More on Slow Art

Yesterday’s post got me thinking about the huge variety of slow art, and the difference between assembling pre-packaged items and working with simple tools and creating on your own. I’ve had some more random thoughts that haven’t unified themselves, but may if I put them in one place.images-11.jpeg

1. Does the huge variety of pre-designed, cut, colored, pasted, printed and available products for collage, scrapbooking, and altered books encourage creativity or stifle it?

2. There seem to be a lot of specific tools that do one specific task–apply glue, heat objects, flatten clay. It seems to me that they could have designed a multi-purpose machine for a certain art. They invented the fax/phone/copier for communication, why not a die-cutter/color-applier/printer?

images-21.jpeg3. Is the flooding of the choices in paints, embossing tools, glues, fibers really to help artists achieve exact creativity, or it is more to sell product? If the favorite hobby among American women is shopping (according to studies I’ve read), isn’t is a great marketing idea to combine shopping with new craft products? Is the goal simply encouraging more spending, more acquiring?

4. When my son was small, I purchased coloring books for him and fell in love with the wonderfully soothing task of coloring. Then I purchased them for myself. I’d sit there and use new crayons–waxy and smelling of ideas. It was clearly not creative; I was prosaic–blue sky, green grass. I found it calming and soothing, and it was one of the steps that led me to other, more ambitious parts of my life–meditation eventually replaced coloring. So did making my own art. It was a step along the way.

images-4.jpeg5. What is the leading edge of art? What changes make progress and which ones are useless? Is there ever a way to know? When the computer came out, I scorned computer art, but now I use Photoshop to create virtual collages I could not achieve with paper and scissors. And those collages don’t exist anywhere except on my computer. They aren’t “real.” No one can hold them. Does that make them less art?

Just random thoughts from an art retreat. Nice to have time to think.

–Quinn McDonald spends time thinking about art, writing, and the connection the two make between people. See her work at  Images, top to bottom:;; (c) 2007. All rights reserved.