Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Art, Illustration or Both?

I recently had the pleasure of standing in front of this painting. I love Impressionism and Woman with a Parasol has always been my favorite painting from Monet.

Isn't it something? It's everything about it.. the mood, movement, subject characters, light.. I could go on and on.

I was standing very close to it for a while until a guard looked at me with unfriendly eyes, LOL.. I wasn't going to touch it of course, just wanted to see up close the thickness of the paint and the tiny strokes and tried to imagine what Monet saw while working close to it and then standing  far. I'm no fine art painter, but I imagine the only way to paint an impressionistic painting is to get close to it and step away far from it.

Anyway, I finally sat down to contemplate it and came to me how close fine art is to children's illustration at times. I know there are many debates as to what is what but  I think the main difference is illustration in general has a commercial tint to it,  there is usually a purpose for its use. But if we take that a side there is really no much difference.

Of course style and subject matter has a lot to do with this but take Matt Phelan for example. He is one of my favorite author/illustrators and he is a master of making you feel with his art.. His strokes say tons and his illustrations are ethereal.

© copyright Matt Phelan

© copyright Matt Phelan

I'm not trying to say illustration and "art" are the same but to realize that sometimes they are standing very close to each other. I just love that. :o)

What do you think?


Alisa Steady said...

We used to debate this in art school a lot - is illustration really 'art'? I agree - definitely a commercial element to illustration, but in my opinion is art nonetheless. Like fine art, doesn't illustration also have to be considered, designed, worked, and ultimately culled from the imagination of an artist? Great blog post! Now you've got me contemplating again! :o)

Alicia Padrón said...

Yes, that's a very good point Alisa. Plus, illustration can be admired as is regardless of the purpose by which it was created.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your point of view on this :o)

Diandra Mae said...

I think all illustration is art, but not all art is illustration. Illustration is done in order to solve an external problem, usually a narrative one. Art is created from some inner issue the artist is working with. Either way, that painting is gorgeous, and I would have received the hairy eyeblack too! Haha!

Diandra Mae said...

*eyeball. Hairy eyeball! Stupid autocorrect!

Alicia Padrón said...

haha, I got ya Diandra, no worries! ;o)

I think about illustrators' sketchbooks filled with tons of images that are there for no particular reason. Would that be accepted as art more than a finished illustration from that same artist printed in a book?

I find there is general need in society to differentiate one from the other, but I often feel it's unnecessary.. if that makes any sense.