Friday, April 18, 2008

*COMPOSING * Pretty pages?

Should you try to make your pages "pretty"?
This is always a question - should art be decorative and pleasing to the eye, or should it challenge us to think?
Modern artists have broken the rules of prettiness for us, and allowed us to let the visual imagery that pleases us be, yes, UGLY.
But what do we want our pages to do?
They don't have to be pretty, but I admit I am slightly pleased with myself when the page turns out balanced, composed, nice to look at.
Not something I would hang in a frame, but something I can study for a long time without wondering how I would change it.
But if I am after mining the gems of my true authentic self - would that make a pretty page?
I have noticed as I work in my journal now, knowing I will likely post the page on this public blog, I care a bit more what they look like - when it was just me seeing them, I was a bit more free.
This goes with the territory of knowing the work is public.
But, in all my art, I try not to work for an audience - my self expression is more important to me than pleasing the crowd.
Because the crowd is fickle and there will always be some one who's opinion is different than yours, anyway.
Here is a page done with my journaling group - I tore up a Da Vinci sketch of horses, just pasted it sort of willy nilly, added a drawing of my own hand, and wrote some stuff.
I really wasn't trying to make it look good, but I do notice I worked with a consistent palette of colors and maybe drew lines that matched up a bit.
So, even our messes can be organized.
Just a bit.
It is not about what is pleasing to an audience - it is about what is pleasing to YOU!


  1. Interesting Post. I usually feel more authentic to my inner self, and at my most expressive, when I get down and dirty and do some raw, someimes ugly (gee there has to be a better word (:) art. But od course, every now and then, especially when crusing thru blogging world, I wish that could do purty. Anyhoo, thanks for stopping by my blog. I found your posts and art interesting and so will now have to add you to my links! Happy Friday!

  2. bluejude: down and dirty, raw - I love those words.
    You are right about UGLY not being the right word, sometimes what is discolored, ragged, off kilter is truly beautiful in it's expression. thanks for visiting!

  3. I love your journal page! Very artistic! I also keep a visual journal but, unfortunately, I can't draw worth beans. I still love doing it, though.

  4. Linda - one of the most amazing things I have ever heard is a young art student saying "although I can't draw at all, I won't let that stop me from being an artist."

  5. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as is ugliness. Interesting read.

  6. I don't usually think of a blog in terms of art, but more in terms of decoration: pleasing colors, balanced spaces. This post has made me think. I find your journal page beautiful, especially the subtle colors and swirling lines.

  7. i do try and create an artistic statement with each post.. i believe the aesthetic quality is as powerful,, if not more at times than the words alone....

  8. The slightly organised mess - that's a good state to aim for. I enjoyed this post, and looking over some previous posts. Art journals really intrigue me.

  9. Adore the image you posted with your words.

    I believe art is not all about beauty. Art is about offering a different view in an artistic/interpretive way.


  10. Wow! I stopped by and started reading some of your posts, but I keep being distracted by those amazing collage images all over this blog! I am blown away by them! Really, they are full of vitality. I am sure you get compliments all the time on them, but I want to tell you that they are more than just great works of art. They really are just full of energy and meaning and I am drawn to things that have that much depth! Great blog/ Great collages!

  11. Oh very interesting post!! It made me think especially since some of these thoughts have gone through my head.

    What I find really interesting is that as I was scrolling around the participants for SS tonight, your's kept calling me so I came to see what you had done. And what you've said was something I obviously needed to hear. Thank you!

  12. So maybe there's a master artist at work somewhere composing away in your life.

  13. Loved your post. Is there such a thing as ugly art ? I don't think so, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

  14. Your last line says it all for me. Pretty or Ugly, the work is what it is and usually it's the work using me as the tool. I DO like your journal page.

  15. Nice post and lovely journal pages!