Sunday, March 7, 2010

is she being a snob or am I just creative white trash?

My son (love that boy!!) is home from college for winter break and we decided to go down to the local "you paint it, we'll fire it" pottery place. Now we all have things that we do to blow off creative steam, kind of like writing gibberish to circumvent writer's block. Its a great place to go with someone when you want to catch up, gossip (pleasantly), bitch, or even have a heart to heart.  There's no pressure, your hands are busy, eye contact is not a must, and its not rocket science so if you flub something up its not the end of the world.  Plus our little haven allows us to bring in food (read dessert) and yes... even wine! I've done this with numerous friends & relatives. We've celebrated engagements, cried over a parent's death, and made holiday gifts for loved ones. 

However... I have an acquaintance who is such a purist about art that she feels these little outings are a grievous affront to aesthetics unless somewhere, somehow you've been sanctioned an artiste.  Denouncing these places is to shut down a creative outlet for the every girl. The average person claims the old "can't draw a stick figure" defense, yet give them a heart shaped bowl and some pink speckled glaze and they relax, confidently grab a brush, and swish around until its covered. Then they patiently wait to pick up their gem to fill with m&m's.  No, these efforts are usually not worthy of etsy but nobody's hawking them online either.  I would never be so foolish as to claim that my dabblings qualify as fine art.  I am proud of my efforts and feel that everyone should be.  I have also seen some truly beautiful functional pieces come out of their kilns.  

So, is she being a snob or am I just creative white trash?  The truth is I don't care.  I'm having fun, cutting loose, and making memories with the people I love.  And if we decide that our goodies are worthy of being on display, well then good for us.  I'm just trying to get people to give their creative sensibilities a shout out :)   Maybe being comfortable with our own efforts is that first big step to a new hobby, visiting a local exhibit, and hopefully becoming consumers of original art instead of the mass produced "stuff" we're marketed to death to buy.  Anyways... The pictures above are of my latest effort.  Like it or hate it, I had a blast making it and its a reminder of a day well spent with someone special and that's good enough for me! 

arthur you lost ground again, I'm ending today on an 8. 


kimberj said...

ok... I have been sufficiently chastised by my family for being overly snarky in this post. I have no problem with the philosophy of the creative purist . Yet I have seen it used to inhibit people from exploring the creativity in themselves for fear of not being good enough, well it just makes me sad. I so love to see anybody step up and try things :) I truly believe that making people comfortable with their own efforts also fosters confidence in their own opinions of artistic likes and dislikes. And maybe (big leap on my part) I'm hoping they'll want to fill their home with original art they've picked out. Rip me apart if necessary but please share your thoughts!

Rachel said...

a) i LOVE that city scape bowl!!!! so smart!!! so pretty!

b) paint your own pottery places are my favorite places ever. totally agree with you. i love how anyone can go in and come out with their own piece of art. and if they can eat cereal out of it, all the better!

Charissa said...

"Denouncing these places is to shut down a creative outlet for the every girl." Hear, hear. I didn't realize I was a paint-your-own advocate, but I do totally agree that creating should be for everyone! There is something essential about making things - every person should be able to try their hand at some kind of creative work. I've been thinking about this a lot to see some of my thoughts reflected here.