof, you make art.

Yes, this is almost the same, but I did add something

And I am a firm believer in Making Art. I try to do that all the time, but sadly, eating and sleeping have been known to interfere. I see lots of blogs by folks who are out there trying to make Art every day, and I see the wonderful, often untutored, always colorful art they make as a stimulus to my own Art.

Here are some special blogs I look at all the time:

They are all quite different, very individual. Julie Fei-Fan Balzer has a wonderful sense of color and freedom that I greatly admire. Bibigreycat's blog is all illustrations from all sorts of antique sources; she calls it Agence Eureka. Velma Bolyard is a fiber and paper artist who works with natural dyes and materials, and who takes the most stunning photographs of her surroundings. And Tim Holtz is--well, how can you describe Tim? He is full of enthusiasm, ideas, creativity, and energy, and I learn something new every time I open his blog. The last two are very cool sites where I can find and download textures to use in my digital art. They have also inspired me to make my own textures (Thanks, Caleb Kimbrough and Dustin Schmieding), and now I mostly do that instead of using someone else's. But they are a continually inspiring resource.

This one has eleventy-million layers, and

this one uses all my own photographs and scans

So I leave you with my very favorite Art aphorism, one which I made up (and someone else may have thought of it, too, before and after I did):


Cheers, Nan

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