Friday, December 06, 2013

Happy little trees

Who remembers this fellow?  Bob Ross was an artist who did a PBS show in the 1980's and 1990's - The Joy of Painting.  He was much parodied (even self-parodied) for painting "happy little trees" and painting in "your world,"  but there was real artistry here.
And not just in the finished paintings.  There was artistry in his technique, and in his selection of tools and media.  There was mastery behind his eyes and artistry in his manner of talking about what he was doing.  There was artistry in the filming of his processes.  So, in the case of Bob Ross's work, what was the artifact - the finished paintings or the film recording of him doing his thing?  Was he a painter or was he a movement/spoken-word artist?  Who was his audience - his own soul or the TV audience or whoever ended up with the finished paintings?
Artists create artifacts, right? Painters create paintings, dancers create dances...  Some folks say that without producing an artifact for an audience -without that communication between artist and audience - there is no art.  Some of the artifacts are consumed instantly by the audience (e.g. dances, sushi) and some are more durable (e.g. bronzes), but pretty much all artists produce artifacts for an audience.
So, in the martial arts, it's easy to figure out who is the artist, but what is the medium?  What is the artifact?  Who is the audience?

Want to discuss this blog post?
Come find me on Facebook at my Mokuren Dojo FB group

Patrick Parker

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...