I like art.
I like to look at art. I don't necessarily know what should be deemed as good or bad art.
It really doesn't matter to me, and if it did, I'm not sure if I have the right to build up or tear down someone's work. There are those who are more trained and have more expertise in such matters than I do.
I know what I like, and I know what I don't like. That's what matters to me.
I like to create art.
Mostly, I like to draw using pens, pencils, markers, chalk, crayons - you name it. I like to color and sketch. I like drawing cartoons and caricatures.
I've tried painting with oil and watercolor. The key word is "tried." I'm not very happy with what I've done in oil but like a few watercolors I've made.
I do like breaking the limitations of paper and making things in 3-D.
Not too many years ago, the family visited in-laws living near San Francisco.
On that trip, I ended up at the children's museum in the heart of the City by the Bay. Among the cool things at the museum was a clay-modeling room.
We were there during the day, so kids were there with their moms, grandparents and the curious.
The room was staffed by art students from area colleges. They were able to work on some amazing pieces for class while manning the information desk.
Everyone was able to partake in making something out of clay. Like professional model makers, wire frames were used to give the clay figure its form.
While the boys opted to make monsters, I decided to make something that wasn't so out of this world.
I made a dog. I started by bending the wire so Fido had a body, four legs, a neck and head. By putting clay on the frame and adding more and more to give him mass, it wasn't too long before my clay dog was fleshed out.
A tail was added as were ears, a nose and a mouth.
With a little time to kill, I made a fire hydrant for Fido.
Now here's the best part. You could make your clay creation move and take stop-action photos, which in turn were put together to make a short video.There were backdrops and scenery. I gravitated to a gritty city street I wanted to use.
But first I needed to ask the guys at the desk a question. When I quizzed them about what would be appropriate, they kind of smiled and asked what I had in mind.
I told them I wanted to put the fire hydrant on the street and have Fido walk up to it and take care of his business. There was plenty of yellow clay in the room.
By this time they were laughing and asked if that was all I wanted to do. Yep, I replied. They thought I was going to ask to do something much worse and proceeded to graphically describe some of the videos that had been done there.
I still have a copy of my "Fido in the City" video.
The last couple of days I've been working on stories with Lander University faculty and students that appear in today's newspaper and will be in future editions.
There's an incredible amount of talent teaching in Lander's art department. These professors are turning out some incredibly talented students as well. You don't have to look far to realize that. The teachers and students are interacting with the community. They have exhibits and pieces in public spaces. They design for nonprofits and share their knowledge with others. And, they do just about anything artists do.
It's more evident now than ever. There was a time when The Museum had Saturday morning art classes for youngsters and had Lander art students and others in the Greenwood arts community instruct.
My boys and I were regulars at these classes.
The same looks of excitement I saw years ago at The Museum I saw at Lander last week. While at Lander to earn a degree, the students are also learning something I always thought art should be. It should be fun and maybe make some people happy, too.
And that's a good thing.
Sitarz can be reached at 943-2529 or via email at email@example.com. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.