Happy Tree vs Trashy Tree

So I saw this today

And was reminded yet again why I get so frustrated with the Modern/Abstract art community.

First off the next person that gasps and calls my art risk√© is getting a list of MUCH more evocative pieces than mine and told to suck it up, because I am positively conservative in comparison…you know who you are!

Secondly, artists like McCarthy frustrate me. Didn’t you study Art History? Duchamp made his point with his “Fountain” now move on, learn from it and stop peddling crap (in some cases literally).

Just because it worked for Margritte does not mean you can pull it off especially when the piece you are trying to re-create is giant, bright green and clearly resembles a sex toy. “Ceci N’est pas une…” Um yes, yes it is.

I’m sure the Slap Happy Parisian was just trying help Mr McCarthy snap  back to reality.

As good old Shakespeare said
“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet;”….
Hmm wait, You say “Tree”, I say “Sex toy”…it’s still a Potato.

The other trouble with pieces like “Tree” and many, many others like it is that they cause the non Art community to question the value of Art as a discipline, especially a government funded one that will cause lil Timmy to have grand thoughts of someday creating giant inflatable sex toys and sticking them in the middle of a major city and also tends to add fodder to the grand debate to cut Arts from schools altogether.

So just a thought, for future reference (and to keep the non-Art community off our backs,) the next time you want to evoke the whole identity switcheroo you aim for subtly.

For example


How about a giant inflatable Green Lego Tree called “Sex Toy” ūüėČ

If nothing else, Bob Ross might rest better knowing that “in our world there lives a happy little tree”.

Muse? No Thanks, I am my own muse.

Art Musings issue#1

Thalia~the blossoming one


Ah, the Muse, the ancient source of an artist’s inspiration.¬†¬†

Well, that is unless you’re a visual artist.¬†¬†

You see, there is no muse claiming credit for the visual arts of painting or sculpture.  

Now, I know what you’re thinking. Surely, Amanda, you must be mistaken.¬†¬†

But nope, I assure you Art has no Muse.  

Let’s take a look at those famous Greek ladies of inspiration.¬†¬†

The muses according to Greek myth were the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne and were the protectors of the Arts and Sciences. 


So who inspired/protected what?  

The Nine Muses

Well let’s see, let’s start with the lady in charge, Calliope.¬†¬†

Calliope, known as the beautiful of speech, was head of the muses and was the muse of epic or heroic poetry.  

Clio~the glorious one~was the muse of history  

Erato~the amorous one~was the muse of love, erotic poetry, lyrics, and marriage songs  

Euterpe~the well pleasing one~was the muse of music and lyric poetry  

Melpomene~the chanting one~was the muse of tragedy  

Polyhymnia/Polymnia~the singer of many hymns~was the muse for, you guessed it singing, lyric, oratory, rhetoric, and sacred songs.  

Terpsichore~the one who delights in dance~was the muse of choral song and dance (like that wasn’t obvious)¬†¬†

Thalia (pictured above)~the blossoming one~was the muse of comedy and bucolic poetry  

and finally  

Urania~the celestial one~ was the muse of astronomy  

Now I know what you’re saying , ” but, Amanda, the Greeks…they were so progressive, surely they had a soft spot for visual artists. Maybe there’s some lost sister out there?”¬†¬†

Well actually, the Greeks valued the written over the visual. Just like some uptight writers I’ve known… You try arguing a picture is worth a 1000 words, and it gets ugly! Anyway, I digress.¬†¬†

My point is, painters and sculptors were  held in low regard, somewhere between freemen and slaves.[1]  

I know. Nice, eh? Then again, some days it feels like we’re paid the same, lol.¬†¬†

Regardless, no muse.  

Looks like we’ll just have to continue drawing inspiration from inside ourselves, grabbing hold of the things we feel and experience in order to create.¬†¬†



[1] In Our Time: The Artist BBC Radio 4, TX 28th March 2002