Fifty Five: Concerning artistry

Is it true that to be an artist it is enough to say “i am an artist”?

I mean obviously you have to do some art too but how much and how good does it have to be to call yourself an artist?


This is a photo of a photo i took some time ago, but i have recently been playing with transfer printing images onto fabric using acrylic gel medium. i am in the process of incorporating these pictures in to other works that involve other fabric and paper and collage…

I am just about comfortable enough to call myself a photographer…but I have no background in art apart from an appreciation of it given to me by my mum. I have no training, no ability when it comes to drawing stuff that is supposed to look like something and no idea what I am doing.

I can create things…this much i am sure of, i have created things and made things all my life, but is this enough? as an engineer and scientist I find myself annoyingly pretentious if I say that I am an artist… especially if I add the words mixed media into the mix.

To say that I am an artist, in my eyes elevates me above the stage I am at…but someone once said that in order to become something you have to become it…or words to that effect,

in other words, don’t just try to be something, be it…

but is calling myself an artist, and doing artistic things enough?

How do I know if I am good enough?

Sorry if that seemed a little self indulgent…It was just something I was thinking about…any opinions out there would be welcome…


Five: Concerning the abstract

Originally Posted 3rd February 2011

Five… I wonder how many of these counts as an obsession.

The concept of obsession leads relatively neatly into my photo choice for today as it represents a couple of my current obsessions. Today was a tricky one, I have been looking back over my photos and posts and a few things came to mind for today, but what really made my mind up was a recurring conversation that I have with a friend from work. So here it is:

This as I have stated represents several of my obsessions, abstract photographs, repeating patterns and inspiring people to consider things in a way they never had before. The friend I was referring to earlier has a dislike of anything abstract and cannot seem to appreciate the beauty in a photo when the subject is not obvious. Now I would of course defend her right to have her own opinion but in this case I don’t understand it. I strongly believe there is beauty in everything, you just have to look at them the right way.

A repeating pattern found in fence posts or bars or indeed rivets on a gate can describe infinity within a confined space, creating the illusion of forever, thus capturing in a photo something that is otherwise hard to comprehend. Not only this of course but it satisfies the scientist in me to see the beauty of patterns, the patterns within nature and the artificial patterns imposed on the world. Patterns are everywhere and it is hard to stop seeing them once you start.

The concept of the abstract is another that is hard to explain but there is a challenge in showing the beauty in the mundane. It is not hard to see the beauty in a spectacular landscape or flower, but to uncover the hidden beauty in a set of railings or prison bars is a much more exciting challenge. What is true of art is also true of life. The more you can look inside an ordinary situation and see it in a different way the more enjoyment you will find in life. If you can see beauty in a row of doors your life will never be dull.

I am not sure this explains my views on the abstract as well as it could but no doubt it will be a subject I return to, as it is, after all, an obsession!

There is a lot to be said for looking at the world a little bit differently, a bit like wearing 2 watches for no real reason to see who notices!