I snapped this photo of my latest collage with my iphone. This is the draft with embellishments and still needs to be scanned into the computer and completed. I started this picture over a year ago and am only now getting around to finishing it. I tried some new things in this one including gluing on actual feathers. Although when the piece is actually finished it will be a digital print. I love experimenting with new materials to give the collages a sense of texture and dimension. A fellow photographer wondered if such embellishments transform fine art into craft. I hate such distinctions. It made me pause and contemplate for awhile what this says about art. How does one define it? What is art versus craft and is one less than another? Not only do I think these additions add texture and dimension, I think they merge the words of digital with traditional collage. There was a time when I would have found getting such a critique devastating, but in this case I didn't. Perhaps it's because I enjoy so much what I'm doing here, I wouldn't stop anyway. Perhaps, it's because I've gotten enough accolades with my collages that I know I'm doing something right. Funny thing is I really respect the photographer who gave me the opinion. She has been inspiring in so many ways. So I thanked her for her advice and critique, and found myself content to disagree with her. That's a big thing for me.
This isn't the first collage I worked on this week. A couple of days ago I posted the draft of my latest effort, Temptation. As many of you know I enjoy discovering the symbolic meaning of my art as much as the viewer. A lot of the choices I make are unconscious and I only discover later how apt they are. This often is the case with the animals I choose to include in the collages. I played with several in this one before settling on the goats, which just seemed to blend right in. I added the apples later, playing with the idea of temptation, Eden, Eve, etc. When I finished the draft I googled the symbolism of goats and found some interesting things in the first post I clicked on. Here, are a couple of meanings I found. First, goats can mean spiritual ambition. Second, goats symbolize curiosity and sampling everything around them. Third, the goat symbolizes sacrifice. All three of these themes fit in with Garden of Eden. Man's own spiritual ambition in being disobedient to God and sampling from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, Adam and Eve's curiosity in seeking out what they weren't supposed to know and what is the exile from Eden than the ultimate sacrifice of Paradise. I think the goats fit in this collage both visually and symbolically. Sometimes, you just have to trust your instincts when it comes to art and it comes to life. In doing so you learn to not only believe in what you are doing but to believe in yourself.