Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Is Art Language?

Art is Language and language is art....or not?
According to Wikipedia, Language is the ability to acquire and use complex systems of communication, particularly the human ability to do so, and a language is any specific example of such a system. The scientific study of language is called linguistics.

A Day at the Zoo
It's been 7 years now since my brain tumor journey began.  I will openly admit there have been many times I've wanted to give up trying to get back to where I was & what I had achieved professionally. But I've kept going.  Before the tumor, I liked to paint animals & was good enough to sell a few pieces now & then.  In a good gallery, occasionally accepted into nationally juried shows - my purpose was obvious in that I wanted to get better. Honestly, I had never thought about my purpose much beyond the fact I like to paint.

Art is highly subjective whether making it or simply viewing.  I can no longer say "I just like it" when asked about why I paint.  What I've learned after having experienced aphasia is that art is about language.  It's a part of my language.  I want my art to speak to the language of animals - their communication with us, other animals and their environment.  Watching them move, make decisions, interact - it's all with a language that doesn't use written or spoken words.  Body language, eye contact, vocal sounds are all ways of communicating.  You just have to watch & listen.

Now my purpose is more defined.  It's always been there - I just needed to be able to articulate it for myself.

"Out From the Shadows"  He may have just awakened from a nap.  He may be wanting to feel the warm sun.  In any case, he's not just coming out from the shadows - he's made a decision to get up & move.  Maybe he just wants to get some fresh air.  All I can do is speculate.  He's old - getting up can be painful.  But he keeps going & I think he's beautiful.  This reference photo was taken shortly before they retired him from the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum because the steep rocks in his enclosure were hard on his old joints.  Wherever he is, I wish him warmth & comfort.


"Morning View - Vermilion Flycatcher " - Whether it's my view from the kitchen window or his view from the hanging mesquite branch our morning view says a lot about what kind of day we'll have.  He's obviously watching for insects in the grass below while I'm waiting for the water to boil for my first cup of tea.  I hope his view leads him to what he wants.  

The more I think about it the more I believe that all art is a form of language.  Some of it will speak to you and some of it won't.  It doesn't have to be profound, I certainly don't think of mine as profound.  From cave paintings done thousands of years ago to street art on the walls of our inner cities and the canvases hanging in the great museums - it all has something significant to say. What the artist says and what the viewer sees may not be the same and more often than not they will never meet, yet both can feel something or learn something. 

All of the work included in this post is available at the CasaBella Fine Art Gallery in Tucson, AZ.
Thank you for taking time to view my work & I hope you have a good day.