What is Art? A three word question that for centuries has been bantered about by philosophers. Philosophers who freely offer their theories to profound questions in life. Plato and Aristotle (a student of Plato answered art as the natural love of imitation). Personally I think emotions throughout our lives factor into the equations of logically answering the abstract question of what is art. Perhaps it should be answered what art means to you.
"The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."
|(Angel ornamentation... Vintage book cover)|
Now I am not a Philosopher but I do consider myself an artist. My belief of what is art is simply answered as my belief that art appeals to our senses through emotions and resonates in our heart. This post will be a departure from my normal format, although I will leave you as I always do with my poetry truly written from my heart.
Instead today I will show you some art I collect and engage in dialog with the artist and in between weave like a tapestry famous quotes from artists into this post. The artist featured is Doré Callaway of Burlap Luxe. Over the past few years I've been collecting her art and I thought this would be an interesting post reflecting on her emotional feelings creating art. Doré Callaway is the blogger who inspired me to venture into blogging and has become an intriguing gifted and valued friend. I will show Papier Mâché which means chewed paper in French that I collect from Doré. I also own other art pieces created by Doré but in this post my concentration will only be on Cartapesta (Papier mâché) as the medium. I find her art fascinating and soulfully rewarding and in its presence very thought provoking. All my photographs are taken inside our row-home to show you how we live with her art and how it is displayed.
"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place, from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spiders web."
(Papier Mâché, Ephemera Angel Wings)
As a dialog starts, questions are asked and answers freely given.
Vera: To you Doré what is art?
Dore: You know Vera art is a strange word and it's all in how you interrupt it, taking something from nothing and turning it into a strong message. something that makes you stop and take a moment to think about it, testing its mood against yours, this is art to me. It is the mood within you that transforms it into something that speaks to you. Art has a language of its own and I am so connected to that language. Art's an emotional connection to having no boundaries in creating, what moves me are the materials I share with the pieces I am creating,
Vera: Dorè what is your best childhood memory that has guided you throughout your life?
Doré: I'm not sure I could commit to a good childhood memory that has guided me throughout life ... Yet sometimes sad events seem to build the artist person in you. When I was 14 my Father passed away, it was a tender age of loss and loneliness. All I could play over and over in my head was how my Father play acted out studio productions with me. I guess that may be the reason tiny theatre's play a big role in the drama I create with them. Having the time with my Dad allowed me to use my creative thoughts in holding tight to an imagination to create and a place to rest my heart on.
|(This is a French theatre I purchased from Doré, the presentation I set up is my Springtime ballet).|
Vera: Tell me about your papier mâché art.
Doré: I use natural and recycled materials as in your pieces of Cartapesta (Papier Mâché). My altered artistic identity allows me to create from my imagination in soulful
"Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known"
Vera: If you create with music what type of music do you listen to and at what volume level?
I do create with music and for me it's a big form of art in itself. How it moves you and how it bends your mind in the direction of movement with art. I have a wide range of listening, it all depends on the pieces I'm creating in the mood of the music I choose.
If it's an interesting direction I am heading in with creating you can be sure the MUSIC is being played LOUD enough for the neighbors to enjoy it as well. Anything from movie soundtracks, old Motown to classical.
|(Cross, soulfully embellished and hangs on our bedroom wall)|
Dore: Tattered fibers add emotion and strength in the message one may see in the pieces I create. In hopes that the new caretaker of my pieces find comfort and beauty in their story.
"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art."
~Leonardo da Vinci~
|(Creole Home, Angel Altar, shrine - French Quarters, New Orleans. Ephemera signed and one of a kind)|
Doré: I live in the light and dark of my art where my soul is deepened with creative emotions. I work so intensely in many mediums finding myself with a deep connection to each piece. So much so, I have an emotional weeping attachment upon its completion; "it's who I am as an artist."
"The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery."
|Upstairs in our sitting/reading room (Religious statue crown, as with all of Doré's Papier Mâché each is one of a kind).|
Vera: Who are your three favorite artists - dead or living and why?
Doré: Pierre Augusto Renoir ; because his French art had its place in copied posters framed adding the right mood to the designs of my first apartment at age 18. (Chrysanthemums) (The Umbrellas) (La loge)
Claire Guiral : a.k.a Miss Clara, never having owned any of her pieces I am just enamored with the story she creates, it's purely magical and has no age limits to who her audience is ... Plus what I wouldn't give to live in her French art studio home in France, what artist wouldn't?
Elise Valdorcia: Cartapesta French artist sculpture/interior decorator. I would have to say Elise is someone I connect to as an artist and myself being an interior designer estate model homes, as well as commercial designs. I so get her mood and vibe.
|(Spiritual Angel altar. Mixed medium with Papier Mâché) on the mantel in the sitting/reading room.|
Vera: What do you do in your free time?
Doré: I don't have much free time, yet I do find time to hunt for salvage, thrift and flea market. The most interesting pieces can be found on a hunt at a reasonable tag price that you don't mind tearing it apart for a new art project. Making time for art is as free time as it gets.
|(Guignol puppet Theatre. vintage ephemera, vintage mixed mediums, one of a kind)|
Doré: The creator in me listens to each piece telling me what it wants to become and when it is completed.
"In art as in love, instinct is enough".
Vera: What experience have you felt through creating that has left you with a profound feeling?
Doré: The Art of living with purpose, a connection to life around me noticing everything in itself is art. Listening to each creative piece in what it wants to become. I often think quietly saying to myself if I were my own art piece this is what I would want to be.
|(A little Papier Mâché bird tucked into my Christmas gift box from Doré of beautiful linen cocktail napkins this past Christmas.)|
The bird sits upon a bookcase shelf in the guestroom, the ephemera from an old book holds a very special meaning for me. Indeed art moves, inspires and awakens deep emotions inside our souls ... I hope with this post I have evoked emotions in you and you will comment as to your own feelings of what is art, for I realize it is a very personal thing.
Vera: Do you think it more important to touch people through your art or though your choice of expression?
Doré: To not sound selfish I create for myself with a profound connection to the smallest of details where the end results nudge to be noticed by others. It's then that I hope my art finds its right fit in the hands and homes of interest and intrigue. That my pieces in some little way moves someone with their own emotional connection.
Vera: Well my friend any parting words?
Doré: Art imitates life.
"Art doesn't transform, it just plain forms."
Thank you Doré for answering my questions in this post "What is Art".
I deeply admire Doré's creative expression in her soulful art for it certainly moves me emotionally. I consider myself fortunate to call Doré my friend.
When thinking about my writing of this post I questioned myself about what is art... John and I live surrounded with artful collections, centuries old Buddha's, artifacts, hand carved African stools... Some my own artwork, a mix, all placed casually, bringing charm and warmth as we are blessed to live with in this old row-home embraced by art. I encourage you to check out Doré's art. It is affordable and oftentimes Nordic and French in nature which I mix into our rustic textural home as it graces our lives with its everyday presence. Art should never be unapproachable, it is meant to resonate in your soul and reside with appreciation in your home, be it a grand or small dwelling.
Below are the poetic words that flooded my head and what inspired this post. Hope you have enjoyed a departure from my normal blogging and I'll see you in a couple weeks with hopefully a reveal of some remodeling occurring in our old Philly Row-home.
Art is sometimes hauntingly lingering, it can also be confrontational and thought provoking and oftentimes even soulfully divine.
I admire artists who's artwork reflects their deep rooted beliefs and individually reaching as defined through their own unique design.
For even the most beautiful rose on the vine gathered for a bouquet in admiration has thorns that can surprise by a quick pricking sensation.
Emotionally heartfelt art can nurture and heal, but art can also shock and anger while inviting an important dialog in meaningful conversation.
In our acceptance of another's expression, a foundation built in inspirational value and understanding is your emotional reward from art.
Beauty depicted and expressed through the chosen medium of the true artists mind and always meant to be felt in your heart.
Admiration, appreciation and collecting art should develop over one's lifetime and this truly is entirely my belief...
In a world seemingly filled with copycats I say individualism with a uniquely personal style is certainly a welcome relief!
All photos taken by me and are from my collection of papier mâché art created by Doré Callaway.