"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced."
~Vincent Van Gogh
~Vincent Van Gogh
Thank you for the Art Supplies Bench, Zynga! I have been using it to practice my painting and I think I'm getting pretty good at it. Behold this masterpiece I have created!
I guess I should confess, I didn't actually paint this masterpiece. Not in the traditional sense, anyway. Alas, it is only a paint-by-numbers product. The sad truth is that I have no artistic talent whatsoever.
To demonstrate my utter lack of talent, here is a self portrait I did (right) next to a recent photograph of me (left) for comparison. It's pathetic. My art skills are on par with that of a small child!
It's frustrating because I feel like I have all this creativity inside me, but lacking any discernible art skill, it is difficult for me to produce any evidence of that. This mess of a blog is my only means of expressing anything that could even remotely be deemed artistic, but does pasting the heads of computer game characters onto random pictures pilfered from the internet really constitute art?
If so, then I am a bona fide master artist, since that's about all I do. But I kinda think it probably doesn't.
Just what is art anyway?
Can art even be defined?
Well apparently, according to the dictionary, art can indeed be defined. Perhaps if any of art's many definitions can be applied to my blog I can call it art and deem myself an artist! Let's see...
1. the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.
Unfortunately I don't think my blog offers anything beautiful, appealing, or beyond ordinary significance; at least not according to aesthetic principles. Discordant, unattractive and mentally unbalanced principles maybe, but certainly not aesthetic ones. We'll have to rule out definition #1.
2. any field using the skills or techniques of art.
Well, we've already established that I lack any skills or techniques, and the only fields I have are the ones on my farm that I use to grow crops. Definition #2 just won't do.
3. skill in conducting any human activity.
There's that darn "skill" word again. Deal breaker. And come to think of it, most of my "activities" wouldn't even pass for human. Definition #3 doesn't apply to me.
4. skilled workmanship, execution, or agency, as distinguished from nature.
Skill again, dammit. There goes definition #4 out the door. This is getting depressing! Surely there must be a definition for art somewhere that does not include the word skill?!
5. trickery; cunning.
Aha! Now we're getting somewhere. So it seems if I can trick my readers into believing that my blog constitutes art, I will undergo a de facto transformation into a real artist! A con artist, sure, but let us not split hairs. Definition #5 is the only one keeping my art dream alive.
But how will I be able to trick anyone into thinking I am an artist if I'm sitting here talking about how I lack any art skill?
Oh this is just futile. I guess I need to add the art of the con to the list of art I can't do after all.
I should probably just give up and scrap this post now, but I'm already caught up in a shame spiral over this whole art thing, so screw it. I guess I'll just keep this fail train of self-loathing moving and see where it ends up.
To be honest, I actually would have loved to learn the proper ways of how to draw and paint, but everyone told me that pursuing an art degree was a bad idea.
Art degrees are worthless and I would end up unemployed and penniless, they said. But seeing as that's pretty much how I ended up anyway, I regret not going to art school. I may still be jobless and broke, but at least I would know how to draw a picture or something. I bet I would have even been a much happier person! I could have gotten my hair permed and painted happy little trees like Bob Ross.
He sure was a happy guy, wasn't he? I remember he used to say, "We don't make mistakes; we just have happy accidents." As a massive screw-up myself that's a sentiment I could certainly get behind.
Bob really seemed to have a profound love of trees for some reason too. I found this statistical analysis of the elements in his paintings and it indicates there was at least one tree in 91% of them!
Wow, that sure is a lot of trees. I bet he would have loved to play FarmVille 2, which also contains many trees.
Curiously the statistical analysis demonstrates a surprisingly conspicuous absence of marijuana plants. I would have figured that particular "tree" to have featured more prominently in his art.
Based on this video I found on YouTube I guess I wasn't the only one who wondered about this.
I really should have paid much more attention to Bob Ross back when his Joy of Painting show was on PBS. I bet he could have taught me how to paint and then I wouldn't be in this predicament. It's just that I found his paintings to be so boring that I couldn't follow along long enough to learn anything. Happy trees and fluffy clouds and massive yawns. That, and the soft, melodic tone of his voice would invariably lull me to sleep within minutes of tuning in to the program.
I definitely need a more exciting and hardcore art mentor than Bob Ross.
I'm thinking maybe someone like Jackson Pollock. That guy was a total bad ass. He would drink a quart of whiskey then splash paint all over a canvas and call it art. And if you argued with him about whether or not it was really art, he would just kick your ass.
I bet I could get drunk and make fine art by splashing paint on the wall. Hell, that's really just a typical Saturday night for me!
|Jackson Pollock's 'Number 5' (1948)|
LOL, no, of course that's not really true. While the notion that "anyone could do this" may occur to many who first learn about Pollock's drip painting method, there's clearly a lot more behind his work than just randomly splattered paint.
|Jackson Pollock's 'Blue Poles' aka 'Number 11' (1952)|
I believe he was pouring his heart and soul out into those works.
It's pure frenetic emotion.
It's beautiful controlled chaos.
It's an exorcism of his inner demons.
|Jackson Pollock's 'The She Wolf' (1943)|
Pollock painted because he had to paint. He had to get it out of his system. He didn't need to learn the correct way to draw a tree or paint a flower. He just needed to do it and so he did it.
I guess that's why this blog exists. For me, this is liberating and cathartic. I'm really just exorcising my own demons by splashing little bits of myself all over this electronic canvas in the form of words and pictures. I'm getting it out of my system.
A drip of heart here.
A drizzle of soul over there.
A spatter of humor, a sprinkle of wit.
Oh God, there's a piece of my liver... How did that get there?
Maybe I don't really know what the hell I'm doing when it comes to art, but that doesn't matter. I'm no Pollock to be sure, but I'm creating something and putting it out there, and that's all that matters. It satisfies a need in me, and if someone else out there enjoys it, all the better!
However, after having conducted extensive research on Jackson Pollock by reading a few articles on Wikipedia and stuff, I have learned that we're actually very similar!
Maybe I really am an artist after all!
Wanna play a fun game of Pollock's or bollocks?