It’s Art in the Eye of the Beholder!

Photograph by Katya Arnold from “Elephants Can Paint Too!

We say Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder.

Can an elephant create art holding a paintbrush in his trunk? Can a computer create art? Well, we know an elephant and a computer can each make pictures, but that is not my question. Can those images be real art?

Ah, here we are again… What is art?

Maybe Art is in the Eye of the Beholder!

What makes art art? Is it the Rule of Thirds, contrast, texture, color schemes, real life-perfect images, balance, how the eye is led to move around the image? The list can go on and on.

Is it art because of who created it, or is it art because of how it affects the viewer?

Each piece of art is judged by the viewer according to her experience with it. Granted one viewer may be more discerning than another, but each is free to form his own experience with the art in question. That is my point. It’s Art in the eye of the beholder, and not because someone else said so.

A similar art experience may be shared by many people. If the experience brings value to the viewers, such as tranquility, curiosity,or cheerfulness, the art proves its social value. Even art that produces negative feelings, such as anger, may prove to be of social worth if the anger is  directed toward an injustice.

Back to my original question. Can an elephant create art?

Let’s say a number of viewers are affected in some pleasant way by the Elephant’s painting. They may want to buy the work or a copy of it to display in an office or home. In fact, elephant art is bought for high prices. Does the elephant create? By my definition, the elephant, or any other creator, is not deciding factor. I’m not judging the ability of the elephant to create. I am asking whether the painting has any worthwhile effect on viewers.

How does the art affect you? How does a glowing sunset affect you? Is the sunset art?

Abstract Imagination

Think and Feel Without Manipulation

Abstract art inspires imagination, freeing the viewer to think and to feel without manipulation.

“An art aims, above all, at producing something beautiful which affects not our feelings but the organ of pure contemplation, our imagination.”
Eduard Hanslick, 19th century music critic

To think and to feel without manipulation is why I create my wax paintings. Images of known shapes direct our thoughts to preconceived feelings about those familiar images. Abstract art has the power to unlock your imagination.

A little child is experiencing all images for the first time. Each experience imprints his mind and emotions which then attach to that image. Abstract art allows us all to become children again, to experience something for the first time. 

Enjoy each abstract image with unbridled imagination. Feel the wind lifting the wings of your mind. 

What is Wax Painting?

It is simple. Wax painting uses colored wax as the medium instead of oil paint or acrylic or watercolor. No brushes, just a heat source and sometimes a wind source to move the hot wax around the board or canvass.

Of course there is much more to it. The artist must choose her wax. My wax of choice is a mineral source non-toxic wax. The acid free wax is infused with powder pigments in a wide variety of colors. As I said in the sidebar, I do not do encaustic wax painting with bees wax.

After my painting is finished, I cover it with a hard clear coat for protection.