14 March, 2011

Why Write?





"Artspeak" is a bewildering mess of verbiage and mental calisthenics.  Kathy Cartwright asks: why write essays about art at all?   It's good to think about why we write. Someone once said that if you don't state your artistic direction then others will do it for you.  That's why I like to write about art and my own direction.  


One reward for writing about art is that on occasion you get some recognition.  Over the weekend, ArtSlant posted my article on Matisse on their Facebook page.


I think that someone who spoke about one's art direction was Alyson B. Stanfield.

17 comments:

Celeste Bergin said...

Agreed! On occasion I have been told that I write too much about art (on my blog)-- One person told me that he felt it was a "relief" when I only put up a visual with dimensions (because he really didn't want to read anything). I was glad to get the feedback, so I always think about him when I "just put up the picture" (now and then). But, also I gotta be me, and it's my blog! I'm a person who likes words and pictures~! lol--I very much enjoy all your ponderings about what you do, what the masters did, what it all means--all of it. But that's because I don't mind reading and you don't go overboard with 10 inches of type. haha. :)

Casey Klahn said...

That's a good point @ brevity, Celeste.

I re-read the article at FB, and I was surprised at how short I made it. Pats self on back.

Maggie Latham said...

Well, the nature of blogging and the Internet is to combine words and images…. it’s not like we can actually converse with each other, is it? Stating opinions about ones own art or other’s art is also a one-way thing in cyberspace, unless a good dialogue is set up in the comments section.
I often wonder if my blogger ‘friends’ would be so outspoken and confident about their work in real life (lol). I personally go on and off of blogging and the whole cyber interaction thing with my own art and words…. is it not pandering to the ego of the writer/artist to post images of our latest work just to get it ‘out there’ for all and sundry to see? Also, what we view on our monitors is rarely what is actually painted.
Does any one else really care about what we are painting, or our thoughts on art?
I have thought for a long time now, how odd and kind of weird the whole art blog thing is…It’s almost like screaming…. look at me…. look at me…. Look see what I can paint, look how I know about techniques etc…. follow me!!!!!
Anyhow, here I AM WRITING my opinion about your post…. so maybe it’s just a blogger cycle thing we get caught up in..... a slippery slope away from the realms of real life...
The last two weeks I have deliberately not been blogging, or catching up on my favourite blogs, and I have had so much more time for actually painting, and much more clarity of thought in my own work…and am more in touch with real life and real live people around me.

Casey Klahn said...

Great points, Maggie. We try hard to find our own limits for social media. But, I will add that many of us look to advanced artists like yourself for whatever you have to say. keep it coming, please.

I work to keep the subjects here on art and off of me, or at some balance of this. I fail regularly. I established a tag called "personal" in order to track this, and the tag is about third most prevalent. Arg. Not what I hoped.

Maggie Latham said...

Casey, you are always so diplomatic and so sweet. Just wanted to add that my ramblings above were just that…. ramblings and thoughts about art blogging in general, and in not in any way directed at your blog or blog posts, which I enjoy very much.
Maggie

Casey Klahn said...

I knew that, Maggie. Glad you read here.

William Cook said...

I think of artspeak as something that comes from the ocean of non-artists, professing to know everything there is to know on the subject, while an actual artist can't get a word in edgewise. I agree that it becomes a bewildering mess of verbage. Meanwhile imagine being a serious artist, isolated for 25 years with no-one that could possibly get what you're doing, and rarely visiting another artist or two. And then suddenly there's a forum like this with actual collegues all over the world, all intensly discussing, theorizing, visiting, joking around and what-ever—and all understanding intimately what you’re all about. What a difference! And all the phony artspeakers that used to rule the profession are left outside, sounding silly by comparison. Genuine artists’ writings are critical and necessary, especially in a dynamic forum such as this.

Casey Klahn said...

Blog on!

As always, very well said, Bill.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Hi Casey. What an interesting discussion! I agree with what everyone has said. I am glad that Celeste blogs often and shares her thoughts about art making and people and process. She's inspiring on a daily basis.

But, Maggie causes me to stop in my tracks and wonder if I am blogging too much, too soon, and filling the blogosphere with boring drivel (not what Maggie said at all, I realize, just my thoughts based on her comments).

Then William/Bill comes along and cheers the place up with his celebration of finding people who understand him and speak his language.

I think that your blogs are always thought provoking and cause good discussion among art-minded folks and that is a gift. If I might be so bold, I wish that you bloggged more often, but that's just because I enjoy so much reading about what's on your mind. Thanks, Casey!

Sonya Johnson said...

I have to agree with Celeste and William here, and I personally find great interest and value in reading what other artists have to say on their blogs - be it about their own musings, processes and techniques, or just discussing history.

I often wonder if I'm too wordy on my blog, and I guess I probably am for some people. But, I figure maybe sharing background (or, nerdy factual information, as I'm prone to doing) on the painting, its process or struggles, etc. might add more dimension or facets to what is otherwise nothing more than an arrangement of pigments on canvas or paper.

So, to answer your question, Maggie: yes, I do actually care what people are painting and their thoughts! I find great inspiration in the collective creativity of fellow bloggers, and the shared experience as we all travel down our individual paths, trying to better ourselves as artists and find our "voice".

And I agree with Katherine that I would be happy to see more posts by you, Casey. Including more that feature your own work.

Just sayin'.

Casey Klahn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Casey Klahn said...

I misspelled a word, so I'll try this again.

Kvan and Sonya, your votes of confidence are inspiring. Thank you.

My blog adventure has led me to value brevity and quality. Say it well and just right for busy people. As artist's will attest, their time in the studio is precious and any time on the pc is a distraction.

If I just knew how to run a camera, I'd probably blog a little more often.

Cindy Michaud said...

casey - I like casey-speak regardless if it is about art or life. May I post your link as rec'd on my website? And for the blog world, yes, I care, be pithy and to the point, give me something to chew on, fill my mind with challenge and I will follow a blog anywhere....

Casey Klahn said...

Yes, post away and thanks for the words, Cindy.

That is a reminder to me to update my blogroll, which I promised to do a while ago. Sorry, everyone.

Cindy Michaud said...

done!

Mrgee59 said...

Why write about art is somewhat akin to asking "Why think about art?" or "Why look at art?" or "Why listen to art?"

How else can we broaden our senses and our sensibilities to life in general? And how else can we become more fully human? Certainly not by ignoring the arts, visual or performing. Just my opinion but I'm entitled to it.
Dennis Golombek

Casey Klahn said...

Well said, Dennis. I'm glad you read here.

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