Day 13 of 31 Days of Art:
Kinds of Art

I was asked, 
"Are you still going to make art dolls?"
Yes, I am.  

I wanted to travel to a particular art workshop which was miles and miles away and hundreds of dollars.  I just couldn't swing it on many levels.  So this 31 Days of Art is my own personal workshop.  :-)

This goes along with the Nester's theme of Lovely Limitations.  This 31 Days of Art is about me widening my view a bit, trying some new techniques and mediums, which will hopefully enrich my art dolls.

Some of the techniques I am trying out on flat panels I intend to try on an art doll.  But the flat panels are way easier to prepare for experiements.  I don't want to sacrifice an art doll that has 100 hours of work to an experiment.  

Edyth and I talked on the phone yesterday.  What a gift Edyth's friendship is!  We talked about hopes and dreams and meeting the needs of family and our need to make art.  It was very encouraging.

My thoughts today are in response to my conversation with Edyth and something that Kat Soto wrote once upon a time on Facebook.  Kat is a wonderful artist and thinks deeply about art.  I am so happy to have connected with her through the magic of the internet.

What is Art?

Yes, I went there.  There are a thousand good answers to that question.  I don't have one good answer.  But I'm going to try to express my personal viewpoint here. gives this definition of art:  

For our purposes, I will define art as something you make that expresses your personal point of view.   I know that's pretty broad and not everyone will agree with it.  It separates art from craft.  But it covers writers, dancers, fine artists, folk artists, etc.   I wanted to put "with your hands" but that would leave out conceptual art.    I am not going to deal with "styles" of art here.   That is a many-headed hydra. 

Craft means the skills you acquire that allow you to manage the materials of your art.  When I took art classes at Montserrat College of Art, there was a lot of discussion about "honing your craft". Some people felt the art was in the expression.   The craft (management of materials) didn't matter.  But the truth is, if you don't know how to manage the materials, you might not be able to fully express yourself.  

We create different kinds of art.
Kinds does not refer to style. 

Art You Sell

A work that you make and then sell to an unknown buyer - such as when works are displayed in a gallery or other selling venue (online or offline) which is open to the public.  You have considered the audience who might receive the work (possible buyers) but colors/designs/etc are all selected by you the artist.  

Commissioned works:  a buyer contacts you before the work is made and asks you to make a work of a particular kind or theme.   They may make specific requests regarding colors, styles, themes, etc.   This work might be a bit more specific or different than the work you prepare for a gallery show or artisan fair. 

Art You Gift

A work you make with a particular person in mind.

Art for Yourself

This is art you make with no intention of selling, mostly with the idea of honing your craft (management of materials) or of experimenting with new ideas or techniques.  Or maybe it's just to express an emotion or idea that's been running through your head.  Sometimes these works end up being sellable, but they are not created with that end in mind.  

You Can Make All Three Streams

Many, many artists work in all three streams.   For instance, Rodin made sculptures which were iconaclistic but also made designs for porcelain vases for the Sevres factory.   The challenge is really fitting the time in.  This 31 Days of Art was my way of giving myself an art workshop without traveling.    

Tomorrow I will be sharing about a new product I'm going to try.   Read the other entries in 31 Days of Art here.

And also, don't forget to visit The Nester's page to see the other 31 Dayers.


JDConwell said...

I like this. It's useful to go over your objective sometimes, to keep Art--in ALL its meanings--clear and in focus. There are times when I am so disappointed in something I've made...but it helps to remember that art allows for the learning curve.

Dixie Redmond said...

Yes. There are so many tangles when you use the word art. It is packed psychologically, too. You get done and you look at what you've made and you ask, "Is that art?" And sometimes the answer is no but then you've made something that lends itself to a more successful creation down the road. So it's not wasted if we've learned. I'm heading down right now to open up a trial pack of Golden Open acrylics. Play time!

Maureen said...

Dixie, this has to be one of the best explanations of art hat I have read . I loved every word. You are so clear in helping both the artist and the collector understand this giant elephant. I certainly dabble in all these arenas and I so agree that every piece is apart of the next one down the road. Thanks for this gem on this rather complex three letter word ART.

Dixie Redmond said...

Maureen - I'm glad you liked this post. I've doing a lot of thinking, as you can see, trying to sort out what I'm doing artistically. I think I'm getting there!

I don't take commissions (that word scares me!) but I do take suggestions without a timetable.

Dixie Redmond said...

And THIS is very interesting reading in light of this discussion.

Maureen said...

Dixie, I found Jane Friedman's article very provocative and worth reading. Thanks for sharing that link.
Oh and yes I can tell you are thinking a lot these days but I can't imagine you ever not thinking.

"Do not let what you cannot do
keep you from doing what you can do."

John Wooden