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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Do Definitions Restrict an Artist’s Work or Provide Opportunity?


In a marketplace flooded with artists and a decreasing number of buyers, it’s no surprise that style matters. Affordability often moves decisions, but having a unique flare or approach may make the difference between recognition and sales.

Many artists are using other methods to get noticed. Texture and color are the number one drivers. Jewels and gem stones are being placed on paintings to catch the eye and emphasize a theme. Metalics added to the paint draws the viewer and adds a sheen or glint to the finished painting. Because of this, the fine line between arts and crafts is blurring as more artists’ label their work: “mixed media.” When glitter or pizazz is added to a painting, one wonders which genre the canvas falls under?

"Lucky Lady" 11x14 mixed-media, in red frame (a real playing card & glitter is added)
A recent announcement for a juried show stated: “Medium is open (No crafts please). An artist may question what this means? Interpretation of what makes a canvas or a multi-media board cross over the line into crafts is often a subjective call.

Tattoo art is becoming a legitimate art form as more buyers choose to wear their artwork or use it to make a statement. The artists creating and designing in this genre are finally being recognized for their caliber of artwork. Many of their designs and drawings would make stunning paintings, canvases and wall art.

"Shimmy Shake" mixed media in black frame (glitter is added)
Illustrators and cartoonists are equally skilled. Their work is cutting-edge, exciting and flamboyant. Technology is heightening the impact of digital enhancements that combines with original artwork in a way the Old Masters never envisioned nor imagined.

Adjusting to these changes is every artist’s challenge. We can either get left in the dust or accommodate the fluctuating art scene and rise to the occasion. Today’s artists must adapt and grow to meet the ever changing market.

(Parker Harlowe beside his embellished painting of a ram)