Monday, November 26, 2007

Art is Art.....and a Tree is a Tree

I guess I should have done my homework before I went out into the world with the statement "I'm an illustrator" because this morning I decided to do some research and found that I'm not an illustrator!

Apparently it means someone who draws pictures to accompany a story. I don't do that. It's all quite confusing. Isn't anyone who draws something considered an artist? And doesn't that picture illustrate that very item? So wouldn't an illustrator also be an artist? According to this article it would seem so but it also stressed that critics don't take illustrators seriously. So maybe I shouldn't label myself as one....not that I expect critics to take me seriously! I doubt they'll ever even hear of me.

Art is such a personal thing and I must admit that I don't understand a lot of what is considered art today. I don't see the beauty in a urinal, for example, or of pictures made using body fluids!! But they are recognized art and some are even hanging in museums! Is that what people really want rather than some beautiful picture painted with oils or acrylics?

Well, I'm getting off on a side track so I'll go back to my original subject of artist vs. illustrator. Maybe I have to just be strong and say the words and get over all the expectations of what it means. Someone who puts an image onto paper or canvas is an artist even if you call them an illustrator.


Now that I have that out of my system, I have another tree drawing to show you....

I don't like this one as much as the "weird" tree but I did it several days ago and decided I needed some "art" on this post. It has a border all around but the one side got cut off by the scanner. This is another one I did with a Sharpie. I don't like the lines they leave and have been searching for something that will make solid black lines and yet be versatile enough to do very thin lines as well as fill larger areas. I remember using India ink in high school. Do they even still make the stuff?? And do people still use it? I can't remember what we used to apply it though....was it a pen or a brush? Does anyone know, or have any other suggestions?


  1. Anonymous7:12 AM

    India ink is usually applied with pens. You can choose from a variety of pen tips that fit into a holder. You can then change the tips for different effects.

    I would think a brush would make it harder to control but have never tried it.

    I enjoy your blog Janet. I also appreciate the art you create, my favorites have been the trees I think.


  2. Aloha Janet..
    well, well Ms Claus, you certainly do look festive in your santa hat!!
    I like the idea of wrapping trees in hats and scarfs and making them festive too.
    I think you are an artist and an illustrator. Because you tell us stories about your lovely little pieces of art you post here..

    Peace and love, Kai xx

  3. All the terminology and society's expectations about art are such a puzzle sometimes...
    But I love your art, especially this tree! That is so creative, Janet. Your banner is so cute, too.
    There are all kinds of inks, pens & nibs and what nots out there. Have you ever tried sumi ink? It's in a block and can be used with a brush. Or if you prefer working with pens (and don't want to have to mess with loading them) have you ever some of the calligraphy pens? Some of them have tips that can be used with a broadstroke, or turned on their edge for a point...
    Whatever you use, I really enjoy seeing your art!

  4. Oh,,I Love the new look on your spirit filled blog,,but most of all I Love the pic of you in your Santa Hat! You are so pretty!!! And your prettiness matches your sweetness!!! And you can be a illustrator if you want and you don't even have to write a story,,just cuz I said,,lol.

  5. Hi Janet,
    I love the Santa hat photo and yes to all your questions on India ink. That's the fast answer. But, yes, and I've seen it in colors in our close by Michael's so it has to be there on their websites if nothing else. Sometimes it is with art supplies and sometimes it is with other stuff, like scarpbooks and/or calligraphy. I think most people use nib pens to apply it with, but it would be possible to use a brush. And you are a great/good artist/illustrator. I do love your trees too.

  6. I love this tree. I can see it on a Christmas card and/or in a Picture book or Story book.

    Have a Blessed Month!!!

  7. I love this tree! I know, gee whiz, you're an artist! An arteest!! A wonderful arteest!!

  8. Janet, I love this tree even better than the other one. If you marketed it, I would buy it.

    Michael's carries India Ink, and Dick Blick online has it. Not that I use it but I remember reading about it in books.

    You are an ARTIST!!! Stand up and be proud to announce it!!


  9. ok got caught up on your blog and your art, and am very impressed, love the new look of the blog, love the trees really really good. And your picture with the Santa hat priceless

  10. Love this tree, that touch of colour is lovely. This would make a great Christmas card..!

  11. You ARE an Artist my bloggy friend! A wonderful, talented artist! You bring smiles and joy to all who visit you here...

    I love all of your drawings, they are gorgeous! Love the color you've added.

    I've seen people use pen & ink (pen with various nibs), and various art markers such as prismacolors, chartpak, watercolor brush markers, etc. Buy a single one here and there, experiment until you find the ones you like best...

  12. I'm with you on the urinal/body fluids 'art'. I am often puzzled by the things I see in museums... Art is very personal, as you say. I love your art. That tree is beautiful.

  13. janet this tree is fabulous - and coloured beautifully. i wonder where the wind that shapes it is from. This is art, you are an artist, end of story.

  14. I LOVE THIS TREE!! And you are right about the whole artist vs illustrator debate, i never realised there was so much politics behind the whole thing! I hesitate to call myself an artist because i battle with the whole body fluids and angst thing too! If I have to label myself, which I internally cringe away from doing, I think of myself as a painter before an artist, but if I went into the symantics of the words, I'd probably be wrong there too!
    Hey, in the end you are right, lets just call ourselves artists and get it over with!

  15. Janet, I love this tree and I would buy it too, it has that wonderful 1920s/30s feel again. You really do capture that beautifully.

  16. Love the photo of you looking festive Janet (you are a hoot!).
    And I think your tree is wonderful. Love how you have made it look like it is moving... fabulous!!!

  17. I love the tree. Have you tried Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens? They come in different size nibs. The ink in them is Inda Ink. My website is

  18. Janet....i love the photo!

    I think you're an artist and illustrator....really you do tell stories about the work you have created. Who cares what anyone else says anyways? It's just semantics. Just "declare" it and make it so (as Captain Picard used to say to number one on Star trek!).

    Love, Violette

  19. I love this picture.
    ha! I had some India ink from a few years ago - BUT - so disorganized I can't find it.
    Yes - hard to define one's self in one word. I prefer to go with "mixed- up media" these days;-)
    Regardless - keep up the wonderful creating.
    Wendy XO


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