“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” — Vincent Van Gogh
Shards of grief
Buttons of joy
Jewels of friendship
Glass through image
Color reflects and resonates but
Form, form is everything
Glue … of life … love
Rearranged, with purpose.
Rearranged to harmony
Mastic of Faith
Framed but not bound
Living a new life
Beauty for now
Fodder for tomorrow
To be taken up
With purpose and love.
– Deborah Phillips, 2017
Purple’s back baby! I have always loved the color but shied away from it until I turned 60. Then I figured, I’m old enough to wear purple now ha ha!
Well, a shade of purple — Ultra Violet to be exact, which is a purple highlighter shade — has just been named Color Of The Year by The Pantone Color Institute, the trendsetter for fashion and style in clothing, homes and even food!
Several weeks ago I wore a shade of purple jacket to church and my priest remarked it was “the royal color.” I hadn’t thought of it that way, but politely demonstrated my “royal wave.” To me, the color — in all its shades and tones — represented a flamboyance. Which is why, in my long years in corporate fashion hell, I never wore it. But now I have some version of it in almost half of my closet, including my underwear drawer.
A wonderful article in today’s New York Times lays out the history and composition of the color, from ancient times to today. I recommend it – a quick read which will enrich your understanding of purple and all its cousins.
If you are interested, the Fit Of Pique frame illustrated here, Six Sweet Kitties, utilizes two shades: Lavender Lustre from vintage gilded Noritake Made in Japan porcelain, and vintage Purple Transferware by Maastricht, a Dutch china company. One of my favorites!
Is it “Art” or is it “Craft” and what defines each?
Remember the classes we took in high school decades ago? I do. “Arts & Crafts” tended to attract the girls, while “Shop” attracted the boys, though some of the items made in Shop would have qualified, in my opinion as art, and some of the schlock produced in art class was, well, schlock. I have seen a lot of crafts which were just that — functional items made by a process specific, usually in wood, ceramics or glass. But just as Tiffany made craft art, and Warhol made the ordinary extraordinary, the lines are not straight and true.
I have had many call my Fit Of Pique mosaics “art.” To the extent that they are an expression of some inner emotion or spirit, even though made with the usual materials associated with craft, I would have to agree. Picasso said, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”
But it is not a comfortable tag for me. It feels rather pretentious. “Art” to me is an oil painting, such as my mother used to create, requiring extraordinary skill as well as expression that is unique. My Fit Of Pique pieces are functional — a photo frame, box, mirror — which might assign them to the craft category. Yet to me, they are more. Much more. In fact, though I sell them, parting with each is emotional for me.
There are certainly some who feel it cannot be art unless the maker is starving or coughing up a little blood. And certainly how others perceive an item or its maker is an important gauge. I remember when I painted my first oil painting — a still life of an apple and knife on a soft cloth. I entered it in my 7th grade’s “Art Contest” only to have the teacher eliminate it because it was, in her opinion, so obviously a Paint-By-Numbers production which was prohibited (it was not). When I came home in tears, my mother let that teacher have it! But the impact on me was severe. That “art” teacher had quelled the spirit. I didn’t attempt “art” again for years, until a drawing class at the Corcoran drew me out once again in my twenties.
I would prefer to think of my Fit Of Pique pieces using the Swedish designation of “ArtCraft,” with elements of both in each piece. Some are certainly unique and artistic, such as the Flower Dog frame shown above. Others are more craft than art, but still beautiful, such as the Playing Cards box shown below.
So, does that make me an “Artist” or a “Craftsman” or an “ArtCraftsGal” — I vote for the latter. But let me know what YOU think. And please visit my Fit Of Pique section at www.CherryGal.com to see all my artcraft mosaics.