Monday, September 21, 2009

What's Art? What's craft? Does it matter?

The Station Arts did its annual Harvest Days last weekend. Typically, craft/art people display their work, work at their projects on-site and answer questions; a few people will sell honey, garden stepping stones, etc. and the day will be capped off by a concert, this time by the Saskatunes, three men and one woman in harmony, accompanying themselves on a variety of instruments. They're very good. They're real artists. Or is singing others people's songs a craft. I'm so confused.

This morning, I did the final touch up on a tile table top that Agnes and I created (photos above). We've almost mastered a craft, I think, although I used the wrong grout and it doesn't look as polished as it should. I excused it by pretending that it was part of a planned "rustic look." If there's such a thing as "accidental art," I don't suppose it's such a big stretch to "accidental craft," something like spilling paint on a floor, liking the effect and letting your visitors believe it was a result of artistic talent.

Red Green claims to be an expert on art. His methods are simple. "If I like it, it's not art!" he says. It's a bit like this expressed wisdom on diet, health and weight control: "If it tastes good, spit it out!"

I can't claim to recognize true art when I see it. But I do recognize Art when I see him. My usual greeting is, "Hi, Art," which always sounds to me like, "High art." When I greet my sister with, "Hi, Jean," I'm aware that it might sound like a reminder to clean her fingernails and wash up. I think we need to do away with the "Hi" greeting altogether. (Are you out there, Art and Jean?)

Quite a few people are apologizing to me for missing my book launch in Rosthern, and some for having to miss the reading at McNally Robinson in Saskatoon on Thursday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m. A friend at coffee missed that first "happening" completely, and said to me in some amazement, "I didn't know you'd been authorized?!?" A good crowd did come out and were gracious in their evaluations of the evening. I was warmed and very grateful. It was a good turnout considering that it's harvest time, half the crop is still in the field, the wheat's not ready and it rained all day yesterday. Farmers are anxious.

Have a great day. Do some art . . . or craft. It's good for the soul.


  1. Love it! And the table is beautiful. Must be one heavy sucker to move tho!

  2. "Greetings" George!
    I took some time in my afternoon to read your post. That is a good question and oh yes it matters. I want to really think about that for a bit and get back to you on that. I love art and crafts...more art though so there is a difference but yet very similar. Very nice table that you & Agnes made together. Bye for now.
    Donna Janzen