Monday, February 25, 2013

What Is Art? Why Do We Create?

All art is quite useless. - Oscar Wilde

I have been trying to think of ways to combine my love affairs with clay, fiber and paper.  This is my first attempt at combining clay and paper. It's not quite finished. I want to do come more work on the book and the bird needs to be reglazed because there are places where the glaze did not adhere which happens.

It's always interesting when people who create ask me, "What are you going to do with it?"  Tom who makes these incredible organic forms out of clay could not wrap his head around this book which was such a surprise to me. 

I do want people to get what I make especially in a place where people are being creative. It doesn't mean you have to like it.

Why do we create? And more importantly why should we make art? Is it "art for art's sake" or should it perform a specific function? I'm definitely more in the first camp but also believe art can perform a specific function like reflect a truth, work to unify us or in the very least decorate a room. I don't believe that having to make money from art devalues it either as I have heard so often expressed in galleries at openings. 

Is it important for people to understand or at least appreciate what we do? I have lived my entire life with people who don't get, understand what I do or even like what I do. It use to be painful. It is far less so now.  I think, in part, it is finding people who love what I do and I have grown old enough not to internalize the negative opinions anymore. I cannot stop what I am doing. I cannot go long without creating something or I feel a strong disconnect.

Where do you stand?

Sidebar: Having some writing in the book was something I wanted. Although none of the writing is easily readable by design.  In looking for quotes, I came across a great one by Willie Nelson, " The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese." Love it! Hope it makes you chuckle like it did me and, of course, it's in the book!


  1. Karen, I "get" it, but then I have known you for many years.


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