Art or Illustration

Updated: Nov 7, 2018

9 October 2014 Is Norman Rockwell an illustrator or fine artist? How about Maxfield Parrish? If we are talking about technical expertise then of course, both are fine artists. If we are talking about something beyond mere technical expertise then the assessment gets a little more complicated.


I find the same complication is true of the pieces I have been creating. To me, some of my pieces clearly transcend their parts or my technical ability in putting them together. Other works are nice but don't seem to have that quality. That is not to say that they aren't art or worthy, just that they seem to not have that quality that takes them to another place. I must confess that I am not sure that I am the best judge of what makes a piece successful.


Some of my most favorite works are not necessarily well received. Spiral (left) seems to have a balance and a kind of movement that makes it seem so much more then the few parts would suggest. This piece always pleases me when I look at it. Ketch (right), on the other hand, is pleasant but somehow doesn't seem to go beyond what it is. Still, I have received kinds words on both. I have no idea how to describe what fine art is but I do think that I seem to know it when I see it. Now all I have to do is create it.


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