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A Woman On The Verge

thoughts and musings of my mind

Month

September 2011

Being an artist…..

Who is an artist?

Is it a generational thing that causes people to say “You aren’t an artist, you aren’t making a living at it.”  Or is just a preconceived notion about what an artist is?

According to the dictionary an artist is a noun and consists of the following definitions:

A person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby

A person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker

A person skilled at a particular task or occupation
– a surgeon who is an artist with the scalpel
A performer, such as a singer, actor, or dancer
A habitual practitioner of a specified reprehensible activity
– a con artist
– rip-off artists

Wikipedia has an entire page dedicated to defining an artist: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artist

I think Americans get hung up on the fact that artists don’t work ‘a regular job’ it completely goes against our puritanically driven culture and mores.  The Cambridge dictionary defines puritanical as:

Believing or involving the belief that self-control and hard work are important and that pleasure is wrong or unnecessary

This belief is completely embedded in the American culture.  It is why there are so many stressed out workaholics in the US.  In most corporations we have 2-4 weeks of vacation, people who want to succeed are anticipated to work more than 40 hours a week, you have to fit in to a defined set of rules, and lunch is at the most an hour a day.  In Europe they have much more vacation, lunch is longer than an hour usually, and while they work hard, they also play hard to balance their lives.

So getting back to being an artist in the US-based on this idea that one must work hard to succeed it leads one to believe that if a person is not engaged in making art and making a living from art at least 40 hours a week and producing works from this time that this person so is not truly an artist perhaps? Is this person just pursuing something that is pleasurable and is that wrong?

I grew up around artists, my grandmothers were both artists.  Our parents made sure we did something musical, I sang, attempted playing the trumpet and learned how to play the acoustic guitar.  I was also involved in theatre.  My father who is a chef could be considered an artist, you should watch him cook and stay away from his grill. My oldest sister is an artist, she is one who works hard to actually make a living at her art.

A few years ago I attended a discussion on the Creative Class and its influence on modern culture.  This idea of a Creative Class is far more encompassing than just someone who paints, sculpts, sings, acts, etc….The creative class is a considered a socioeconomic group which has an impact on our society in this post industrial era.  Richard Florida has written extensively on the Creative Class and its rise  in today’s society.  Based on his definition I feel extremely comfortable calling myself part of the creative class, but am I an artist?  I create things using a fabric medium, but I don’t make a living at it yet and probably never will.  There are people in today’s society who say you are an artist only if you actually succeed at making a living. But really Who is an artist?

Equal rights for all……..

John 8:1-11

New International Version (NIV)

 

1 but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

 “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

I usually keep my political opinions to myself because I don’t really feel the desire to debate or discuss why I feel a certain way. For the record, I am a fairly conservative Christian who has very specific beliefs about things, but I know I can’t force my beliefs on another person, it is also not my job to condemn someone for their beliefs or actions I feel I am there to be a friend if they choose that and if in the future they want to explore my lifestyle I will share it with them.

Currently, I am so ashamed of my state senators.  They have decided to write a law banning gay marriages, okay that is fine they have that right, even though I disagree with it, I know I won’t be voting to approve it.  They have also been going around the state discussing the merits of a law defining marriage and said some really nasty things about Homosexuals, some towns in North Carolina, and just basically spreading hate.  So, let’s not be spewing hate and misinformation and saying that god condemns people who have made the choice to live this lifestyle openly.  I was pretty sure that this was 21st century not the 19th century.  I honestly can not see why law makers can’t see this as a legal issue and look at the financial benefits of a law that allows gay marriage, if they are having to file for a marriage certificate then they would also have to file for a divorce or separation if they find that the union doesn’t work out after all, gosh much like Heterosexual marriages.

The comments made by certain politicians remind me of a couple of stories in the Bible and what Jesus said to them.

http://www.gastongazette.com/news/group-60897-meeting-week.html

http://www.gastongazette.com/news/marriage-60714-senate-gaston.html

http://www.gastongazette.com/news/marriage-60684-state-one.html

At least one local politician sees the light

http://www.gastongazette.com/articles/manners-60850-better-mayor.html

I say get the government out of legislating our Morality and allow the church to do that.

Who would you cast?

Here is the plan.  Pick your favorite novel and share who you would cast.

Me? I love Persuasion by Jane Austen.  I came late to reading Jane Austen, I don’t know why I think I was just busy with a lot of other books, and there are so many books and so little time to read them all. I actually ended up reading her books in order, AFTER I read Pride and Prejudice, so Persuasion was the last book I read of hers. I read her books regularly now, but this is by far my favorite, since I have read it so many times I have actually imagined a cast of actors to play the parts.   So here is my casting for a stage play or a film production

It would be directed by Kenneth Branagh

Sir Walter Elliot – Derek Jacobi
Elizabeth  Elliot – Samantha Bond
Anne Elliot – Kate Winslet
William Elliot – Michael Greco
Lady Russell – Dame Judi Dench
Mrs. Clay – Anna Chancellor
Mr Shepard – Alan Cumming
Admiral Croft – Richard Brier
Mrs. Croft – Helen Mirren
Captain Wentworth – Matthew Goode
Charles Musgrove – Laurence Fox
Mary Musgrove – Christina Cole
Mr. Musgrove – Kenneth Branagh
Mrs. Musgrove – Patricia Routledge
Henrietta Musgrove – Lucy Punch
Louisa Musgrove – Emma Watson
Charles Hayter – Joseph Fiennes
Captain Harville – Hugh Grant
Mrs. Harville – Lucy Scott
Captain Benwick – Dominic Monaghan
Lady Dalrymple – Diana Rigg
Miss Cartaret – Helena Bohnam Carter
Mrs. Smith – Toni Colette

By the way I really need a new copy of Persuasion, pages are starting to fall out of mine.

So I bought a new camera lens recently.  I have never used a 200mm lens before and today I took it out for a test run.  Let me know what you think.

Top of the fountain

Rooftop Shot

The Commercial Building

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