One of my favorite blogging artists Andrea Pratt, has been grappling with making prints of her artwork. While I have never seen one of per pieces in person, I can imagine it would be thrilling. Her trees practically crackle with energy. That got me to thinking about prints. Again. And that thinking got me to the same conclusion. Again.
I do have some prints of others' work. There are those occasions when the interest in an art piece wanes, and when it does, for me, it's always a print. Sure, I'd love to have an Van Gogh. Not going to happen. So I settled for a framed print. While I still enjoy looking at it, it no longer draws me in. I see its flatness. Of course it must be flat. Texture does not convey. I am still drawn to the original pieces of art in my home. I've tired of the content of a couple of pieces, but the rest have stayed with me. Their textures still draw me in. Yes, I've been known to run my hands over these pieces.
As I've mentioned here before, I love creating my pieces. I have loved working with textiles. Then when I wanted more texture, I added beads. Then paper. Now I am working with paper and paint, and I add texture with those. Sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally. I pet these pieces while I create them. I pet these pieces when I finish them. And since very few have left the house recently, I can take them all out and pet them when I need to reconnect.
These pieces still have energy. I still feel the heat and excitement I felt when creating them. Even though I am not creating the textile pieces right now, I still feel the same about them. When I feel uninspired, I will take out my finished artwork and touch it.
There are cultures that believe to take a person's photograph is to steal their soul. While I don't try too hard to avoid black cats and walking under ladders, I do feel there is something to that superstition. I certainly feel that way about artwork. My refrigerator is covered in photos, notes and drawings. Many of the magnets are mini-reproductions of famous works of art. I've got no problem with that. And why not have a mouse pad Mona Lisa? But to me, to truly feel the art -- its weight, meaning, significance, you've really got to be able to feel the art. It's soul is lost when it becomes a photograph.
Art is not just a product. It is also a process. When I see my own art, I see the process. I can still feel the process in my fingers. When I look at art I've purchased I want to be able to do the same or to get as close to the process as possible. I want to see the order the layers were applied. I want to see and feel the textures. I don't want a piece of art on my wall like a trophy. Something once alive. Something that I can't relate to and that can't relate to me. I want the art on my walls to still be living and breathing.
I know that art is not cheap. People will say that they love a certain artist's work and that buying a print is a close as they can get. If there's some artist that you must have something, anything, by -- well sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. But to say you can't afford original art is probably not true. Come to think of it, my artwork is pretty reasonable. Etsy is chockfull of awesome art. Look in junk shops and flea markets. Even the side of the road. Check out local crafts fairs and art auctions. Check your granny's attic.
I've probably ticked off some artists out there. Perhaps their work DOES translate well into prints. Mine doesn't.
Now go and buy some art or pull it out of someone's trash. Love it. Touch it often.
And if you think I'm wrong, please let me know.