Sunday, August 13, 2006

Welcome to the Circus

Ferris Wheel

"A consummate showman and entrepreneur, P.T. Barnum was famous for bringing both high and low culture to all of America." – from

If we substitute "all of America" to "the whole world" we might have an idea of the current state of Fractal Art today. There are masters and wannabes, highbrow and low, geniuses, impostors and fakes abundant in our little self-absorbed world of art. I’ve always said that my personal style of art is suitable for hanging – if you live at the circus!

It was a great surprise and honor to be invited to contribute to this blog. I agree with Kerry’s affirmation of Apathy. I also agree with Keith that Renderosity and other art sites are there mainly for the sense of community. I wouldn’t have met many of you without them. The days of the newsgroups have long passed.

If I had one wish for sites that let you post just any old thing, it would be for more people to take pride in their work. I grow weary and jaded at the presentation of somebody’s umpteenth variation on a theme – as if sheer numbers of posts were the goal.

I’m not an everyday fractalist. I appreciate something that has some "oomph" to it – be it highbrow or low!

There’s a poem I learned in grammar school. Sometimes I just want to scream it at the screen.

It’s a little ditty by Anne Shaw called "Life’s Lessons":

Life's Lessons
If you can't be a tree, be a bush,
But be the best little bush on the hill.
Opportunity's door is marked, "Push,"
And failure's door says, "Stand Still."
If you think you're too small for big things,
Then do small things in a big way,
You cannot win if you don't begin,
And the best time to start is today.
If you can't score the goal, give the cheer,
Every life has a goal to be found.
Just remember today's mighty oak,
Was a nut who once held his ground.
----Anne Shaw

Sometimes I think we’re all just a little bit nuts!


Blogger peapodgrrl said...

Hiya Panny,

I don't think a prolific artist *necessarily* means one who doesn't take pride in their work. I hear what you're saying, that sometimes it seems as if some folks are knocking out these babies (spirals? *cough cough*) left and right, and there can be an excruciatingly dulling sameness with each new image. Yup, no disagreement there, I hear ya: they may have left the gate, but to where are they running? Let me go where you were too polite to go: much of the work to which you refer is not very good. If you're banging out five or six a day, it's questionable as to how much work is being put into each piece. And of course it shows.

But on the other hand (how Libra of me!) there is a tendency with many artists--emphasis on the word artist--to revisit a theme again and again until tney have exhausted it, until they "get it right" in their mind and heart, until they have explored every possibility to their satisfaction. This is a tradition that is prevalent in any artistic medium, from fractalists to the great masters.


8/16/2006 8:38 AM

Blogger SuZeeMay said...

I remember the first fractals I made and I thought they were wonderful. I knew nothing about fractals and was joyous in that first excitement.

I even freely shared an Apo flame I later found to be quite unique. I was a 'fractal innocent'.

Then I began to learn how to create and I began to judge my work and see its 'lack'.

Knowledge removed some of that spontaneous joy and that was kind of sad. But the serious part of me ultimately wants to create what will be deeply satisfying to my soul and that has to be more than just an instant joy.

I have created quilted, embroidered and other fabric works for over 30 years. And I have never conformed to what was popular with those styles. Now I see the same thing with my fractals.

In the fabric world pastels and patches were the norm. My work used bright, strong solids and unusual layouts. In a group my work stood out like a black eye.

But it was mine and I loved it and still do. I don't care if someone else liked or disliked it. I liked it. I can look at everything I made and still be proud of it, because I put the time and energy in to make it the best I could do, even then.

I am starting to see that the artistic me that has been developed and formed over all these years is what is now creating my fractals. My understanding of fabric and design is being reflected in what fractals I am happy to share.

As to fractals - now that I have the basic knowledge - what I find and choose to post will reflect the very best I could do at this moment in time.

The fractal world is no different to the fabric world. Many, many people love and enjoy the pastels and patches, some few choose to use the bright solids.

As long as they love it, they shouldn't mind if I am not as excited.

8/16/2006 11:03 PM


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