Friday, December 12, 2008

Asking Questions/ Searching for Answers

Because so many of you responded to the previous post I was inspired to draw more of these faces and evaluate what different lines might mean on the face. These simple lines of the basic features bring to mind so many things and I am reaching into these lines to come up with some meanings behind the images. Any of you who regularly read this blog know what comes off the tip of my pen, brush, hand, etc. does not come from any pre-planning on my part. It just happens. I know many of you inspire me with the posts on your blogs (just consider how many of us were touched the last two days by Andrea's original post). These are not real faces I see, but lines I am feeling which evoke the idea of a face. I know there are more of these which need to come out of me, so watch out.

If any of you are interested in reading a wonderful book about the subject of spreading love, I recommend The Power of Kindness by Piero Ferrucci. A year ago I said it was the best book I had read in 2007. Today, I have to add in 2007 and 2008. I highly recommend it.

There is something else on my mind today. I read this article yesterday and it made me think about what makes something art. The article is about a show at SFMOMA (San Francisco MOMA) of early science photographs. So is this an art exhibit of science photographs? Is it actually art? Is there a fine line here? Or is the difference between art and science actually a point of view?

It seems to me these are images about the documentation of what may be considered science, but it is really nature's paintbrush being documented. Originally, it was documented as a means of studying the subject, however they are seen as art by others. I see science as a way of organizing thoughts and explaining what is often natural, and art is the expression of visions or experiences in a way it may not have been expressed before. Sometimes, nature gives us an opportunity to see life as it has not been seen that, at that point, art? Is this what we are seeing here?

In his book, Art Heals, Shaun Mcniff says:

...Artists are the best sources for understanding the psychic effects of creative expressions. They typically stay close to the physical qualities of arts rather than using them to advance a theoretical position. (127)

If you think about it, scientists want to advance that theoretical position moving it forward until it is proven. It seems to me, many artists do not care if it is proven or not. If it feels right to the artist, then it is right for them and that is what matters. Artist just apply what feels right and what is true for them is what feels true.

So this brings me back to the exhibit. Do you think the point of view is what makes this an either/or issue? For the scientific mind, it is documentation of the facts, but to the artist is was a new way of seeing.

Okay, I have gone off on a ramble here, I know. I kind of share with you what pops off the end of my fingers. Lately these ramblings relate to something I have read...another one of my passions. Now I am interested in what you have to say, of what you have to share.

I wish for each of you a wonderful weekend of love and of spreading love.


Sabi Sunshine said...

Hi Kim

Thanks for your comment & support. I was reading your article and you know the drawing you sketch. If you look at the sktech in depth, you will find lots of people are in this world are happy, sad etc. I found my answers in your sketch. Keep up the good work.

God Bless you.
Take Care

Andrea and Kim said...

Sabi, you are welcome.

You have made my day. I feel as though these faces have maybe touched you in some way to give you an answer you seek! I followed the must not knowing why, but you have given me they answer to why!



Dianne said...

Dear Kim, your faces all show some sort of emotion or feeling - I love where this is going and look forward to seeing where it is taking you!
What is art? An eternal question! I think it doesn't matter what the original purpose was for making an image, it is now how the viewer perceives the image. If the image moves the viewer in some way or the viewer connects with the work, be it visceral, memories or whatever, it is art for that viewer. It's late here and I am not sure if I am making much sense!!!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Dianne,

I think that is where I was going with them when I was doodling is about emotion in just about all I do. I am still wondering exactly where I am going with it all. For now, I will just keep following the muse.

It is the eternal question, isn't it? It sure does seem to me it is mostly about perception and how one progresses with knowledge and feelings. What does one see...and opportunity to proceed with proving theories or developing new theories or an opportunity to see the world in a different way?

Dianne, you are making perfect sense to, go and get some rest. You have quite a few demands on you at the moment.



San said...

Kim, I enlarged your faces image to contemplate your faces in the crowd. Very interesting.

And I believe I am going to have to get a copy of The Power of Kindness. Clearly, that has made quite an impression on you! And Art Heals must be a good one too.

I believe that both the scientific and the artistic method have things to offer us. I would like to read that article when I have more time.

Lovely weekend to you too, Kim...

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi San,

I don't know what has gotten into me with these faces. I can't stop drawing them.

Ferrucci really resonates with me. I have given that book to quite a few people. I hope you like it. Shaun Mcniff (I always want to use an "N" rather than "n" in his name) is also excellent when it comes to talking about the emotions of art.

I completely agree both points of view are important. We need the balance. I have just been thinking about just what the differences are between the two. I also had the question posed to me when I was pointed to this article.

Thanks San, I always appreciate your input here.



Dianne said...

KIm, I thought the name of the author, Shaun McNiff looked familiar, I have a book of his published 10 years ago, called, "Trust the Process, an artist's guide to letting go" which I loved at the time. Can't wait to read it again now you have jogged my memory! Will be on the lookout for "Art Heals" - I love to read about the therapeutic power of art.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hello Dianne,

I love "Trust the Process" so much, too. My copy is completely marked up, too. I think I like "Trust the Process" more than "Art Heals". However if you are into art therapy, it might be a wonderful read for you. I purchased it because I, too, love the therapeutic power of art, however this is more clinically oriented. With your nursing background, though, it might be just the thing for you.

Now you have me thinking about "Trust the Process" again.

Thanks Dianne,



Lynette said...

Kim, your little face line drawings really convey those feelings and emotions so well. I'm looking forward to seeing more of these and taking notes as I've always had a really hard time doing faces. I've always thought that art and science are very close in their natures.

Lynette said...

'The Power of Kindness' sounds like a wonderful read Kim and I will be looking for a copy of it, thanks!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hello Lynette,

You know me well enough to know I am not one to do sketches of people...I can never get it as right as I want and end up scribbling it all out. I do not think I would do well in life drawing unless the instructor could handle an abstraction of the model! LOL I am glad you feel as though these do convey emotion...that is what I think I am looking for. Last night I did some really unusual ones I will show next week. :)

Don't you think getting the face right is a lot about the math of proportion? Isn't the perfect or most appealing face supposed to be based on the Golden Mean? Anyway, one thing I want to say is I am not sure you should be taking notes from me about drawing faces!

I agree with you, there is a very fine line between art and science...and I am still quite certain it is all in the perception or the response.

Oh Lynette, I think you would really like "The Power of Kindness"! If you read it, let me know your thoughts.

Have a Delightful Weekend, Sweet Lynette!



Debra said...


I really enjoyed looking at your sketch and taking in your observations about the feelings that these simple lines can evoke.

I can tell through your artwork and by the way that you write that you have a wonderful generosity of spirit. I am so glad that I found your blog. Thank you for sharing your creations and your words with us!


marianne said...

wonderful post Kim, you always provide food for thought!
How wonderful that with a few strokes you can express so much!
What is art? And who decides what´s art? I don´t, I only know what I like and love.......

Yvette said...

you gave me food to think, and interesting stuff to read...when I teach people how to felt..feelings pop up so right of their soul.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hello Debra,

I am glad I found your blogs! The story of the building of your studio was fascinating. I also enjoy your art and your discussions of the process and influences involved in making art. I have not gotten to your music, however that is next on the list. :)

It is an honor to have you visit and I do hope you will find a common spirit with all who comment here. We have a good time and I feel there is a great deal of sharing which goes on. You can add a lot, I feel sure.

Thank you for your kind words and thoughts.



PS Thank you, Dianne, for your introduction to Deb and her beautiful work.

Andrea and Kim said...

Marianne, I think we all do know we love our work.

You know I have always enjoyed gestural marks and I suppose these faces are an extension of that exploration.

Thanks So Much, Marianne! You are so dear.



Andrea and Kim said...

Hello Yvette,

I am glad you found some inspiration in what has been written here. It is amazing what creativity can do for the soul. I can absolutely understand how felting/fibers can be so inspirational. I adore fiber arts and find a lot of inspiration on your blog. The colors you use are exquisite.

Thank you, Yvette, for your visit. I look forward to you visiting again.

~Babs said...

Just wanted to say Happy Sunday Kim,,,it's been a little hectic and chaotic around here lately,thus my absence. A very interesting post, as always, much to think about.
I somehow think: "it is what it is" when it comes to art,,,so different to all,,as many opinions as there are people, I'm sure.

Andrea and Kim said...

Happy Sunday Sweet Babs!

I sure hope the hectics and chaos leave your house soon. I miss you when you are not around to be sure.

I like that, as many opinions as there are people. Perfect. I get these things going in my head and they pick on me until I can do something about it. Somehow just putting it out there to see what others have to say seems to make it all easier for my head to contend with.

Listen, try to get a little bit of relaxation in there sounds as though you could use it.



sukipoet said...

Kim you write such thought provoking posts. On your sketches, I like looking at these faces and the sour one makes me laugh, it is so true to the emotion. Once when I was wanting to identify emotions in my self i wrote lists of all the emotionally descriptive words I could find and posted them on my fridge. Then when I felt an emotion I read thru the list and tried to find the word to best describe it. Later someone told me there are only four emotions: mad, glad, sad and something else. Somehow that seems so neat and tidy to me and emotions are not neat and tidy.

I havent read the article yet but I agree with Dianne I believe in that I am not sure the intent of the maker of the photo or whatever necessarily defines whether the result is art or not art or science or not science. In fact there are areas in/of science that are extremely creative and out there I believe and in my mind anyway there are therefor aspects of science that are defintely in the realm of art and creativity.

To me that is similar to this. A writer may live a decadent, cruel, dissipated life and yet write ( or in fact paint) wonderful art. Out of something seemingly antithetical to art comes beauty. Not that all art must have beauty.

Certainly also some people can look at some art, such as dishes smashed on the floor, and say that it is not art. But others say it is. I think Im just babbling here but my mind is making these connections that might not seem like connections to someone else.

Hope you had a great weekend. Thanks for yr email. Blessings, Suki

Andrea and Kim said...

Suki, I love your idea of identifying emotions with the list. One could even use that list to create a series of what those emotions might look like...not that I am visual or anything. I am like you, either those who identified only four emotions were rather, well, boring or I am way over the top.

I have to say I agree with you that the content of the "art" is not what identifies it as art. I did wonder if these thoughts arise from those in the visual arts who do not like seeing their "competition" increase. It is a thought, anyway... I have had that experience of painting "grief" and I think I have shared that painting on this blog. I am assured by others it is most appealing, however I can hardly stand to look at it.

Suki, I love what you call your babbling. So keep doing what you are doing.

I am SO HAPPY you are doing okay after your ordeal.

Have a beautiful day with full electric use.



Unknown said...

Kim, I'm behind with visiting and just wanted to say that I love these faces and also the annotations!
Love the loud and the sour:) and in general the way your expressed feelings with three or four or five lines!
I'll try to find that book here in Paris, and also to come back later and think a little about the scientifical/artistical issue which seems so interesting to me, too.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Andrea,

I am glad you like these. I am still making them, although some are kind of morphing into things which sometimes might take some time to recognize as just a few lines. :) I will show them later in the week.

I really like "Trust the Process" best. If you can find it, I think you would also enjoy it a lot.

It is so easy to get behind, isn't it? It seems this time of year we all have so much to do and so much to catch up on...and we would rather be painting.

Have a Beautiful Day in Paris!



Andrea and Kim said...

Sorry meant "Power of Kindness" ....I am quite sure you can find that in Paris, as it was first written in Italian and I am quite sure it has a French translation.

Sorry, I am a little fuzzy at the moment.