About My Ink

 I write (creatively and academically), paint (mostly in oils), sketch (in charcoal), sculpt (primarily with polymer clay), play the piano (though poorly), attend the theatre (and act for fun when I get the opportunity), attempt archery (an older art form, target shooting only) and garden (which is most certainly an art as well). Therefore, my kind of ink is the sort that takes many forms, rather in the tradition of the renaissance man (or woman). And so, I compile here the creations by my many inks of random musings in my "Commonplace Book," my ideas about art in general in "Theories on Art," genre specific scholarly work in "High Fantasy" and "Steampunk," and my own creative works in "Sub-creations," whether they be written or visual.
As outlined above, my "ink" is a different sort in that it takes many different forms besides conventional and printer ink. Yet, these various forms all have one worldview in common. My philosophies on art--and often life in general--are informed by J. R. R. Tolkien's theory of art as "sub-creation," which means that humans created in the likeness of their Creator also create because He created, as taken from Tolkien's poem "Mythopoeia" and his essay "On Fairy-Stories." The purposes I believe art fulfills (or must fulfill to be considered art) also follow many of the ideas outlined in Tolkien's essay as well as C. S. Lewis's writings. Very briefly and generally, art is a reflection of the eternal, a fleeting glimpse into the future Joys of Heaven; of beauty, a form of thanks and praise for the miracles and existence of an ultimate good; and of creation itself, an attempt to mirror the complexities and wonder of this world (which does not necessarily preclude its difficulties or sorrows--although it should still recognize reason for hope). These are the basic assumptions I work within, and they often show through my own work.

On another note, although modern and contemporary theory offers interesting sustenance for thought and can sometimes be used productively in certain respects, I often take a more practical, common-sense approach to literature and art. On a basic level, the arts offer mirrors and hypotheses for life teaching us about the extents of our natures as well as their subtleties. I've currently been finding cognitive science's discoveries on how the human mind works quite fascinating and productive in discussing the processes of creativity and human responses to art, but that may be due to the more pragmatic nature of the theory. I simply take the Inklings writers for my models: my purpose here is to compile my thoughts regardless of popular academic trends. My overall theory is that art (or a portrayed character in a story, for instance) is trying to find a way to deal with the Fallen state of the world and get back to the original, pristine paradise of Eden, even if it doesn't recognize it.

So, these are my inklings complete with their own infused worldview, and I will be content that I at least had the opportunity to lay them down in a more concrete form.

Happy travels,

~Gina L. Kammer

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