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You say Matisse and I say Tomato...
March 12, 2008 - Emily Dimov-Gottshall
Last night, I went to the Art in Common meeting at the Altoona Public Library. It was very well attended (about 40 or so people mingling around) and a variety of ages and interests, which is key to a successful art group, really. My face wasn't the only new person there and I had an enjoyable time chatting with some people I'd met earlier at other events. I must say, attending a "meet the artist" was a delight as I could hear their own thoughts on their work, and get a feel for where the work was coming from in terms of location, thought, and perspectives. Certainly, there is the view that art should speak for itself and I agree with this for the most part. One person said: "If you could describe it with words, you wouldn't need to paint it!" A number of artists felt this way and I enjoyed the chance to let the paintings do the talking.
Some artists felt differently about this perspective and gave detailed outlines of the history of the painting, what it meant, why something was like this, and so on. There is room for all perspectives and I enjoyed the variety.
Being in the group, I had one of my paintings up. The material used is actually a found/discarded headboard for a bed. My husband, Jon, found it on a walk and brought it home for me. He knows I love working with objects that might just get tossed. After I cleaned it up, I primed the surface and began painting a study of orchids on it. I added the hardware to make it hang on a wall. I admit I was so nervous in speaking in front of everyone but it all went well. That's another aspect I enjoy, sharing our work with each other. After I finished speaking, someone spoke up and said, "If I said Matisse, what would you say?" I was surprised by this and said, "Uh...good!" What I should have said was Tomato. As in, "You say Tomato, I say Tomahto". I think it would have gone well with the "Dadaist" commentary...
Artists and public viewing art