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Introduce myself and a thought about art

Hello guys, I am L D Sledge. This is my first post on IAC and I intend to post regularly. I am a writer, author, poet, copywriter, visual artist and mess with a piano keyboard, guitar and a couple of other things as a mediocre player. But I love making visual and physical art whether it is an oil or acrylic canvas, a great shot with my camera, piano melody, a flower arrangement or a string of words on a page or pages that gives that joyous heart bursting joy of having flowed something extraordinary. It is all art, whether a fleeting shadow or a childhood memory of geese flying across a great yellow winter moon, with their lonely cries in the night, or the scent of a rose. This world is a sumptuous feast of eye, ear and sensual candy just waiting to be slurped up. It is all candy to me.

The test is not technical perfection. The test is if it creates an emotional impact on the observer. What impact does the Pieta have on you? If you have seen it, as I have, in situ, right there before my eyes, you would receive a palpable impact, as I did. Even looking at a picture of it does that. The artist imbued that marble with his very spirit that lives on and on in the stone, singing its beautiful melody through every molecule and atom of its self transferred through the hammer and chisel of a great artist.

But an artist, whether a writer or painter, makes a serious mistake at trying to create this impact on others. If a writer writes to please others, to make money, as a vanity exercise or as a effort to make an impression on others, it changes the essence of the form to something other than real art in my opinion. An artist must just open the doors and let it out, flowing, without concern of any other person or mind of others, except to please the artist and to make sure it speaks a language that can be understood.


Too much individuality makes it unintelligible, and a thing that renders itself even ugly to my mind and it has an instant effect the moment I lay eyes on it. I went to the Dali museum in St. Petersburg recently, in hopes of seeing something deserving of the publicity. Sorry. His work is strange, kind of scary, gross in a way, certainly not something that you can take away feeling inspired, delighted or aesthetically gratified. He just made lots of noise with melting clocks, etc. There were two or three very excellent pieces, like the Last Supper, which was inspired. And no double he was a fantastic artist. I see good artists waste it on gross, ugly, scary things. That is just my viewpoint.

Art should communicate, create a “good” impact that makes a person better for the experience, taking away a good feeling, free, happy and loving life more than before. How to do that? Just be yourself, and if it is ugly, it may be beautiful to you; don’t fret over it.  Just let it out. Let your art be you. You live on as you in your art. It is your communication line, you have given it life through your brush or pen or fingers on the strings. It may make them feel good, laugh or cry for joy, (maybe not) but just be you, you are eyecandy. But most of all. Just do it. 

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The Cur Dogs Snapping at your Heels

Some people thrive on criticism. The giving part, not the receiving part. Artists are a target for such characters, because artists are trying to communicate aesthetically and because they have put themselves in the spotlight, so to speak – they are easy targets. Don’t let the critics get you down.

Easier said than done. I know some very competent artists who will not put their work in front of the public for fear that someone will criticize it. The fear of invalidation is too much, so they invalidate themselves.

You know you are a creative person. You know your art, music, theater, whatever your field, is good. You know it can make a difference in someone else’s life, bring enjoyment, make people smile, make people feel better simply because you communicated through your art. Never invalidate yourself. And you will then be able to ignore/squash those who try to invalidate you. These people are merely cur dogs snapping at your heels. Don’t throw them a bone by feeling invalidated by their snapping.

One artist I know used to cut up the rejection letters she got from art shows, put them in a blender with some water and make lovely hand-made price tags for her art out of the resulting pulp. Then she sold her paintings at the next show. Whatever makes you feel better.

The best way to overcome the invalidation is to just go out and sell your paintings, music, whatever art you do, in spite of all. To alter an old saying, those who can, do and those who can’t, criticize. Know that the critics who invalidate cannot do what you do.

As I note, I am not referring here to people who pass up your artwork to buy from another artist. That’s their opinion, and they just liked something else better. They are usually kind, but sometimes they need something to match the drapes and yours did not match the drapes. But plenty of people will like what you do and pass up some other artist.

We are all critics to one degree or another – different folks like different things. Put your art out there, and the people who feel as you do will come. And you can bask in the joy of knowing that something you created is gracing the living room of a home you have never even seen.


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Outstandingly Clever Artists

Indie Artists Club has Outstandingly Clever ArtistsIndie Artists Club is a new group on the web that is promoting outstandingly clever artists. These are artists who are not only clever enough to produce outstanding works of art, but additionally they are clever enough to promote their art into a method of supporting themselves.

Almost everyone is an artist in some way. No matter what one does as a “job,” there is an artist of some kind lurking inside. Creativity is just native to human beings. A few never tap into their creativity, but most people have a pastime of some sort which allows them to create. It may be making furniture or quilting or even creating an image for oneself – clothes and make-up and hair. Many people participate in the recognized fields of arts – painting, sculpture, photography, writing, etc. – but do it only as a hobby, not a profession.

To confirm the native desire to create, you need only look at children’s art. Kids make the most wonderfully creative art. Children display an urge to create as soon as they can hold a crayon. They sing. They dance. As they mature, the creative sparks get snuffed out, and only a few brave ones continue to a point where artistic pursuits are their main means of support. How creative sparks get snuffed out is a subject for another article, but suffice it to say that it takes a person with some guts to follow an artistic career, to be able to endure and slough off the rejection one receives in such fields.  Several of the artists on Indie Artists Club mention starting to draw, paint, create at the age of two.

Even when children grow up to major in art or music in college, you find the graduates doing all kinds of other jobs rather than working in their chosen field. You find brilliant pianists working as administrative assistants in the computer science department of some university. Or painters of high quality art serving fries at a fast food restaurant. These are people who can actually read music to the point where you can put a sheet of music they have never heard before in front of them and they can just play it perfectly. Or people who can sing in an opera. Or people who can paint a life-like portrait. And on. They all got crushed when they graduated, rejected from their chosen field, and so relegated their lifelong goals to a “hobby.”

A few brave ones press on, maybe not immediately, but at a later time in life. These are the ones I call outstandingly clever. First, their art is outstandingly clever, in that they have created artworks worth a living wage. Second, the artist is outstandingly clever because they are putting themselves out there, barring their innermost creativity, for the world to see, and they do not give up – they make themselves successful. Brave souls all.

As an example, Frank P. Devine is an artist on the website. He works in two mediums – carving wood and painting. He mentions at the beginning of his article that he has always been an artist. At the beginning of his career, he designed and painted cars during the day, and worked on his fine art at night. You sometimes have to take another job for a time while you build your own business. Getting an artistic job was an outstandingly clever move on his part.

Another artist on the website is Robin Beaman. Robin had one career on the stage in New York City. When she felt she was done with that, she went to Los Angeles and started almost a second career acting in television shows and on the stage. Now she says:

“So now I’ve taken to helping with art others produce. I still keep my creative hand in by writing now and then (mainly short stories and blogs), but I’ve found that I especially enjoy helping others polish up their written work by proofreading and editing in order to make their works shine as the bright gems they are.

“Because of my reading knowledge, I find myself getting engrossed and involved with the story I’m editing, so that when I edit something, it isn’t just a ‘job’; it’s because I’m interested and wish this story to succeed.   I mean, with the teamwork that develops between us, I can see this story really take off. It starts to live and breathe for me and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next. It is important to me that the author’s story is the best it can possibly be.”

There is plenty of great information and advice from outstandingly clever artists on the indie artists website.   And some great art to view!

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Adroit Use of Art

adroit artists at Indie Artists ClubIn order to understand and appreciate art (or even to create art, for that matter) you must understand one thing: it is a form of communication.  The artist tries to communicate to the viewer, and if it is a good work of art, the artist’s technical skills are up to a point where the viewer understands the communication.  This applies to any form of art: painting, writing, film, poetry, sculpture, jewelry making, and theater – any form of art.  Good art creates an emotional response from the viewer.  Hopefully, an inspiring response.

Adroit artists have been working since the beginning of time to communicate through their art.  Cave paintings still communicate to us today and some are exceptionally moving, such as the paintings in the caves of Lascaux in France.  Those prehistoric artists were good – very good.  View the panels as a work of art, without nit picking why one guy has a spear and one guy has a bow and arrow.  Leave that to archeologists. There are equally beautiful artworks carved into rocks in the American southwest and in Africa.  Look at them as artworks. Let the archeologists worry about religious significance of small figures of a religion they will never know and cannot find. (Maybe those artists just created art and wanted to communicate the majesty of their world.)

If you are looking for art to hang on your wall at home or hang on your ears, search for something that communicates to you.  If the earrings you find are the colors, design and style that communicate to you, those are the ones you should have.  Diamonds are always popular, but very few diamond designs are really art – people buy them to show off wealth, not because an adroit artist created one-of-a-kind handmade earrings that make you happy.  Maybe that’s all the message there is – it makes you happy.  What a great message from an artist!

The art you like does not have to match the couch.  Perhaps it will because it is the colors you like and you have already used them in your home.  But if it is something that communicates to you, it is something you should have.  If it isn’t in your budget, buy a print now, and an original when your ship comes in.  If it doesn’t match the couch, have it anyway – it will make you happy and other people will enjoy it for many years. If an artwork “speaks” to you, don’t pass it by.

There are a few artists who try to create artworks that offend.  There are others who try to create art in a way that nobody but a “select few” can understand (and those “select few” are faking it).  Most artists want to communicate good things or exciting things and they want to make their viewers happy or excited.  The best artists want the viewer to contribute to the artwork.  The emotional response can be the contribution, or as another example, the artist may paint only a minimum and ask the viewer’s eye to fill in the rest.  Chinese brushwork art often uses this technique.  The painting itself is a few masses and a few lines, but the viewer can put them together to see a delightful scene or animal or whatever the artist has painted. Some of these paintings are the most beautiful artworks.

At one time the Catholic Church was the major patron of artists, and since artists wanted to eat, they created religious art.  But they certainly took creative liberties, and much of the art from this period (Renaissance) is incredibly inspiring even if you are not a Christian.

The Indie Artists Club is a group of adroit artists who have the skills, most from years of practice, the allow them to create art that communicates.  You can find them right here at Indie Artists Club. Browse the art. Enjoy the prints and paintings and jewelry and photographs and carvings.  As more artists join, there will be new forms of art. It will continue to expand, so browse often to see new faces and art.

Artists are grateful that many people want to hang paintings over the couch.  Artists wish to make a living, too.  But do not settle for something that matches the curtains, just because it matches the curtains.  Find an artwork that “speaks” to you and hang that over the couch.  You will enjoy it.  Most artists try to raise your spirits and painting by painting inspire a happier world.  You can help, too, by displaying art.