I had a fantastic week away recently with my son and while away we visited a couple of art museums. There was an 'interesting' selection of art on display, and with neither me or my son being art experts I'm afraid we were heard to utter several times "how can that be considered art?" Such Philistines!
But there were a couple of pieces of art which caught my attention for different reasons. Firstly, I saw this painting by Thomas Eakins, entitled Mrs Mary Arthur an dated 1900.
And here is the accompanying description of the painting.
It amused me that Mrs Arthur was described as being "absorbed in an old-fashioned manual task". I can't quite decide what that "old-fashioned task" might be. At first I thought she was crocheting but she looks to have a long hook/needle in her hand. Is she maybe tatting? I really don't know, but I was slightly put out that whatever she was doing was considered 'old-fashioned'. I can only hope that the description of the painting was written some years ago and pre-dated the current revival of knitting and crocheting.
The next piece of art that caught my eye was this. It was hung in the Museum of Modern Art, although I'm afraid I failed to make a note of the artist or the title of the piece. Personally I don't particularly like the piece; I think the colours are drab.
I'm sorry too that the photo isn't of better quality - by this time I was hurrying after my son who was only really interested now in the most popular pieces of art on display.
But, the above piece is approximately 5 feet square and comprises strips of material sewn together. My first thought was "it's a quilt!". And sure enough when I read the description it said that the artist was inspired to make this piece after watching his mother sew quilts when he was child.
So, my first thought was "when does a piece of 'craft' become 'art'?
But then I realised that I found the description of this piece very heartening.
Clearly this suggests that for all of us who knit, crochet, sew etc - each article we make is a piece of art!
I never considered myself an artist before!
So what will your next piece of art be?