pretty cool, Nard
art = "Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature". "The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty; specifically, the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium."
Just a start (The American Heritage Dictionay.)
Apparently, art does suffer a definition.
...pertaining to Mr. Bradbury: The man behind the art...
Many names can be given Ray. One is .. ''helper in the arts''. Ray has been given that ability to help a wide variety of people in their pursuit of dreams by the very nature of this intrinsic quality that is found in his 'art.' It is a quality that provokes the reader to do everything from change something subtle inside of one's life, to an all out, ''blast -away at all the concrete'' thru a fanaticism of action. It's not magic. It's real.
Tho I may have become a Christian thru discovering this vibrant man, I cannot point a finger at him because his faith is different, or that he is turns out human after all. Myself, I've failed greatly in not cherishing and holding each hour valuable where his "art" went out, into my life, and I dragged along the 'fire' that was burning inside me without fanning the flame with its call. Such burning leaves a scar otherwise. For me it was God calling to get off my sin seat and get something done.
Now, does YOUR art do that for you?
I'd say 'art' MUST do something along the lines of wanting to make us a better person. We may not explain all the mechanics of how all this comes about. Sort of why does someone love someone else? Scientists may want to show us how it all works, with illustrations of chemicals and DNA and certain other forms of 'oook'.
But life is much more vibrant. There are 'avenues' invisible except thru the heart, that were made into a visible 'art' expression, these invisible places, so that we can enjoy them privately, and collectively.
A thousand THANKS, Ray!
Well, pabillsman1, Ray has worked as a teacher, and I've known some good ones myself! It's certainly something I couldn't do!
what about unconsciously produced works of art? I would have to disagree with the dictionary - despite being broad, it is not broad enough (and if it was any broader, it would have to be a fancy sentence describing something of the form ""a" = everything, "not a" = nothing, and art = "a and not a"").
Just giving you a bit of a rub, there, Translator. For over 2,000 years, philosophers have been trying to figure out what art and beauty are. It's not likely to be resolved in some conclusive manner here. Nevertheless, the discussion has merit and it's worth looking at what it means. As Socrates so powerfully showed: even if we can't finally reach a conclusion, we have learned and we have discovered what will not stand up to reason. That's progress.
Gotta side with Mr. Longfellow and "The Builders" on this one:
In the elder days of Art,
��Builders wrought with greatest care
Each minute and unseen part;
��For the Gods see everywhere.
I'm obsessive-compulsive and that's how I do EVERYTHING--including details which won't show anyway on things which few, if any, people will ever see! I'll knock myself silly renovating part of a building, a room, or a piece of furniture that a real craftsman could do MUCH BETTER in a fraction of the time--which I suppose is EXACTLY why this question bothers me! I just HATE to think of putting the time and trouble I do into a story and then have it NOT be art! I'll never forget how critical a friend (who did know his subject) was of my photography and how I NEVER made an attempt to be a serious photographer since. It either turns out or it doesn't, tra-la, too bloody bad! This was over 15 years ago and the man has passed away since, which just goes to give an indication as to the way I take things.
Yet, as far as writing goes, it would be so nice just to KNOW it's well-done enough to entertain, or the best I could possibly do under the circumstances--which, I suppose, goes far to explain why I spend so much time and energy on message boards--because I have fun writing the posts and people read them--whereas with "serious" work such as a short story or novel, I'm afraid people will drop one of two ten-ton weights on it: either TOO DAMN ARTSY, NO ONE WILL READ IT, or, TOO LIGHTWEIGHT, NOT ART, and either way it's crushed and I'm s�rewed. Now, how's that for an excuse to avoid writing? So now, looking for some kind of justification NOT to avoid it, I ask questions like this!
Dandelion, on a similar note, when in college I took a Modern American S.S. course offered by a professor who, along with her husband, had collected and published two volumes of stories (1800>1900>1960's). A final assignment was given to either analyze and compare 3 or 4 stories (from their collected works) OR write an original short story.
Of the 30 or so in the class, I was the only student who dared to bare his soul, so to speak (RE: dandy's comments on her photos)! The assignment, I still recall, took a couple of weeks of involved and intense work. I remember writing, re-writing, crossing out, tearing up, writing again, and finally thinking I had done something -not great- but at least imaginative and personal.
When the papers were returned, I was floored to see a C+ as my grade. It was not so much that I thought I was some innovated young author, hardly! I have long been a realist is conscious life. It was more that I had been the only person who tried to do something original. Since the teacher was a s.s. "expert," I thought I would at least get some support for my efforts. Something in the form of personal suggestions or a "Nice try! I am pleased you did this.", equating to at least a B! It was obvious, even as I think back these many years, that I had put much work and thought into the writing.
Instead, both she and her husband had read the story (he taught at a nearby college), and had offered written criticisms as if I had sent my work into a publishing house.
The red remarks, though not as plentiful as the 6 or 7 typed pages I had produced, were all I got for feedback. I did speak with her briefly after class and was informed that I could meet at another time to discuss the numerous corrections needed and as brought to my attention throughout the work. I sensed more of the same would be sent my way, and I let it drop right there. They were the specialists and I the neophyte. (The plethora of A's and B's received by everyone else made me ponder why I had ventured into such uncharted waters!)
That being said, I found the paper a number of years later, now long gone, and read it over. Granted, it was not some great piece of literature; however, it was not that bad for a jr. in college who was attempting to do something no one else had dared. I often wondered why they had so critically slashed the paper rather than viewed it as a bit of motivation by a student who was seriously interested in the course work and the experience of writing.
I try to remain aware of a student's initiative when something is approached a bit differently. He or she may not be the next Poe, Bradbury, London, Jackson, Hawthorne, Hemingway, or O'Henry. Who is? At least they have "...chosen a road less travelled. Sometimes it does make all the difference!" RF
I write in many fields now, but for a long time it was a creative form I avoided, influenced by that experience. Strange but true! Therefore, it is especially rewarding when a former student writes or pays a visit to reveal that English or Journalism is the course of study he/she has chosen!
[This message has been edited by fjpalumbo (edited 10-28-2004).]
It's really sad to hear that criticism is often applied only in a negative way that does not encourage you to develop your creativity any further. But there are also ways of criticism that can inspire you and improve your creative results.
A couple of years ago, I took a course in essay writing (in English) at University, and the first assignment our teacher gave us was to write a literary essay. It had to be about spiders and it had to be fictional, but with a grain of truth in it (e.g. from our own experience).
Then, we had to hand our stories in and in the next session they were randomly distributed among the other participants, so that each one had the text of a fellow student in front of him. (As these all were printed manuscripts, this happend in an anonymous way.) The next task was to write down what we thought was good and what we thought needed improvement in the text we got.
It was really a nice experience: It was fun to write it, we all got constructive tips/ideas for improvement, and we all were happy to get some positive feedback on small details or well-written phrases one came up with! -- or, to say it in RF's words, it was nice to know there were others discovering those "tufts of flowers" you left for them to enjoy...
fjpalumbo--I always hated C pluses even more than a plain old C. The plus makes it seem like they were trying to pacify somehow. But I think what happened to you happened for a reason, much as it hurt at the time. It has made you into a better teacher because now you are more conscious of the impact something like that can have on a student who is just reaching out, trying his wings, experimenting, testing, etc. The way you were smacked down has stuck with you all these years, and now you will never be that kind of teacher. Instead, you have become the kind of teacher who encourages innovative thought and approaches. Keep up the good work!
"C Plus? C PLUS! Somehow my mother must have gotten to Miss Shields! (You'll shoot your eye out, you'll shoot your eye out!)"
How seasonally appropriate! I hope TBS runs "A Christmas Story" all day on Thanksgiving again--I like to cook with it in the background, and it's comforting to know it's there when I take one of my numerous breaks.
Imsk: You are right! It did. I remember more fondly, however, all of those teachers who criticized, corrected, challenged and then showed an interest in setting me off along some path again. So many who had an influence and are now a part of my teaching style. Including Mr. B's writings.
As for Christmas Story, please.....keep your warm tongues away from those cold metal surfaces!!!!
Of course, my sisters and I got the biggest kick out of the teacher being named Miss Shields! Definitely a relative--no question!
One of the best print ads I've ever seen showed a woman on a mountain bike, riding. The text was something like this: "What do you want to do in life? What is it that would leave you satisfied? Just do it."
Yes, it's just an ad, but it inspired me to do a couple of good things with my life I might never have done otherwise.
Sometimes, writing is like taking aluminum foil, wadding it, and at the same time, trying to determine the depth and direction of crumple. Sometimes, the act has a life of its own.
Dandelion, you said you'd hate for your writing not to be art--yet, if it fulfills you, pleases you, makes you happy, I'd say art is exactly what you created. Critics abound; trust your own intuition and judgement. Like Sir Winston Churchill said, never give up. Breathe the written word at every opportunity.
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