Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Fine Art vs Decorative Art

fine art
  1. 1.
    creative art, especially visual art, whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content.
    "the convergence of popular culture and fine art"
  2. 2.
    an activity requiring great skill or accomplishment.
    "he'll have to learn the fine art of persuasion"
decorative arts
  1. the arts concerned with the production of high-quality objects that are both useful and beautiful.

Many years ago, in the beginning of my art journey, a world renowned instructor told me that a painting I had created in his workshop was a nice "decorative" piece. Being a self-educated artist, I had a pejorative idea of what that meant My interpretation was that it was cute, sweet, something you'd hang in the bathroom. It was not the thing I was striving for.  And I did not have the guts to just come out and ask what he meant. 

Over the years I have learned that it was not a condescending remark. I have attempted to get a better grasp of the meaning and difference (if there is any) between "fine" and "decorative" arts.

When I google famous artists considered "decorative" artists, the names of Klimpt, Matisse, and Tiffany come up. Many items considered decorative art are both utilitarian and beautiful. (I guess a painting could cover up a hole in the wall, making it utilitarian!) Decorative art is often associated with the Art Nouveau and Art Deco movements. "Artists drew inspiration form both organic and geometric forms, evolving elegant designs that united flowing, natural forms with the more angular contours." As always, art was moving in a different direction, letting go of some of the more traditional ideas of art--making room for modernism. 

In any case, I now feel fine creating art that is more decorative. Who wouldn't want to be in the same category as Klimpt and Matisse?

Most of my studio time is spent doing what I would call fine art. I am going for that "imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content." I have an idea or story I am trying to incorporate into my paintings. I am typically more content oriented. This is the more cerebral me. 

Other days I am just happy to create something more spontaneous and decorative. The two pieces posted here were done on previously marbled paper. Being springtime, I felt compelled to create flowers and used collage materials made with deli paper and gelli plate. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Keep the decorative art coming along too...they are delightful. LV