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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Criteria for Good, GREAT Art

All in the Eye of the Beholder??

A couple of weeks ago I presumed to share with you my expectation of "good art," that is, the criteria that needed to be met before I would lay down my hard-earned $$ and live with it.  Please remember that I was not attempting to define the criteria you should use in judging a piece "good" or even "great."  But I wanted to know if you had definable standards.

YES! you shared and I report:

Judi and her husband artist Kevin Beck used to own a gallery and Judi shares: "my favorite pieces are those in which I keep discovering things."  Naturally Judi has been around a lot of artwork but she shares a fun example..."lying on the floor in front of the fireplace I looked up at one of Kevin's tree portraits and suddenly I felt as if I were in the grass under the real entirely new feeling." She also added that she loves to look at art in a variety of light and is especially drawn to those that almost "glow."

My TN friend Hershel Miller, an excellent wood turner, appreciates technique.  "After I master something I really want to see and try things that are new to me.  Same old, same old in any media gets boring in a hurry," he shared.

Another reader stated that pieces which evoke a memory are important to her.  "It can be very subtle but if it reminds me of a place or takes me to an event I enjoyed, then I am hooked and want to live with the art.  The piece alone can surround me with so much that is already tucked inside of me." That's almost art as therapy...I love it.

My friend Patti Conner-Greene, a potter, said that what matters most to her is whether or not a piece "keeps me engaged -- pulls me in, draws me back to it...sometimes wanting to understand it, sometimes the sheer beauty, sometimes the execution or even a surprise."  Patti remarks that sometimes this engagement is cognitive but that other times it may be purely visceral or sensory.

These are all thoughtful considerations on how to choose the art with which we surround ourselves.  I think Patti's word "engagement" covers the waterfront.  When a piece physically or mentally takes the beholder somewhere they would not be without the prompt, then it is a keeper.

I've got lots going on in the studio right now...all "marinating" and breathing before the final touches and a signature.

And I am thrilled to report that no one responded "match my couch and rug" as their personal criteria for selecting art.  But if you want a few giggles I will share that there is a museum dedicated to the beauty of bad art.  You've heard of MOMA, now you can meet MOBA.  The Museum of Bad Art   actually began as a way to give a home to neglected, abandoned efforts in art.  As it grew it had to establish criteria for what it would accept and house and what it rejected.  They even laugh that artists have submitted things to them...and been happy to be rejected.  Anyway, something for everyone I suppose.  Just don't be hesitant to frame and proudly hang your grandchild's efforts if it meets the criteria of engaging you on some level.  ALL art begs to be loved and enjoyed.


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