paint the YOUMAN way.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

im heated. and i've got to vent, which i never do on this blog thing. but i ain't having a "feel good time" right now after booking it out of my Painting I class at school. after leaving, i was once again reminded why a part of me doesn't really look forward to studying art in school. 

maybe this is a bit bold to say, but i feel like art is equivalent to politics. though im not into politics and try to avoid the whole shebang, i do know people butt heads over the whole topic and opinions and views are all over the place. i feel like peoples opinions and views over the question, "what is art?" falls in the same category of butting heads. every art teacher i have taken a class from starts the semester off with the same question, 

"what is art?" 

every teacher who asks this questions tells the students a different answer and im left to believe that no one knows what art is, only the individual artist themselves knows their own personal meaning of art. there, i said it. that is what i think art is. i believe that is the only way we can avoid the arguments of what is art. 

with that said, my painting teacher flat out told me (not to me specifically but as a class) today that everything i have known and painted, is garbage. the paintings that i have been really proud of, given myself a pat on the back for and has been so eager to share my talent with my family and friends has been labeled as garbage and not true art. why you ask? because my art was taken from a photograph. i am a copy cat. and that is supposedly all i know how to do is copy. 

so he goes on to say, true real art is what you yourself create. yes, i agree, but he continued on to say you create art by the things around you which inspire you. that's where my professor contradicts himself. he began to give an example of how one could go outside and paint a landscape of a mountain. now i might be stretching this thought, but seriously... who created that mountain? the artist didn't create the mountain range, our Heavenly Father did, and with Heavenly Father's creations we, as artists, are inspired to paint this picture onto a canvas of linen. 

my professor then begins to speak of still life's and how during this semester he will place whatever still life he feels and we will sit for two hours and paint, i dont know, a bowl full of oranges. well for one, i know that the last thing i'd want to paint is a bowl full of oranges, but i also know that i personally did not place those oranges in that bowl and i did not come up with this arrangement, my professor did. with that said, i am inspired by HIS creation, to create my own on my canvas. 

the point i am making is, MY ART IS NOT GARBAGE. most inspiration comes from the ideas of others, being influenced and moved by others work whose work was also influenced by others. do you see the cycle? now my art teacher in high school was phenomenal. Mr. Youmans was one of a kind, both as an individual and the talent that he held. He was my first legit teacher when it came to oil painting. I feel as if he was my mentor for all four years of my high school career and i cannot help but fall back on his ways of teaching and his thoughts on art. he taught us how to take a photograph from a photographer, and measure it by grid and expand that image onto a canvas and change the medium of a photograph to oil. that's what i learned, and thats what i know and that is how i love to paint. 

he was a free spirit, therefore, he let us paint whatever we wanted. 
i painted things that defined me as a person. that told of my interests and hobbies. 
first and foremost, i painted people, portraits. i paint this subject matter because i love detail, i love the unique beauty that each individual holds, i love to paint the texture of hair and the rich creamy hues of make up and the prints and patterns of clothing. i love fashion, so i painted my favorite models. i love theater, so i painted my favorite actresses who inspired me. and i painted from a picture because i myself am not a photographer and i drool and admire the work that others can capture that i can not. i am a perfectionist. i love detail and i love to be exact in my drawings. and by painting from a photograph that a photographer has taken, is the only way that i know how to do this. and not once did mr. youmans tell us that what we had created in that art room was garbage. 
what a false accusation one could make. 

if you want to say that what i do is copying then what i will say to you is that copying is a form of flattery and i am moved by the photographs that these photographers take of these certain individuals and i find it so thrilling and exciting to paint what they have captured. is that such a crime? no. no it's not. 

example. GLEE for instance is a show where a group of high school kids form a club and RECREATE well known famous songs from musicians because they are INSPIRED by their work. what they have done is created something new, from something that they loved. On a recent episode, a group of men sang Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream." They did their own take on the song, made it their own, and guess what the response was? Katy Perry herself, heard the song and cried. yeah... she cried, the own creator of that song cried because she was touched and moved. she was FLATTERED. im pretty sure the photographer of Kate Hudson's photo in Bazaar magazine would be flattered if someone did a different take on it in another form/medium. Im pretty sure Kate Hudson would be grateful to have her picture taken as well as painted. 

my point is, i am an artist. i am not a copy cat. i am inspired and influenced by others. and i define who i am through my work of art. any one can be an artist if they find unique ways of expressing who they are. and the only way you became who you are and got to where you are at, is through the inspiration and examples of someone else. 

so no, i am not garbage and neither is my work. 
and i will walk into my painting class next monday with a clean mind and slate 
and ignore his opinions of art and take it for what it's worth. i will explore other options of oil painting by sucking it up and doing landscapes and still lifes and i will do it with  a smile and with the knowledge that this is not my way of painting, this is my professors way, and so for that reason i will cooperate. other than that, i know i am stubborn and i will always side with youmans. where is he when i need him? he's probably somewhere in the rolling hills of georgia. can't wait to graduate and be a free bird and paint whatever i'd like. paint the YOUMAN way. that's my advice to you. 


carl and em said...

i love this post! you are the cutest and SO talented so keep painting i would buy them!

Sarah Young said...

I'm with you. Your professor sounds like a hypocrite. I draw no difference in being forced to paint a bowl of fruit he placed or a photograph someone else took. Either way it's your interpretation of the piece. If Picasso did a bowl of oranges, it would look WAY different than if say Monet did. The bottom line is regardless of what you are looking towards in terms of artistic inspiration, it is completely up to the artist themself to decide where they take that inspiration. So there, now you have me fired up! The bottom line is, you have talent. Regardless of what he says, keep staying true to what YOU relate to as an artist!

Jake and Jenna said...

you can tell your teacher that i think HE'S GARBAGE.

this might tickle your fancy

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