MAYBE YOU ARE WRONG ABOUT WHAT IS ART

MAYBE PREACHING TO THE CHOIR

                            MATISSE, a master of representational to abstract

 

When I see a beautiful sunset or a colorful bird I really am moved and love that experience. When I see a dolphin or a zebra in a zoo I find it cool and interesting. In short, I do like the natural world very much. Being in the experience and capturing it on film are one of my passions. Why is it then when I see these things in paintings I yawn? Because art should bring more than beauty to us. A lot more.

For people like Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, O’ Keefe, Monet and many others I admire, the journey from beauty was about the process of growth. If that took some dark turns, they went down those roads. But it was a journey of the intellect. Without that we have mere illustration. Read Norman Rockwell’s book: Norman Rockwell, Illustrator. He clearly knows the difference and explains it well.

Artists embrace frustration because they know that is a doorway t break through to more progress. It is not usually a doorway to sales, at least not at first.

The reason some people hate abstract (and indeed, why is it hate?) is that they do not understand abstraction is all around us and it is as old as cave art…..and most abstraction comes out of representational imagery. It would be shocking to some to see how well abstract artists drew and painted before they moved onward. I would quickly add that this is not a requirement however. It is incredible to me that any artist would trade their imagination for what they expect others would want.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MODERN ART?

WHAT THEY HECK IS ART? WELL……..MAYBE IT ISN’T LIKEABLE TO YOU,

BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT ISN’T ART

“I don’t care what you say, you can’t call that art….I don’t like this modern stuff.” The paintings, textile design and sculpture here are from the period called, “Russian Constructivism.” they were done from1916-1921. A hundred years ago.
People are very reluctant to make any solid statement about art….because it always seems that there are exceptions. But I think we can agree that if you think “modern art” (non-objective, abstract, etc.) is new you could be wrong. Artists are not interested in copying the past to make it marketable, that wouldn’t be too creative. So before you jump to the familiar or reject the odd, remember art is not there to make something match the couch…..that would be decoration.

ARTISTS AS JUDGES OF ART

CAN I DRAW A SOCKET WRENCH WITH A DONUT

INSTEAD OF A MOUNTAIN?

It seems that the Strongly Pro Representational People (SPRP)  are often almost like an art version of the political right. Remember, this is generalization. What I am seeing is a lack of interest in experimentation, taking chances, edgy work, challenging imagery, etc. I am also seeing a distrust of university instructors or other “ivory castle” artists. This, to me, is a step backwards. I am not crazy about everything “modern” but  I am confused by why the minds of so many are closed. After many decades I am now hearing, “My kid could do that” again. I thought we had made it clear that your kids actually didn’t, couldn’t and wouldn’t understand what they were doing even if they did.

I never have and probably never will understand why some people are so threatened by art that presents a challenge. I thought that was one of the most exciting things about creativity.

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“I’ll bet he can’t draw.” I love to draw, I think it is the foundation for all media and critical to seeing. However….can you be an artist if you can’t draw well? Of course, but that is not what some people think and it blinds people to possibilities. Why are some artists so eager to limit others? Some artists have come to the end of their vision (like Matisse) and use scissors and paper as a way to make shapes…this was a way to draw for him.

I am a big fan of art that embraces ideas, whether it be the folk art of a Howard Finster or the amazing work of Duchamp. Some people who think “We must have standards” would say these people should be discounted because they apparently “can’t draw.” How absurd.

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How many more paintings of barns, covered bridges, waterfalls, dolphins, humpbacked whales and snow capped mountains do we need? Paint all you want of them, but please remember, you are a unique individual…..do you really want to pretend you are driving in your car? Stay in your lane, watch your speed, keep your eyes on the road, be safe, don’t break the rules and by all means….do it the same way you did last time. Really? Is that what being an artist is? Oh….almost forgot, honk your horn really loud at someone who doesn’t obey the rules.

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WHAT IS A STILL LIFE?

DRAWING, FOR ME IS A VISUAL  NVESTIGATION.

A still life need not be a vase of lowers or anything you might see in art history. Make your own history.

DRAWING FROM NATURE WITH NATURE

I have always felt very connected to the natural and drawing is a good way for me to record that passion.

As this drawing progressed I found myself wanting to add many more things…including something that was not in the natural world. That ended up being marbles and a  spark plug. I cannot explain way I draw some things, it just seems right. I guess I would be worried if it all made too much sense.

THE FINISHED DRAWING

After many additions the space was filled with objects that somehow seemed right. Some things are obvious such as a maple leaf being somewhat feather like and yet the beginning of a tree, other things sort of fit, like a marble being a little like an egg and others just need to be there, I have no idea why.

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHY AND PAINTING-KNOW THE ENEMY

This is a painting I did using a photo I took. I was intrigued with the challenge of painting water, I am also still very taken with the spectrum and even color itself. While I like this painting I moved on the different territory in a work a few months later. This painting is about the “spinning rectangles” or golden mean.” and it is a part of a wider interest in design systems found in nature. A photo I took is still the starting point, however it is less dependent on that source. This painting is done entirely by memory and intuition. I trusted myself more and was not using a photo source at all. I like all three works and do not consider one better, just different. I did enjoy the last one more because I was much more in charge and I think it is more open t the viewer.

MORE DRAWING OUTSIDE WITH STICKS AND INK

Drawing and painting outdoors is a way to get back to real observational skills and there is something in the image that has a freshness that photo assisted images just don’t have. I have worked from and with photos for more years than not, but I now have a strong desire to get back to the basics of working directly from nature. The other day, an artist friend and I went to a site in Martin County, Indiana and took a stab at drawing Brooks Bridge. It is my goal to get drawings that have some energy and spontaneity.

The first drawing is not as interesting to me and the next one. I over drew the first one and it became all too predictable. The next one is an example of how I am trying to edit myself as I go and get some energy into the work.

Kit Miracle painting Brooks Bridge in rural Martin County, Indiana