September 3, 2021 Weekly Musings

Christine Alfery

Posted on September 03 2021

September 3, 2021 Weekly Musings

Featured image: Fox II

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Fox II

Posted August 27, 2021

Featured image: Fox II

My goal this past week has been to teach myself to do watercolor washes again. It has been hard. Some of my pieces are great and worked out while others I found myself reverting back to a way of painting that I was comfortable with.

Part of my process to teach myself is to research and remind myself how others have done washes in watercolor. To research tutorials, and YouTube videos and actually trying to copy what another is trying to teach. I am learning a lot. But, I don't feel comfortable yet creating a large watercolor wash so I am going to stick with doing my smalls and while I continue to learn.

When an artist views another’s work to learn from it, it is no different from an academic writer reading the papers of other authors who confirm the writer's thinking or challenge the writer's thinking. Writers frequently put footnotes in their papers to acknowledge another writer's thinking and process. It is no different with a visual artist. So, in this case with "Fox II," I acknowledge the work of painter, Dean Crouser, in this piece. I learned a great deal with the colors and the washes and that was wonderful. So this footnote goes with the Fox.

Fox – Ode to Dean Crouser

 

 Trust Your Failures

Posted August 28, 2021

 

Featured image: Birthday Cake

Creating art is like baking a cake.  You can bake a cake by following the rules and measuring all the ingredients carefully, mixing them together in the outlined steps. And then, baking the cake at the  temperature.

Or creating art can be like baking a cake; a handful of this, a pinch of that, one egg or two, a bit of water or milk, mix and bake. 

I prefer the latter way of not only making art, but also of baking a cake. Some of my cakes don’t turn out. A lot of my art doesn’t turn out, but the process is absolutely glorious and amazing. The learning and the exploring and the discovery of self is so precious.  Don’t let the idea of failure overwhelm you, trust your failure and move on from it. 

 

 Art Dies

Posted August 29, 2021

  

Featured image: July's Garden

The moment you think you understand art is the moment art dies. Thank goodness for me I as of yet haven’t had that moment!

But. if we continue to celebrate artists like Hunter Biden art will truly die.

 

Self-ish

Posted August 30, 2021

 

Featured image: Bearing Fruit

The concept of “self” has for the most part been linked to a person's mystical soul, spirit, or body.  For me, self is all about an individuals mind and how they think.  

Self has nothing to do with social identifiers that classify an individual such as when you were born, yellow, pink, white, green, tall or short. Why do I say that? Because these identifiers place self within a category, a group, where others are the same as they are, like a group for brown, yellow, pink, white, green, tall or short.  

The word same, should never be linked to the concept of self.  Self, is a unique, one-of-a-kind individual who is unlike any other.  Self is the one thing that no one or group, can take from an individual.  Self is your unique wonderful mind.  If you don’t use your mind then you give you power away.  

The word self has  never been a negative word, but when a suffix is added to the word self, like ish – and the word self becomes the word selfish – a whole new meaning to the word happens.  

The word selfish within our culture doesn’t not have many positive elements linked to it.  The word self, is lost when it is linked with the suffix “ish” to it. 

 

Does Success In Art Ruin Art?

Posted August 31, 2021

Featured image: Going To My Happy Place

Does success in art ruin art?

Don’t Worry.

I procrastinate when starting a work and placing that first mark even on a blank sheet of paper. Why do I do that? Am I afraid of success or failure? Has it been so intrenched in me that money and success destroys the uniqueness of an artists work ?

Perhaps, as artists we should just create and be ourselves and not think about success or failure when we start or create. Instead, we should just enjoy the moment that we are in, the moment during the process of creating and not worry about whether the work will be a success or not. We should just create and learn and grow from everything we create and in every moment we live in the creative life.

I think of the song “Don’t Worry – Be Happy” as I write this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-IokVdKp9wHere it is a link to this song sung by Bob Marley

So:
“Don't worry, be happy


In every life we have some trouble


But when you worry you make it double


Don't worry, be happy


Don't worry, be happy now
don't worry
(Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh)

be happy
(Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh)

don't worry, be happy
(Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh)

don't worry
(Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh)

be happy
(Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh) don't worry, be happy”

 

 A Fairy's Light

Posted September 1, 2021

 

Featured image: Fairy House III

There is a chill in the air this morning. The trees show glimmers of light, sunlight filtering through the various greens in the woods. Only an occasional ray of light makes it to the forest floor. There is one – the size of a firefly's light, that that has caught my eye and mind for the past several days. Makes me wonder -

Perhaps it's a fairy's light wandering in my woods.

 

Wondering

Posted September 2, 2021

 

Featured image: Which Way


Wondering – is art just for the rich folks who have trust funds and higher up connections? Is it for rich folks who already have tons of disposable money? Rich folks who can make an art studio out of their pool house? Rich folks after they finish their four years of college education and still are unsure of what they got out of their education and have no direction, so they make art? Rich folks who don’t need to be paid for their work?

Is it still possible for folks who aren’t rich, to make it in the art world? Is it still possible for the non-rich folks to fulfill their dreams in making it in the art world? These folks don’t become instant artists accepted by the news media. Rather, they work as interns, gallery assistants and aides to others in the art industry because that's what they think is needed to get their foot in the door. On rare occasions they rise up, but this is rare. I think of Basquiat. After Andy Warhol lost interest in him, his popularity fell.

I am one of those folks who aren’t rich, who has worked for her hopes and dreams all of her life, but realizes that reaching the notoriety of the current media artist darling, Hunter Biden, will never happen to her. And her studio is not a former pool house, rather it is a former bedroom in her home that was converted into a studio.

It is hard for me to think that perhaps what I have written above is the truth in the art world. Where does it leave folks like me? There are many of us. Why do we still create? Why even try? Perhaps, it is time for a new paradigm that defines the fine arts. Perhaps real art, authentic art, should not be defined by popularity, and popular news media. Perhaps authentic artists should live with the illusion that they will someday become an instant artist and instantly recognized. Instead art should be recognized as something that is authentic, and not something that is like a McDonalds Happy Meal that provides instant gratification.

The paradigm change should focus on how art is defined and by whom. The paradigm change should come from those who create and make “real” art and “authentic” art, not the kind of art and instant gratification of Hunter Biden and others like him. The paradigm change should also come from the art object itself. Is it authentic? Is it real? The new paradigm for the creators and the dreamers within our culture, is to be yourself and celebrate it, to think for themselves, and not to think that they aren’t going to make it as an artist, that their art isn’t good enough and that what they do is a failure.

I go through all of those emotions and I am sure there are other authentic artists out there that have experienced the same. I have never painted figures before. Therefore, with the emergence of my new series, Rugged Individualism, every piece, my self-talk sounds like this, "This is terrible. This doesn’t work. This is a failure." In every work for this series, I am fearful, and I procrastinate thinking, "What if that doesn’t’ work?" Since almost all the works have sold, it is just a fear of failure that causes me to ponder if it will fail and causes me to be afraid to finish them.

The only way I overcome this fear and get over the rich folks paradigm is just keep working, creating, and knowing something will happen. Even when I feel like giving up my dream and hopes for my life, I just keep working and creating, I don’t stop. I will enjoy this life and the wonderful gifts I have, while this smaller paradigm is not the big paradigm we teach others about art .

Well…… so I just keep moving along – hoping dreaming, exploring, creating, and being my authentic self.

  

New Works

Downy

 

Fox III

Sparrow

 

She Calls Herself Clover

 

 

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