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Barbara St Jean

3 Years Ago

What Is Story Art?

What is Story Art?

To me Story Art is a piece of art that visually tells a story. It's not about style, technique, talent, medium (media). It's about interpretations of what constitutes a piece of art to be deemed "story art".

For a bit of background... and the reason why I'm asking for your opinions on "what is and what is not story art"... is that I am currently hosting a contest for Story Art and I also admin a group for the same type of art. The Criteria on both clearly says... the image must tell a story.... here is my dilemma, I have had to delete or reject a large amount of images from the contest/group for not meeting the criteria. Yes it is true, the decision to delete or not to delete in the end, is solely mine to make and I take responsibility for doing so.

To me a flower does not tell a story, nor does obscure abstracts.... Animals are cute and lovely to look at but unless something unusual is happening in the image I don't see a story in an image of a bird in a tree or splashing in a pond. Same as portraits, the person in the image might have an amazing story attached to their likeness but an image of a face doesn't not offer me that story.. it's a portrait... Like I said before this has nothing to do with talent of the artist... because 99 percent of the images I delete or reject are really good, they just don't tell a story, in my opinion. and the other 1% is because of quality issues...ie really bad crop or blur that obstructs the image being viewed.

Everyone is free to argue the subjective nature of art interpretations and my decisions but rarely do I get asked why I deleted their image, but I know I have upset some people in the process.

I would love a place where I could point people too that has other' people's opinions. Like this thread.

So if you wouldn't mind, could you please share your opinions on "What is Story Art?" I'd like to have a good conversion and discuss this topic. The only thing I ask is please don't bring your interpretation of talent in to this discussion because that is not what this is about, it's all about an image that tells a visual story and what that means to you.

Thanks in advance for your participation. I will follow the discussion closely but will only step in if I have too because this is not about me and my interpretations, I am looking for your opinions and interpretations. Please don't post images into this thread....

Cheers, Barbara





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Kelley Lee McDonald

3 Years Ago

Dear Barbara, I think you made yourself perfectly clear just now. I have nothing to add. :-)

 

Sydne Archambault

3 Years Ago

I happen to love story art. For me it is way to bring in the viewer into the piece. I think story art should provoke an interpretation from the viewer. I ran into an awesome artist here, Alan Lakin who in his painting, "Central Park Early Spring" I feel is a good example as to my interpretation of story art. I won't post the image, although I wish I could, but will post the link. http://fineartamerica.com/featured/central-park-early-spring-alan-lakin.html
I see people rushing to work, vendors setting up their business's, a father rushing his reluctant son along. A woman running late as she is looks at her watch. She and her daughter are not walking but running. It appears it had rained earlier by the reflections on the sidewalk. What is happening as I look at this work I begin to build a story in my imagination, I feel the "immediate" in the action in the painting. Whats more I can relate to it. I might even decide it is a Monday morning.

Now this is my idea of story art, I can only define it as, I see a story and I can feel the story.....Alan may not have intended it to be "story art", but I could see it.

 

Tony Murray

3 Years Ago

Any art done or shown above the first floor of a high rise.

 

Sydne Archambault

3 Years Ago

Very observant of you Tony.

 

Among my fav story artists are Bob Orsillo, and Omar Hafidi. Back later with links.

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/i-will-love-you-bob-orsillo.html
Can I post the image here? How else to discuss Art!

 

Peggy Collins

3 Years Ago

To me story art means something is happening, has happened, or is about to happen.

But I guess I don't really know because as it turns out, my submission to the contest has been deleted! The joke's on me!!

 

Sydne Archambault

3 Years Ago

I like that Peggy.

 

Barbara St Jean

3 Years Ago

I'm sorry Peggy, I don't want anyone to feel bad and that's why this discussion is so important. and Please don't let the deletions of your images stop you from participating try submitting something else.

Thanks all and yes links to images are fine, I just ask that you explain why you chose it.

Cheers, Barbara

 

Sydne Archambault

3 Years Ago

In a sense Barbara, when I think about it, all art lends a story, but some are more obvious.

 

Without posting the image, I find it difficult to past an example for discussion !

Abbie? Your advice,please.

 

LEANNE SEYMOUR

3 Years Ago

Hi Barbara

This is a good discussion and I'm feeling it could end up becoming a rather complex one.....but that's ok. I often looked at artwork as an admin or other and have been intrigued by the potential for a story in what I'm looking at. I love artwork that does that to me, that intrigues me into wanting to know more about the subject matter and/or artist and creates in me an imaginary story that could be different experience for any other viewer. Or in other words an image that I could project my possibly own inner story onto as an example. It's sort of like the image can have the effect of opening up an internal space where there is some kind of unfolding and if the view is sensitive enough they could even see the story for what it actually is. It's as though the artwork has no beginning or ending, but is more like capturing a snapshot for something else to happen that takes one on some kind of an imaginary journey leaving the individual imagination to determine where that journey may lead or end up. And because this is such an individual experience there could be a zillion different imaginary journeys created out of the one image or artwork.

This is a bit hard for me to put into words as to what I actually experience around this subject here but hope it makes some kind of sense.

from Leanne

 

Sydne Archambault

3 Years Ago

Yes Vivian for this discussion being able to post an image would be helpful.

 

Thanks Sydne, I've also asked Abbie......and don't want to jinx the great thread!

 

Barbara St Jean

3 Years Ago

Exactly Sydne...but....what make the obvious stand out in order for the piece to be deemed Story Art?

Cheers, Barbara

btw, if anyone is looking at the contest submissions, I have not gone through the first two pages so they may or may not meet "my" interpretations... I thought I'd leave that job to the end of the day. Everything from page 3 on has been gone through.

 

Sydne Archambault

3 Years Ago

Hi Vivian, I just took a peek in Bobs gallery and yes indeed he is in my interpretation of story art, masterful.
http://fineartamerica.com/featured/poem-bob-orsillo.html
Besides being one of the best b/w photographs I have ever seen.

 

Peggy Collins

3 Years Ago

Hi Barbara, I don't feel bad at all. In fact, I can't remember which image I submitted. I'll try again (and hopefully I don't submit the same image, ha ha).

Oops, maybe I didn't submit anything afterall...I might've decided to wait awhile. Oh, whatever!

 

Michael Hoard

3 Years Ago

@Barbara, thank you for the email which brought me to this discussion. My personal interpretation of Story Art is the following. I would like everyone to take part in this exercise, as Sydne had mentioned having a visual would be helpful for this discussion but this is not necessary. I want everyone to sit, close your eyes and if you are cable of doing so, describe what it is in your mind, what do you see? When I take that one unique photo or paint I create the story prior to the actual brush stroke or clicking of the camera. When we dream, those in a sense are our Story Art, the moment you try to create that image or concept you begin the process of Story Art and create dimension, it then turns visual regardless what it may be.

A highly good example of what is story art, painting or photography would be a news reporter, we see his Story Art day in day out, in magazines, newspapers, videos, they are all Story Art? As Barbara she consider a portrait not a story but in reality it does reveal the life story of that individual. Example, a mal norshied child in a foreign country. The artist saw the image first and then snapped his photo. A newspaper reporter is summons to the inner section of a busy street corner, there was an accident, he takes the photos and reveals his side of the story. Story Art.

Another example I see day in day out, look at the master's there painting carefully, its there story thru Art. As a photographer since I can earliest remember, I held the camera in my hand at the age of 10 did I have common sense, what am I suppose to do with this box, load the film, and shoot photos. Of what, nature, a parade traveling down the street. I can only say in my own words, Story Art is the unveiling of the out of the ordinary angle, lighting, composition, through paint or film. Story Art is the concept of reality either in our dreams or real life.

Story Art can also be considered as curators around the world are discovering hidden images exposed under layers of paint, there is the story, Story Art, now why did that painter paint over and create a master piece, was it he was frustrated, did he use a borrowed canvas. Breaking news AP today has revealed to curators a hidden painted Man in one of Picasso's Paintings. The painting reveals a story a painting of a woman in the bedroom, it reveals the story of what? The finished work of a story through the eyes of the artist.


My suggestion would be create the contest, it must be a new piece of work either painting or photography, and create the story with objects arrange them to not only express the story, but also reveal the idea of the creation and the expression of that winkle on the homeless person, a scene at a funeral, create the mood and you get the expression.

And to take it even further, yes blind people can see, they see the story by sense, touch, they feel the object and in their mind create the story or meaning of. Blind people are probably the only photographers in my opinion who pick up a camera and click the shutter, They do not see the story but create Story Art. same for the blind artist. Story Art in my opinion is senses.

And most importantly the writer, the musician, the chef, the singer, the opera singer through voice creates the Story Art, the writer creates the story, the artist or the photographer creates the cover jacket, that is Story Art, the movie producer reads the manuscript or the set designer reads the playwright or script, he then in returns creates the set, it reveals the Story. The big picture is the cosmos. Story Art!

 

Patricia Strand

3 Years Ago

I love this idea for your contest, Barbara. I just submitted a few entries that I'm not sure qualify, although they were created with meaning behind them, rather than for decorative value alone. I always try to explain in the descriptions for these (but not so much for the straight decorative pieces).

I guess my question is, does story art have an obvious meaning that is clear to you while viewing it, or is it open to interpretation? I guess if mine get deleted, then this will have been a learning experience, lol. It's fine. I'm here to learn, as well.

 

Marianna Mills

3 Years Ago

Very interesting views.

For me story art mean to express a feeling or thought.
My works are mostly about telling a story, and hopefully others can "listen" and understand what I wanted to express with them.

 

Barbara St Jean

3 Years Ago

Thank you Michael, I know you have some amazing story art in your gallery as you have been featured numerous times in our group. Your input is appreciated, as is everyone else that wants to learn more, myself included.

@Patricia, don't wait for me to decide please ask the people on this thread if you are questioning your choices. I would really value other's opinions.

Cheers, Barbara

 

Joseph Juvenal

3 Years Ago

Art Prints
Well, I agree about all the things story art is NOT, but it may be harder to define what it is. Obviously, "story" is the operative word, but should it actually depict a scene or a narrative, or can it create a scene in your mind? I think it can be evocative, where it may be a girl on a hillside looking back at a house, not clearly part of a tale, but it draws feeling out of you that create images or ideas that create a story that maybe the artist never had in mind. But in my case, I like the action to be before or after the BIG action, so that the painting either makes you think of what is going to happen, or what just transpired. So there is a story and the painting is like a frame in a film strip. But that's just me.
To those who have to be removed from a contest or this group, most just want their art ANYWHERE, and are trying to squeeze them in under what the KNOW are false pretenses.

 

Sydne Archambault

3 Years Ago

Barbara asks, "but....what make the obvious stand out in order for the piece to be deemed Story Art?"

I like Michaels thought, "the unveiling of the out of the ordinary angle, lighting, composition", and then story begins to speak to the viewer.
Maybe?....great discussion Barbara!

Michael made me think of something. Let's say Michael captures a photo of a lovely yellow house, white fence, lovely flowers, tidy yard, and children playing happily in the yard. A sweet little puppy nipping at their heels. The story to the capture, the family is happy, and healthy. The house is well cared for. A nice story.

Michael goes back years later and the house is empty. The paint is chipping, the white fence is now a dirty gray and falling down. The tidy yard is now weeds. Childrens weathered bicycles lay in the yard, an old beat up car sits behind the house. The windows of the home are broken, yet in the kitchen window are curtains that look fairly new and clean.....so now the story begins....

 

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/just-before-service-omar-hafidi-.html

Most of Omar's art tells a story, as well as being unique in the telling-art. I think this exemplifies what you're getting at, hope so. I connected immediately. The imagination is stimulated to identify with the image.....there is a difference in the image that tells a story, just as you said at the start.
Good discussion. 4.30 am,lol...

Sydne, Bob Orsillo...truly the master storyteller, yes.

 

Brian Wallace

3 Years Ago

I guess to me, "story art" has something to do with viewing the art and how it affects your imagination. What you envision from the art and where it takes you in your mind is the story portion you interpret. It may not always be the "real story", or someone Else's story when they view the same image. It may not even be exactly where the artist's intended to lead you although that would be influential as well. It will be the story each individual comes up with from observing the art and how it influences that viewer's memories, imagination, interpretation, and how they tie it all together. For me, this is what makes art interesting. I imagine it could be somewhat boring if everyone got exactly the same story from an image.

The same is true when you read words formed into sentences and paragraphs. Each individual will relate to the text with their own interpretation, if it's written in a way that allows that to happen. For me, the design of how those words are put together helps define the artistic essence of the piece as a whole.

Now, as far as the direct subject matter of this thread. I've always been concerned when I enter an image in a contest when the subject is defined as "story art", because to me, almost any image I have is a "story" if I allow myself to open my mind to it. Some of course are going to be a much more interpretive or interesting story than others. At the same time, I can see the dilemma when as Barbara St. Jean describes, a picture of a flower or portrait, etc. is entered and there is not much story to relate to from those subjects.

Personally, after experiencing many contests where my images were removed and I could not find any logical reason for it after trying to follow the rules and guidelines, I become numb after a while to the frustration of it all. I have also experienced being the host of contests and seeing images entered that have nothing to do with the theme, rules, or guidelines. After ascertaining that FAA contests in general are not what I would consider "REAL" contests, I've concluded that I can be more liberal as a host since the only real reason for these contests are to help your images get more exposure. As a participant, I now pretty much expect the unexpected and if my images are deleted I simply move on. My advice is to be as clear, concise, and short as possible in the rules and after that, delete what doesn't belong in the contest and don't worry about it.

 

http://fineartamerica.com/featured/entry-vivian-anderson.html

Visitors tell me always how this tells a story. (Maybe I'll enter it,lol)

Do you think so?

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Mario Carta

3 Years Ago

Thanks Barbara for sharing that video, I must tell you I learned some thing that I can easily remember and apply to my sculptures, the 3 elements, I put it to the test with works that are completed and sure enough the ones that had all 3 elements are much more captivating than the ones that only have 1 or 2 of the stated elements. Just proves that some times things don't have to be real complicated to improve ones work.

 

One major problem with closing your eyes, and painting what you see, 30-40 percent of the population see nothing.. 60-65 percent are Visually dominant at conscious or unconscious levels. 20% have a dominant auditory system, 20% have a dominant Kin-esthetic system. Soooo what the visual person sees, can communicate a "Story" to those who are visual.

BUT some images a visually dominante person would delete, do communicate a "Story" to those with an Auditory or Kin-esthetic system.
It is like the three systems speak or communicate in DIFFERENT languages. On reason there is a lot of dissension on the Internet, those with a different system just do not understand the other person. They assume they are saying things, that they are NOT saying, because the words used mean something totally different to some others...

To me, a flower can communicate a LOT. Because it triggers my FEELINGS instead of just a visual of a flower. It Is Why since I was seven years old, I have taken so many pictures. Currently have over 35,000 images on my hard drive. Have 300 notebooks, each with over 200 dvds, with even more pictures. Flowers can represent friendship, affection, affinity, and dozens of other words that communicate with me. IT depends on what the flower has been associated with in my past. The same flower can trigger different feelings depending upon the color. So roses which come in a great variety of colors trigger many emotions, and bring back all the memories associated with them.

For this reason, my major art is associated with Landscapes of places we have been or desire to go ... The IMAGES are my VISUAL memories, as m totally unable to think of a person, place, thing, etc and remember it. Many (up to 40% of the population) do not really understand just what people mean when they talk about visual memories. Personally I did not understand what they were. Until it discussion with Nadine, when I was 45 years old. I asked Nadine, when you say you see things in your mind to you actually see them with your eyes closed. She laughed and said yes, I said you mean you could close your eyes and see the Oscar and I fish tank with your eyes closed. She said I can even see that with my eyes open. Without looking at the fish tank. And if I imagine it could even see him smoking a cigar. So I Began Doing A Lot Of Research about unconscious and conscious visual systems.

When I began teaching clients what I learned about the systems, all of the couples I work with, stopped having fights with their partners. Usually, those that were having problems, had different dominant conscious and unconscious systems. So when I taught them to begin thinking with the other two systems, they are communication improved. When I Taught Teachers to teach using all three systems, the grades of the students immediately improved. The troublemakers in the class stopped creating problems, her students want up with the highest grades in the school.

So when you believe an image does not tell a story, it may been submitted. Because it tells a story to the person who submitted it, and it may communicate a lot to others with the same conscious and unconscious systems. The Differences in unconscious and conscious systems, and courtrooms, have even sent innocent people to prison. Judges and Juries who do not understand people with different dominant systems, many times do not believe those who are testifying. They Believe a person who does not look them straight in the eye, is lying.
The truth is, dominant visual people always look you in the eye when they thinking about past memories. So the Visual Person, can look you right in the eye and still be lying. Those with a dominant auditory system, must look down to the left to recall something from the past. Those with a dominant kinesthetic system must look down to the right, when recalling past memories. Parents, Many Times believe the child looks in the eye is telling the truth, and those who are not, are lying. But those who are looking down and away, maybe the only person telling the truth, when parents are asking several different children who did something.

To me, all images tell a story, because visual images, represent my memories... so even the simplest most common images communicate sings to me.

Art, is a method of communication, probably the oldest method known to man. People probably communicated with images, before they had a spoken language.

Bob Johnston

 

Sydne Archambault

3 Years Ago

Very interesting Bob.

 

Donna Proctor

3 Years Ago

Bob, wonderfully informative and enlightened comment. Thank you for sharing - I enjoyed it.

 

Barbara St Jean

3 Years Ago

Thanks Bob for that wonderful comment and great description and explanation of the conscious vs subconscious in relation to visual recognition... I find this whole topic fascinating as I received the second sight as a child after having a near death experience. Vivid dreams and images float before my eyes like a rainbow reaching into the heavens after a spring storm.

I completely understand what you are saying about each piece of art having it's own story to the artist. No dispute there. But what I'm trying to do with the Group MOUSE and it's contests is to showcase classically defined Story Art and to help artists created this genre of art. It is hard to do, just as good portraits or landscape images, etc... but true Story Art has required elements and they need to tell a visual story...not elude to the artist's flashes of images they hold dearly in there mind when seeing a images that invokes that memory or emotion. The piece must tell the memory/emotion in a visual depicted story.

I never have or want too discredit an artist's work in what ever form that takes but do want to focus on one type of art for MOUSE and that is Story Art. My other group Digital Veil accepts all digital camera shots and computer generated images and yes flowers... in fact we just had an amazing Macro Flower Contest... so as you can see, I too love flowers and see more then others might in there loveliness.

Thanks again for your great comment Bob and I look forward to seeing more of your Story Art pieces submitted to MOUSE.

Cheers, Barbara




 

Barbara St Jean

3 Years Ago

The following is a comment I receive from another gallery curator after posting an article on What is Story Art with a link to the recent contest. I liked what she said and thought it might be of interest. Cheers, Barbara


"Hi. This is a great question and one that is not asked often.I checked out the URL from the initial post and it seems like to me the prospects aren't sure what exactly Story Art looks like. Keeping in mind that art is subjective from what art is to how the art was created. Some people can connect with one image, whereas others may need a bit more information. I do concur that just seeing a dog in a puddle of water, or a portrait of someone certainly doesn't tell a story, but for some it may. I find giving an example of what you consider Story Art to be most helpful. A few artists works to look at in my opinion whose art told great stories of the times are some of the Harlem Renaissance painters such as Jacob Lawrence, "Subway Acrobats," "Ironers" or "The Great Migration." William Johnson, "Sowing." Then there is always Francisco Goya works, especially "The third of May 1808. And I do admire George Seurat, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte. There are plenty of others but these are just the ones that stand out in my mind right now. What I love most about what these particular artists did was create a composition that captured my imagination. The work brought me in and somehow I became a part of it if only in my mind. I hope this makes sense. Story Art should engage the observer so much so that they want to learn more about the character, or situation as a good book does. This is a create opportunity to help enlighten us on the art of Story Art"

 

Mary Ellen Anderson

3 Years Ago

I think we are all saying the same thing. That there is a difference between story art and 'snap shot' art. But it gets pretty difficult to say concretely that a dog running through a puddle is always 'snap shot' or story art. And I like very much this generated engagement that your poster gave. Questions that arise, a mentally shared world, etc..

But I've got a quadratych going right now where one of the pieces is a dog running through water, and it is story art - lol.
--mary ellen anderson

 

Kenneth Agnello

3 Years Ago

Barbara...The curator you cite does a good job in highlighting certain artists and movements, while briefing what may be characterized as Story Art. I'm a bit puzzled, however, that, while citing Goya, he/she failed to mention the real drama found in Edvard Munch, or Max Beckmann, or in the disillusioned Post-World War I Weimar Republic of Germany so satirized by Otto Dix. And, then, there is George Grosz and Conrad Felixmuller, a part of the same Beckmann-Dix Germany and equally equipped to depict a society's "storied" cruelty, decay, and hypocrisy. In looking to America for story, did this curator forget about Leon Golub or Sue Coe? Collectively, the group I cite characterizes real story-telling art, documenting a society--however confused, hypocritical, and even brutal--that molded the times. To cite the Harlem Painters is, well, American political correctness; to mention Goya, an ingrained pillar in Art History, is iconic servitude. But I wonder where and if the underground images created by the Nazi Holocaust prisoners rank in the curator's expectations for Story Art? No, Story Art needs not always to be equated with pain and suffering. The group I've mention elevates this mode of expression to a height that transcends the times, and avoids the pitfall of being forever locked into a photojournalist snapshot.

All imagery, in rendering the natural world, may assume some kind of "story," I guess, just as all art is really illusory, never real life, derived via abstract components. As viewers, we must separate and discriminate harmless cover-copy from real inner truth. A snapshot of a doggie in the puddle? Even if recorded through the best of technical skill, this scene scarcely holds potential to surpass expectations beyond the mundane. Let the "dog in the puddle" hold its own place, but let's not try to build a case for it as sophisticated risk-taking story-telling. Flatly, they do not mix.

 

Mary Ellen Anderson

3 Years Ago

Well Kenneth my doggie is part of a quadratych titled Different Views. The actual piece is about the different realities the characters are seeing in a girl and a dog's day at the lake. The girl sees a beautiful sunset with peaceful ducks on the water, the dog sees the fun of chasing the ducks, and the dog owner dreams of the dog retrieving a duck. The piece is about the basis of friendship that allows us to not only tolerate each others very different views but will modify our behavior for.

Story, mundane, or what?
--mary ellen anderson

All still WIP and can't display here planned orientation. The 2 small one are stacked (sunset on top) with dog retrieving towards you on left and girl&dog looking at the different views.

Art PrintsPhotography PrintsSell Art OnlineSell Art Online

 

Kenneth Agnello

3 Years Ago

Mary Ellen...Well expressed. Like I said, if defended, all visual imagery that reflects something of the natural world, however interpreted or distorted, must qualify as story art. Any representation of the natural world tells us something, correct? Then, the criteria for a category defined as "Story Art" has no basis, since everything is applicable. What is the point of creating this discussion or category, then? To classify certain art as "story" is a non-issue; there are no differences. Metaphorically, we are all "people," plain and simple, one and the same. So why discuss cultures, races, religions, or heritage?

The description you articulately expressed for your quadratych titled Different Views tells us what the artist intended. I am all for artist commentary relative to his/her work (God knows, my work is full of it, but done in a rather general, almost lyrical sense). But, the wonder is, does the viewer see the same story you so methodically spelled out? Or, is often the case, has the artist through words and dialogue led the viewer into a thought process to see something that otherwise may not be so easily shared? The wide-open potential to allow for different interpretations is the magic behind all good story art--let the viewer move into the idea and expand.

That said, I respect your seriousness of purpose. I also enjoy the tug-and-pull we all encounter when discussing artistic philosophies and attitudes...keeps the brainpower going!

Best to you, always, Ken

 

Barbara St Jean

3 Years Ago

Good Morning all.

@ Ken, you got my brain going... considering it's not even 7 am here.... need a coffee :-))

What is Story Art? and Why am I doing this....lol - well it would seem it's not to win a popularity contest. As a group admin on FAA - the only way to please everyone is to accept all submissions and feature everyone's work without regards to any criteria or personal judgement based on talent, creativity, or subject matter.... a brief overview of how to climb the popularity ladder here on FAA.... Good for some but not for me.... I want to learn, evolve or grow as an artist and that requires the need to be challenged and to create Story Art that will pass the test of time is a real challenge.

The concept of Story Art is not new as Ken, the Curator (I cited) and many others have eluded to. There are many artists (old masters or up and comings) who have gained a great deal of acclaim in this genre within the Art World and the demand for this type of art is growing. But it's important to be confident in our understanding of the definition. If I submit a proposal to a gallery featuring this type of art, I want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt my pieces meet the criteria without the need to defend myself. I want the curator to take my work seriously and feel good about working with me..... and of course feel good about promoting my art to prospective collectors.

So with that in mind, I'd like to bring forward the artists you cited Ken as well as the ones the curator talked about or any other's work that is Story Art. (If you have links to these artist's work please feel free to post them into this thread).

Thanks everyone and please don't take my comments or actions as an group admin as a personal slight, because it's not.. I only want the best for everyone and us all to prosper as artists in whatever genre we want to specialize in. And I, as many others would like to create really great Story Art.

I'm off now to check out all their work and pick the piece that speaks to me the loudest.
Cheers, Barbara


 

Kenneth Agnello

3 Years Ago

Yes, Barbara. I applaud your efforts. Of course the history of art has seen to centuries of story art--in fact, we haven't even touched on the great Christian or Eastern themes of the past. I am not so naive as to think great narrative art began with 20th-Century war-bent Europe. The gist of my discussion centers on a valid separation between mundane visual imagery, which is often passed on as somebody's story, and that which transcends the moment, the focus, to another level of interpretation--that which makes all generations return for another look so as to find contemporary relevance. That is, as I have said, the real magic behind any story.

Come to think of it, I am not sure how many pieces I have uploaded in your group. I need to take another look. I'll let you judge to conclude whether my work practices what I preach (not always, of course, since the artist is allowed a certain visual, experimental creative latitude), or if I am just another loud mouth...lol. Thanks for your time...always enjoy it. Ken

 

Barbara St Jean

3 Years Ago

Thanks so much Ken and I thoroughly enjoy your comments and insights. The truth is I like to engage in good discussions and some might consider me a loud mouth....lol.... all is good when in a respectful debate. The visual and experimental latitude IMO is what makes our art more interesting... artists push limits, it's part of our makeup, or we would not want to create. But in order to push the limit one must know the limit first.

and you said it so well; "The gist of my discussion centers on a valid separation between mundane visual imagery, which is often passed on as somebody's story, and that which transcends the moment, the focus, to another level of interpretation--that which makes all generations return for another look so as to find contemporary relevance. That is, as I have said, the real magic behind any story."

Here's to creating the magic...

Cheers, Barbara




 

Mary Ellen Anderson

3 Years Ago

Kenneth,
Viewer interpretation has always intrigued me. When I was a young artist (bty: dinos were still local wildlife then) I was at a show opening of my work and a collector started telling me about her 'discovery' of my secret image she had found. Now this secret image was actually a hand smudge that I'd missed. Being young and incurably honest I immediately told her it was really a smudge (and was trying to tell her it could be fixed). She relied (to the artists), well I think it's a secret image and it's brilliant. Even I knew enough to shut up - lol.

My point is Kenneth, that art interpretation is a providence that viewers never question themselves on and feel entitled to beyond even authorship. So now I never worry if I'm putting too much of my side of the story into my descriptions. Viewers truly won't register it or even believe you, if it's not their own.

Kind of like the forums where people argue with you about what you've said or meant.

--mary ellen anderson

 

Kenneth Agnello

3 Years Ago

Well-said, MEA. And my work, too, over the years has opened to a host of "interpretations." So I no longer care to beat the veiwer with my intentions. "Here's what I have done, folks...take a look, let your mind move over it or through it." This is my new attitude. We all have our stories about what others have seen in our work, whether we intended it or not. This is the higher level of the magic I emphasize. One fast story of mine comes to mind. Years ago I sent slides and biogaphical data to a gallery for consideration. I included some rather lengthy detail relative to several paintings. The gallery owner, in rejecting my work since he claimed it was too aggressive for his market, wrote (to paraphrase)..."Enjoyed the work, but can't sell it here. While I enjoyed reading your narrative, try not to say too much...what is true and real behind the image for YOU may not be true for the viewer." So I took this advice and opened the door for any kind of viewer expansion--that is the viewer's need to seek comfort with the work. Commentary I now include, tied to certain paintings, reads more poetically and esoteric, rather than with hard descriptive. I don't want to "lead the witness" anymore. But commentary I include is just a bi-product of my personality: I guess--I can't stay quiet!

 

Mary Ellen Anderson

3 Years Ago

Hi Kenneth,

I think that any narrative works better with different audiences. I have theories that on FAA any narrative that's not in-your-face "this is a pink flower in a glass vase" is counter productive. I think there is a strong "keep you mouth shut" as an artist. Artists assume someone liking our work means they are interested in us. I've seen artist that type everything without spacing or punctuation. Thinking it makes them more interesting, but really it just annoys everyone because they have to uselessly work at it to understand the message. Most of us are socially awkward or shy in nature, regardless of how flamboyantly we act. Most artist eyes glaze over at simple math, and business. It's very hard to sell your own work, and I think it's the rare case that artist is very helpful in the dialog.

Now of course as story artist than talking with people is essential. I'm working on a 19th century story of a roman catholic grandmother whose husband had passed away, and every year the priest would come by to get donations to pray grandpa out of purgatory. So grandma ask, 'How we doing getting old-thomas out of purgatory?'

'We're doing great", says the priest. "We've gotten him all out of purgatory except one foot".

Grandma thinks about it for awhile and replies, "Well Father, Thomas always had cold-feet. I think we'll just leave him there, he'll be much more comfortable."

It's such as privilege being an artist and to have people share their lives and stories like this. Any ideas how to layout this story?

--mary ellen anderson

 

Mario Carta

3 Years Ago

I have been looking into the advantages of creating a body of work ( series) vs single sculptures and in my readings I discovered that one very important advantage of doing series is that it lends it's self in that you create multiple opportunity with the viewer to get your story across vs a one shot deal. It makes sense to me. Story art and the art series, keeping the three elements in mind Subjects, location, and objects, the location is the one I'm having a little trouble with.

 

RD Erickson

3 Years Ago

Perhaps I'm way out in left field - but to me - pictures - painted or photographed do NOT tell a story - they are a "snapshot" of that particular point/moment in time of whatever the image is. any story is all in your mind, or in the written description, of the image. Your mind may make up a story, your heart may say something - the image may "speak" to you. But "pictures" do not tell a story. Having been up to Clingman's Dome in the Smoky Mountains before the attack of the adelgids and after, seeing the destruction and the gray remnants that are left - yet a photograph of them today - does not tell the story - it simply shows a landscape devastated and the regrowth of the trees. Perhaps Sydne explained better than I have. The story is in your mind - but the image itself doesn't tell a story.

 

Mario Carta

3 Years Ago

Roy you say pictures- painted photographed do Not tell a story, does any art tell a story for you? sculpture? if not how is it that so many artist try to communicate through or by there art? so many artist feel there art makes a statement, do we then take all art on face value, snapshot effect as merely something to look at? I have just started to make sculptures that tell a story, I would hate to think that this is not possible, maybe the story I'm trying to tell does not register because of my inability to tell that story, but that can be developed, I think.

 

Barbara St Jean

3 Years Ago

@Roy... no you are not in left field. A image of a devastated landscape doesn't tell me a story either. I would wonder what happened to create it and maybe read the description to find out more information.... but story art it is not. However the genre of Story Art is alive and well. In the days of old artists using this type of art to document events that took place because photography was not a option. Last night I watched a documentary on Napoleon's Coronation... the artist commissioned to document the event was Jacques-Louis David. Unfortunately Napoleon commissioned Jacques and the huge oil painting doesn't tell the truth about the event... it was altered to depict it the way Napoleon wanted history to be told. Now a days with the invention of cameras that would not happen and the real story would be told through the lens of truth instead....but then again there is photoshop... I guess what I'm trying to say is, any medium can be used to tell a story but how that story is understood is up to the viewer. And in your case Roy if you don't see a story in a snapshot, you are not alone. Thanks for sharing your views on this subject.

@MEA.... That's a hard story to tell in a painting because it was a verbal story first. It has lots of elements and emotions.... a bit of humour (with the cold foot)... a bit of injustice (with the priest stringing the widow along). Money, doctrines, faith, and/or dogmas could all be evident depending on how you want to depict the tale. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

On the last note... you wrote; " I think there is a strong "keep you mouth shut"......" I had to think about this for a while before weighing in. The community on FAA is very different than other art groups and I think it has something to do with the focus on sales of prints instead of creating the art itself. Maybe competition comes into play a bit more here, so if you are a relative newbie and deemed a formidable opponent then what ever you say or write will be held against you..... just my two cent, to try to make sense of this phenomenon. Could be wrong..

Cheers, Barbara.

 

Kenneth Agnello

3 Years Ago

Barbara...I think you are accurate when stressing, "The community on FAA is very different than other art groups and I think it has something to do with the focus on sales of prints instead of creating the art itself." The large body of photography that is found in FAA, however unintentionally perhaps, invites mass-produced image and even snapshot reality capturing. Then, generated as prints, the very flood of this volume limits image controversy, curiosity, and mystery. The end result is logically an elimination of uniqueness: mechanical printouts replace the specialty of a singular entity, which is what defines the one-of-a-kind characer of a painting, drawing, or sculpture. This is not a condemnation of of the printed or photgraphic process--indeed the vast numbers succeed in spreading out accessibility to the masses--but merely categorizes its role.

 

P S

P S

3 Years Ago

Kenneth, you are conveniently confusing the "uniqueness" of the work of art as an object with the uniqueness of what the artist has to say in terms of controversy, curiosity and mystery. The latter doesn't require the former and the former doesn't necessarily result in the latter.

 

Kenneth Agnello

3 Years Ago

You could be right, Phillip. Unfortunately, the general overview--and I know this is a generalizied message--is that the printed image can be reproduced to the point of excessive repetition--which is what dilutes the special mystery behind the inventive creation. So there is no misunderstanding, I recognize the ability to make all art and photography accessible through the print process--that is its great contribution. But I believe the specialty (I dare not say uniqueness) of an image loses something when processed through a potential oversupply of production. My statement does not suggest that prints are the products of "bad" images made by shallow minds. I have believed this to be true with the graphic arts as well, and where wouid that leave my German Expressionist icons who championed the woodcut, the lithograph, etc.? That said, now to contradict myself, I wish hundreds of viewers would print my work and pass it out along the street corners and even make such images wallet-sized--what exposure!

 

P S

P S

3 Years Ago

" Unfortunately, the general overview--and I know this is a generalizied message--is that the printed image can be reproduced to the point of excessive repetition--which is what dilutes the special mystery behind the inventive creation "

---

The printed image isn't alone in this characteristic of being able to be reproduced. Music, film, literature,...all ways of art whose uniqueness can and mainly derive from their content and not from their form as an object. Mozart's music is not diluted by spreading it around or making it massively available, if anything it becomes more developed and collectively aware that way. Art is and always has been about communicating something uniquely, not about something being unique.

If the purpose of art is too much centered around the object, then it ( art ) becomes more craft than art. Craft can be a part of art but not all craft is art.

The object is the carrier or vehicle for the content and it's the content / story that drives the object.

 

Barbara St Jean

3 Years Ago

@Mario, you mentioned that you were having a problem with a location element in regards to your sculpture creations. The following is one idea. This is one of my Dad's wood craving scenes. He took up carving after retiring and loved to lay out a scene that told the story with his individual pieces. As you can tell, his style was folk art and lots of work went into each object. He even created all the musical instruments by hand. Everything in this scene was made to created the story, right down to the wooden floor boards. Thought it might be of interest to you.

Cheers, Barbara

Art Prints

 

Barbara St Jean

3 Years Ago

Good Morning Everyone!

It's another beautiful day and my new painting is coming along, if only I can get my totem poles to not look like fence posts with faces painting on them....LOL

@Jeffery... you closed your thread??? - I hope you keep us all posted on your interesting train story....looking forward to seeing the finished piece.

@Philip... Craft vs Art, to me a craft is more about hand making the same thing over and over again....one pattern with slight changes. Where creating a piece of art is the opposite, and no two pieces are ever the same.... one offs.

Cheers, Barbara



 

Mario Carta

3 Years Ago

Barbara thanks, you father's carvings are impressive, extremely detailed work! I have done some work similar in the setting like the example I'm posting here , but establishing a location is still the hardest element for the story to portray, I guess the subjects and the objects can also establish the location?

Art Prints

 

This discussion is closed.

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