The Reluctant Artist: Some of My Recent Work

"Royal Beetle" by Emily Weerts, 2010; acrylic on canvas, 6"x6"

I don’t like to make a strict distinction between art and craft.  I feel like it sells craft short – making it less than, or at least different from, art.  I’d hate to have to define art, but I’m pretty sure that most definitions for art would also suitably define craft.  I also have a proclivity for art in practical forms.  Although we have an increasing collection of framed art on our walls, I’m always drawn to everyday items that reflect an artistic sensibility. I love the playful home design of Koziol and Kikkerland.  I would be thrilled if many of the items sold at DWR were actually within my reach.  Good looking design and art, however, should not only belong to those who can afford to spend a small fortune on it.

"Gentle Giant" by Emily Weerts, 2010; glass beeds and silicone, 5"x7"

"Gentle Giant" by Emily Weerts, 2010; glass beads and silicone, 5"x7"

It is for these, and many other reasons, that I sometimes find myself creating what can only be considered visual art.  I’m reluctant to call myself an artist – not because it feels too pretentious, but because I don’t consider myself accomplished enough.  I’m much more comfortable being a crafter, a maker, or a tinkerer (titles that I all think should carry as much prestige as the Artist label).  Nevertheless, somehow I ended up being asked by Arthouse to contribute a piece to their recent FIVE by SEVEN art show and sale.  I decided to use materials I had around the house, and was inspired to work with glass beads and silicone to create “Gentle Giant”.  I’m not sure I’d work with the same materials in the future, as it was tedious, especially making sure all the beads were laying upright (except of course, for the suckers on the tentacles).  I did want to submit a piece that showed lots of care and work, as I knew it would be sold for $100 (all work at the 5×7 show is displayed anonymously and sold for $100).  Apparently, my work sold!  All proceeds go to Arthouse, which is a great resource to artists and art appreciators in Texas, so I couldn’t be happier!

Because I’m about to be working longer hours, I wanted to finish up a few pending projects.  Among them was a canvas I have from Six by Six Gallery in New York City.  Artists interested in submitting work can order a kit from the gallery and send back the finished work.  The art then goes on display at the gallery and online, and, if the artist gets lucky, it gets sold to an appreciative buyer.  I’ll be mailing in my piece, “Royal Beetle”, this week.  I used acrylics, including an iridescent gold, to paint the beetle.  I’m happy with how it came out, and especially like how the gold outline makes it pop against the purple background.

I’m generally happy with how both pieces turned out, and am encouraged to make more art (even if it’s “just” art, and not practical).

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