THE CHALLENGE: Well, if I'd have known what a challenging painting this was going to be, I would certainly have not done it on the same day I had a scheduled board meeting and then a meeting with the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts regarding the State budget and grants for art orgs... Perhaps this is needless to say, but, I was up until 1 in the morning painting this sucker... So I'm feeling a bit burnt... :) One of the wonderful things about art is that it forces me to slow down and really looook at things... And that is great. It's just that this camera has ALOT to look at, and consequently paint, and it turns out a whole lot more than I realized.
THE CAMERA: I've always LOVED the look of this classic camera - Made by a German company called Rolleiflex - it was their long running line of medium format twin lens reflex cameras... (no I did not know that. I just looked it up on Wikipedia.) But, I have known of these cameras and just exactly how freaking cool looking they are. They are so cool, James Dean is famously known to have owned and used one... So, I've been thinking of painting a Rolleiflex for awhile. For no other reason than it is the animal that seemed most likely to hang out on a Rolleiflex, I perched a tree frog on it. :)
THE JOY- Why a subtitle -"In defense of Joy"? Not that I feel I need to defend my art. I don't. But, I read something yesterday, someone's opinion of what they thought 'real' art is... In a nutshell, to this person, real art should make the viewer uncomfortable... and 'real' art is definitely NOT about Joy. There was a lot more said, a lot of it quite mean.. And so, I feel I need to give a shout out to Joy and Joyful art...
In defense of joy because... I believe that creating art with the sole intention of making people smile is just as necessary as creating art that makes you uncomfortable... I know that political art.. art that speaks about global issues.. art that hopes to bring attention to the wrongs of the world.. that kind of art is absolutely important. For obvious reasons.
But I have come to learn that not all art (my art for instance) is cut from that cloth. Joyful artwork is the counterbalance to that kind of art.
Joyful art is the counterbalance to the everyday, mundane yet tragic quantities that make up the moments our lives. There is not one among us who is not touched with some kind of hardship, this is true... And there is not one among us who's hardships are not valid and real.
I know and acknowledge the suffering of the world. I know it is there. And I know that there is work to be done to change the injustices of the world. What I have found to be the truest of truths... the most beautiful way that I personally can respond to this.. this enduring fact of the suffering that is life... is to create art that will bring a spark of joy into that mundane tragedy, to do my part to counterbalance the suffering.... if even for only a second.
With that defense and explanation, I present "Frogtography". And, I hope it finds your heart and I hope it makes you smile.