August 13, 2021 Weekly Musings

Christine Alfery

Posted on August 13 2021

August 13, 2021 Weekly Musings

Featured image: Blue Bouquet


Five Pears and Blue Bouquet accepted into 35th National Society of Artists Juried Exhibition

Posted August 12, 2021

Five Pears” and “Blue Bouquet” have been accepted by the juror Vie Dunn-Harr, to be included in the 35th National Society of Artists Juried Exhibition. 

Vie Dunn-Harr stated about the judging process, that artist whose work displayed "familiarity in vision and technique demanding a response from me were juried into the exhibition. Their work stood out and was exceptional."

This virtual exhibition will run August 16 through September 10, 2021.

The National Society of Artists, began in 1982 as an off-shoot of the Santa Fe Guild of Fine Arts. They have 2 national exhibitions a year.




What Is An Artist's Value?

Posted August 7, 2021

Featured image: May Blue Bird

What is an artist's value?

How, as an artist, would I like to get paid? What is my value to the others who would like to pay me my value in a sense? What is the value of my creative work? What does it says to you and to others? Is it decoration? Does It look nice and it match? Does what I create have any other value to you, the one who will pay me for it?

I had a glorious experience of being paid by several recent lovers of “Art.”

The couple who purchased “The Creative” was one of them. When they were deciding whether to purchase the work, I left them alone.When I checked back to see if they had any questions I could feel, actually feel what they were feeling as they were looking at it.

Concerned about the cost and how it will effect their budget did not have near the weight in their decision making as how they felt about the work. The overwhelming aura surrounding the painting was the connection the painting had made with the wife. Her feelings towards the work made their decision easy. There is no doubt in my heart that every time they look at the work that the same treasured feeling will return. The work will be timeless for them. I love sales like that. They valued the work perhaps more than I actually did. I knew it was a "one in a million" piece and that there would never be enough money to pay for it. So, my value didn’t come from the amount paid for the work but from the value the two of them placed on the work.

That is the value of my work. That is how I love to be paid.

How do I wish to be paid for my work? I recently sold another piece that I called one in a million, “Creative Contraptions.” I had no idea that this particular couple were looking at the work. So when they stopped for a minute and I walked over to them and asked them if they had any questions they said, "No, but we would like to buy this piece."

I was surprised. They asked me to tell them about the work. But before I answered I asked them to tell me how they felt about the work. I didn’t want to spoil whatever it was that they were experiencing towards the work with my ideas about it.

The husband began and what he said was exactly what I have said about the work. The value of the work for him was exactly the same as the value that the work had for me. My visual language spoke to him. Not only was this a glorious way to be paid but when they paid me for my work they understood and thought of my value as an artist was very important. They valued and understood creatives.

How do I wish to be paid for my work? My work,“The Judge,” was recently sold. I could have sold it before it was finished. The person who bought the work so loved the piece and she so believed in what I could do additionally to the work sight unseen, she said she would buy it as is. I couldn’t do that – but what an honor and privilege it was to be told that.

Marketing “Art” is nothing absolutely nothing like marketing wall décor. It is a completely different experience.

How an artist is paid has varied over time and history. Today one is told that they can purchase a work of art through XYZ, a popular volume setting art market website. I recently saw one that was advertised where the owner actually matched the colors in her dress to the chair and to the painting. It was overwhelming. Overwhelming!

The idea that a buyer would connect to the actual artist has disappeared. The idea that a buyer would talk about their work and show passion for it, has all but disappeared.

For the creative artist to survive and stick around and keep creating, experimenting, making exciting work and not continue to slowly disappear, our culture needs to support this form of innovative thinking. And by support I don’t mean governmental support. This kind of support only comes from another one-of-a-kind person.

The question that needs to be asked is, "What will historians be saying about the 21sat century and its creatives?" What is said about creatives, for the most part ,determines what kind of work that they create or don’t create. The path well traveled is not the path that creatives take, but it seems to be the path most "want to be" artists take. Will this less traveled path survive over the politics of the day, of the fast paced impersonal art market place? I hope so. But I am no longer sure.



Posted August 8, 2021


Featured image: May Blue Bird II

An artist's reality is what they perceive it to be and this perception is how they survive in the artwork and in their lives. To force an artist to survive differently than their perception of what is real, would be to kill their means of living or surviving.

Art and artists, for the most part, aren’t about the next marketing trend or the next new thing. Rather, art and artists are about life and creating new life, fresh life.

To take away an artist's ability to create and survive would make life very difficult. Everyone can think about life this way. How an individual perceives life and survives can only be changed by the individual not through a group. And, definitely not by force.


Intellectual Property

Posted August 9, 2021

Featured image: May Robin

What is the value of an artist’s intellectual property?

Can you say, I am a painter (substitute your media) and an artist?

Or can you only say I am a painter (substitute your media)?

Being an artist requires thinking – learning what "art" is and isn’t. Then, you must know the difference.

Being art artist requires seeing ( hearing, touching, writing) learning and then knowing what is in front of you – knowing reality, life and in turn, truth.

Art used to be trapped in the mystical; "oh she is gifted," or "I love art because it meets my needs for meaning," or "art guides me," or "art allows me to transcend." Art used to be trapped by the idea of freedom such as being in the Garden of Eden before Eve took a bite from the forbidden fruit. The idea of freedom was a snobbish one that was granted only to those who understood one particular way of understanding the notion. That way was – well, mystical – before the apple in the Garden.

The concept/idea of art is no longer trapped. The art market has changed how “art” can be understood.

Art lovers became snobs. They weren't concerned about the mystical, but rather concerned about the turn around for their investment, or what is popular now. In the past, the thought of capitalism entering into the playground of “art” took away “art's” freedom.

For some reason, art lovers never link this loss of freedom when it comes to social practices. Perhaps it is because social practices are still trapped in the mystical, the unreality where others think for you.

Both the above examples of capitalism and socialism, steal freedom from the artist. The creator, the one who creates wonderful work that still relates to meaning, guidance and yes, perhaps transcendence. But today freedom is based in reality, an objective reality and objective truth where many colors can exist not just black and white.

And the “artist’s” reality today is based on their intellectual property. Intellectual property being their unique individuality, their one-of-a- kindness way of thinking about concepts differently and not being full of fear that it won’t be accepted. Why no fear? Because they know they are capable of “thinking” differently, even about the things they come up with and think about. We all have intellectual property; be we all don’t use it.

So what is the value of an Artists Intellectual Property?


Content and Concept

Posted August 10, 2021

Featured image: Roots Transformed

I created a work during the Northwoods Art Tour called “Roots Transformed.” I chose that title because I had in mind that I would enter it in an exhibition at the Center For the Visual Arts with the same title. The piece I had originally planned on entering, “Grandmothers Shawl” sold as did "The Creative." “Roots Transformed” also sold during the tour. The patron who purchased it asked that I send her the story behind the work. Here is the story.

The concept behind this work was history. The strong complicated content of it was/is about our foundations, our roots and our histories that are always with us. We cannot erase them; we cannot destroy them. They are part of what makes us authentic and unique as individuals.

In the work I have leaves and branches of a tree growing from the “rugged individual's” head. In my writings I frequently talk about how unique, authentic individuals need to think about what has made them who they are. One must consider both positive and negative because we learn from both. Then, in present time they remix our histories, not destroy them, which enables our history to move forward and change.

When we think, we connect our thoughts to our experiences. Our experiences are our histories. My intent for the artwork was to illustrate visually how destructive it would be for the wellbeing of our authentic selves to destroy and forget, to try and erase our histories. How destructive it would be to not learn from our mistakes and believe that utopian experiences exist.

We learn from both our good and bad experiences. To destroy that history in hope of starting fresh is impossible. They are us and they help us to be creative and to be our authentic selves.

The concept in this work is history. It is all about how our histories help us be our authentic selves. We can be bitter because we do not like our history, or we can learn from our history and move on and remix the present. Remixing the present is how I create art. I take my experiences, past and present, and mix them together to create, hopefully, an authentic artwork that has learned from my past experiences, has grown and is creating new experiences with this remix.


The Do Not's In The Art Playground

Posted August 10, 2021

Featured image: Escape

Do not keep to yourself the fire that is in your mind, soul and spirit.

Do not surrender and say it cannot be done until you try. 

Do not give in, do not give up. Try.

Do not function at a fraction of what you are capable of thinking.

Do not long for an ideal that is not and cannot be real.

Do not abandon your quest to know.

Do not give up belief in the unknown and the unseen. Do not believe for one second that the unknown or the unseen is real, for then you are cloaking reality.

There are several games played on the playground of art.

Game one. I don’t need to be paid for creative work. This is pretending that you don’t need to receive value for value for the work you created, for your intellectual property. These artists create for an unrealistic idealism that just cannot and doesn’t exist. Art will never be just art. That is an impossibility. There is always other elements in the mixture of what art is.

Game two. There is no art market – or there is an art market.

Game three. The "want-to-be" artist.

Game four. Authentic artists know that judgement is necessary when it comes to art. For without judgement art is controlled. Judgement is what qualifies art as art and what is not art.

Authentic art can be traded – through fair trade values.


Write Your Own Story

Posted August 11, 2021

Featured image: Telling The Story

Is morality based on the concept of perfection? If so, then who measures this perfection?

Perfection is not, and should not be, measured by a practice of something another unique individual finds impossible.

Why? Because what another unique individual finds perfect is not the same perfect as you would find. Practice your own perfection and allow others to do the same. I believe that by doing this there will be a harmonious whole. It will just not be the one that has been visualized before where we all think alike. Rather it will be the one that is filled with motley colors and uniqueness and the respect for the golden rule.

You write your own story – and let others do the same. This is not a morality based on perfection other than the perfection of one's self and soul to do unto others.


Remember Childhood

Posted August 12, 2021

Featured image: Somersaults

The other day a family came to visit the studio. They had a 2 year old who loved being outside and walking the paths in our woods. To watch his curiosity was such a wonder and joy for me. He picked up a monarch wing buried under some pine needles and asked his dad where the rest of the butterfly was – and was looking around for “the rest of the butterfly?”

Remember when we had such a curiosity before we learned to not to ask “why” and not to question? Remember the time before we learned to submit and try to learn the correct reasoning behind the answers. The key words here are “to learn the correct reasoning behind the answers” we are given. Before we learned this correct reasoning, we would be full of many “why’s.” We didn’t doubt ourselves,, and our abilities to question. We didn't doubt our own ability to be able think and solve problems. Before we began to doubt ourselves, our minds were filled with radiant states of being filled with wonder and aw. We had no fear, and we questioned the answers to our questions.

Remember when you were two? I don’t, but I do remember “play.” The choice is yours in how you live your life. The choice you have to make is about your potential, no matter what your age is.

I am –

You are and I am great and still filled with wonder and aw.

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