Monday, June 11, 2007

The big debate rages on...and on... ad nauseum... .

Dolls are art. Hmmm
Bears are art. Hmmmmm.......

Personally? ... I don't get it. The bear and doll makers of the world seem to be protesting all the time that nobody takes us seriously (well, okay... they mean"them" not me and I mean "them" too...not me) ....that nobody calls what they do "art"... that they don't include them in juried art shows and galleries. So what? Who cares? As a matter of fact somebody yesterday on Doll Street suggested to another that she spit in the person's eye that told her she was not a "real" artist.. because she "just makes dolls". Brother...... what next? I can't figure out why it is such a big deal.

Others were talking about what is art... and why. This debate has been around since, well, ..... forever. If you check a dictionary, there are about 11 different meanings...including this one.. "cooking, sewing and housekeeping are household arts"..... mmm... yeh..... Maybe I subscribe to the one that says: "any form of human activity that is the product of and appeals primarily to the imagination" ...but that doesn't mean it should be juried into an art gallery showing.

Many of the doll makers in the discussion decided that art must "speak" to them; must have an underlying message or something.... huh?..... are they saying that dolls must only be made to carry or convey some special cryptic message? To whom? and why? Maybe I just don't understand what these people are saying. Most of them have some idea of what their own message is I am sure...but when others look at their dolls, how on earth are they supposed to figure it out? I think it goes beyond ridiculous when they then put up their little sign that explains what the doll symbolizes and what it is "about". It is not saying much on its own if it needs a hand written sign is it? Honestly, I just don't get it. Maybe they just mean that the dolls should be made for a reason and it can be as simple as Mingus ... he was made for a challenge on the doll site... they wanted a dungeon keeper... someone to also keep the rowdy jester dolls in line...so I made him look .. uhm... well, you know.... as if he could handle the job. Actually he looks a lot like my Dad used to look. Really...I can show you pics.... He didn't get the position. A felty cute little animal did. There ya go...the right guy for the job is in the eyes and mind of someone else...

But the real thing about making this doll was that I wanted to try my hand at sculpting. He is the third one I have done with polymer clay...and I was trying for more features in a face. Trying to figure out how to do different lips... wrinkles and cragginess.. even a scar.... and I like him a lot. That is what counts for me.

My feeling is.....they really are just bears...they are just dolls. (alright, maybe with the exception of creations by Lisa Lichtenfels and a few like her) So what? Why can't people simply enjoy making them instead of being upset that nobody views their "stuff" as art?

I love to do mine simply because I have discovered that I can. I love making bears, dolls, ( I especially love doing eyes for some reason).... paper things, etc... ...and just want to be able to use new techniques every time I see one... want to learn new techniques every time I even hear about them .... to prove to myself that it can be done perhaps?... I have to confess...I don't really know.

Perhaps as simple as to be able to see how it turns out.....to see for myself and to show a few other people what I am able to accomplish.


This particular face has been shown on my blog before.. but just to illustrate a point... this is a technique that I was learning by taking a class. Cloth over cloth. It was very tricky... took about 5 hours to get that cloth overlayed onto the sculpted cloth face under it. But, I did it!! I was ecstatic to be able to accomplish it. The lips are formed with a tiny iron so that they have substance and do not just sit flat. Absolutely amazing to me! The rest of the doll is sitting, waiting to be finished...she is to be a Harpy... a mythological creature; part woman, part bird. She certainly will get done too...as there are more techniques I have not yet tried, but real life intervenes.. other things need doing at the moment. Like tiles and plumbing etc...

My family and friends like to see what I have been making..but for heaven's sake...if I try to convince them it is art or it has some deep inner meaning...or should be viewed with an eye to interpreting something world changing or earth shattering...... ...well....

Why can't people just enjoy what they do? Enjoy the comments; be happy that anybody even bothered to stop and look at our small creations? .... enter them into challenges or competitions if they are inclined...but why worry if people in "art circles", or whatever they call their little cliques these days, don't accept dolls as art? Who cares? I don't........perhaps because I also don't happen to think welding some bolts and nuts together is art .... nor is the slapping of one big stroke of paint on a huge white canvas... nope..not to me.

I am more a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of person...no deep analytical thought processes happening here about bears and dolls. I hate analyzing things to death...like to get on with the business of living, and if, in that endeavor...I find some fun things to do.....I do them. Yup... dolls and bears.... and.... so much other interesting and fun stuff that I guess I just don't have time or inclination to ponder deep and disturbing things.... things like why is making dolls not considered art............lol..........

Okay...Laundry and Dusting are calling my name.....


...... same day...hours later............

Hahahahha... I was talking to my sweetie about the doll artist thingy... and he looked me straight in the eye and said... "Well, I think you are a doll artist"....... oh, no.... now I am in a total quandary ..hahahhah.......

4 comments:

Lisa of Twin Cubs said...

Oh, yes and the debate will continue to go on for probably eternity!

The "Harpy" is really, really cool. I want to take that class!

Folksie Linda said...

Hi Vee, I agree with you.. who cares as long as you enjoy what you make and it is fun! Hugs, Folksie Linda

Nancy said...

Bravo! I'm not very good with words but you hit the nail on the head. We do it because we love it. It is nice if someone likes what we do(including hubby's).
I found your blog through Lisa's Twin Cubs News.
Nancy
Dog Patch Critters

Vee said...

Hello ladies...
for sure take the Harpy Lisa... it has so much other doll info in it...worth every single penny!

hey Linda and Nancy... my feeling for sure..just do what you love...love what you do...who cares what anybody else says about it or calls it.

Haha... yep the hubs... mine is one of my biggest fans it seems. He brags up my stuff and tells people how much effort I put in, etc..takes them around the house showing them each of the dolls... to the point of embarrassing me some days...but it is kinda cute I guess.

Lisa gets my vote for "Blog Mom"... we all come and go through her blog..hahahha