Out Into the Sunshine

I have been nominated for a blog award by Doctor Kandinsky. Now, I don’t do awards, but I always appreciate the feeling behind the nomination. It is very meaningful to me to have my work make enough of an impression on someone to merit being singled out, and I am very grateful for it.

I am writing this post as a thank you, and because I was intrigued by the set of questions posed, I wanted to answer them. I feel that I got the better of this situation, certainly, by being able to express some opinions and think about some issues. I’ve also taken the opportunity to post some images from the past – this blog has been going on since February, 2013…

Thank you, Doctor Kandinsky!

The questions posed and my answers:

1. do you think there’s a difference between art and decoration? why?

This question has been debated by better minds than mine. I will say that I do not like hearing someone say, as they look over my work in my booth at an art fair: “Do you have anything in (fill in color)? I need something for my living room.” – or – If you had a picture of a (fill in animal, object, whatever), I would buy it, because I collect pictures of them.” If you say these things in my booth, I will get a cold look on my face very quickly and I will try very hard not to sell you anything. I’m not kidding.

From February, 2013.

2. who’s your favorite painter (or writer)?

No favorites. There are just too many choices and each one offering something the others don’t. Let me just keep choosing from the endless buffet, that is all I ask.

collage, July, 2013.

3. when you look at art what are you looking for?

I am looking for something that stops me in my tracks.

Tell me
Artist trading card, 2013

4. do emotions have colors?

Yes, of course they do.

2″ square paintings, 2014.

5. do you think that concept art is a joke?

I am not really sure of the definition of concept art so I can’t answer. If you want to be taken seriously by me, then sincerity must shine through.

August, 2014.

6. does blogging help you to be creative?

I answer this with a 200% yes. Having this audience has meant everything for me.

Moon over the ocean. Clay tile, January, 2015

7. Da Vinci or Van Kooning?


“Ghost House”
20″ x 16″
May, 2015

8. do you believe that artwork (paintings, photos, sculpture, literature, …) is more likely to speak to our mind or to our soul?

I do not think there is a line between soul, mind, or body. Art, like every experience, is to me something that rushes in wherever it can and roots itself in the places it finds best suited for it.

“Four Square.” September, 2015.

9. what is more important to you: technique or spontaneity?

If there is no technique, there is nothing to work with in a spontaneous way. I think in art, as in everything, skills have to be learned and exist in order to have a means of expression. I think the question needs to be: what is more important, planning or spontaneity, and I would say, my experience is that in every endeavor each one of these comes in waves, alternating with the other.

January, 2016.

10. is street-art vandalism?

Like so many other things, it all depends.

June, 2016.

11. how about young children as teachers in art schools?


October, 2016. Clay tile.

12. why do people whisper when they talk inside of museums?

Because: they are intimidated by the look and atmosphere of the place, in the more haughty ones. Don’t like to attract attention to themselves in any situation. The acoustics of many museums amplify the least little noise. Were told by the teacher on that field trip so long ago that they’d in trouble back at school if they didn’t shut up right now. Are afraid their opinions will be overheard. Are afraid their opinions are uninformed or ignorant or embarrassing and will be overheard. Are shushed by the guards. Are shushed by other patrons. Are shushed by the people they’ve come to the museum with. Or, all of the above!

March, 2017.


29 thoughts on “Out Into the Sunshine

  1. alongtheinterstice

    the artwork offered throughout the answers really enhanced the answers. And I found myself nodding in agreement all the way through. Regarding the last question I don’t mind people talking in the in-door voice about the works, listening in i can hear something about the work that i find illuinating, but i really don’t want to hear about how some contractors remodelling the bathroom are slow-walking the project while i’m trying to engage with a work (that really happened).

  2. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. My version involved a guard telling me some years back how much my son looked like me, in her normal voice; I whispered back the answers. I just felt out of place on that topic in a museum with other people trying to look around though the guard was perfectly ok with it!

  3. memadtwo

    The wide selection of art here is the biggest treat (although it’s always good to hear your voice). So much wonderfulness I can’t pick a favorite, although maybe “Four Squares”…anyway it showcases just what an amazing artist you are. And then there’s also the poetry! (K)

  4. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I decided to add art from past months and years on the blog, since this post was kind of a round up of philosophy and so on. I like to revisit what I was doing in the past. Forgot about some of these pieces, particularly the one you mentioned – I realize I still have it and some like it, in my art-to-save drawer.

  5. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I usually don’t answer these award questions but I thought these were great ones and made me dig into my mental filing cabinets.

  6. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I enjoyed looking back into my archives from 2013 and so on and it reminds me of the path I am on, as did answering the questions.

  7. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. The questions made me think about my overall feelings on some topics and I wanted to show artwork from the past to go along with it. I’ve only been blogging for 4 years or so, so these pieces are not that old, but – I enjoyed looking back. Made me think I might post images from WAY back – a few retrospectives? I’m thinking…

  8. memadtwo

    It’s amazing how you can look at something from past years and totally misplace the making of it. Well, it’s good to be amazed I think, even at yourself.

  9. Alice

    Reading your answers, I am reminded once again of what I love most about you, Claudia McGill. The integrated integrity of your human parts, your expansive world, your technical craft, your creations’ faces. Thank you for sharing this.

  10. Claudia McGill Post author

    I have sold most of my work, that is what I made it for, originally, and so I don’t have much of it around (good thing I always took pictures…) but now I am less interested in selling and I keep more art. Glad I am doing this now though I can’t say why. I try not to wonder what has happened to so many of these pieces, these years later…just be reminded of enjoying making them.

  11. Claudia McGill Post author

    Yes, thank you, I have felt that way. It is hard work and sometimes intimidating to represent yourself in this way, selling and also being so wrapped up in your product, so to speak. I certainly have many stories to tell.!!!

  12. Carol A. More

    Sincere congratulations, Claudia! Reading the responses to the questions allowed me more insight into your inspirational artwork. And…I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever said (or thought) those dumb things while surrounded by someone’s artwork. But it sounds like there’s an entire market segment for the pop-up artist that wants to be everything to everyone – BLAH! Your recognition is well-deserved – it’s obvious you spend a tremendous amount of time and energy AND TALENT in your artwork.

  13. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I’ve heard all kinds of things during my years of selling art and the decor question interested me because there are clearly people who see art only as decor, matching that darn sofa! and others who seem to instinctively understand what I’m trying to do, and then all the people in the middle.

  14. Jeanette Clawson

    I’m so glad you were nominated for this award and that you answered the questions. Very interesting post and I love the collection of art that you paired with the responses, too.

  15. Claudia McGill Post author

    Thank you. I don’t want to intrude on others, in any way, but I did find these questions really gave me something to chew on, and I enjoyed answering them. I also wanted to revisit the fact that I have been blogging since 2013, I am proud of that, and to view some of my work from back then again was fun for me.

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