Saturday, November 04, 2006

George Inness

American Landscape Painter George Inness (1825-1894) wrote: "A work of art must have subtlety of tone and a certain amount of mystery that can never be seen at first glance. It must be looked at a long time before its subtle tones can be grasped; and if it is great, it grows upon you, and the longer you look, the more you see, and to describe it is almost impossible, because you never see it twice a like. It changes with your mood. It is a thing to live with. You study it; you learn to see the soul of it. It is like a face that becomes beautiful because you have learned to know and love the soul behind it. When a picture gives you this effect, it is great art."
What a beautiful statement!

Be Skeptical

A landscape painting can make such a beautiful and powerful statement on its own without entering that realm of opinions and personal points of view. Be skeptical of "truths" when it comes to rights and wrongs of art. Find that truth in looking at nature.

Looking at Art

Looking at artwork that is not up to your standards or not as good as you can produce yourself is generally a waste of time. It can force you to find merit in work that you may otherwise just overlook but other than that, time is better spent looking at nature. When I visit to a gallery I want to leave saying to myself, "Wow, I wish I could paint like that." If that doesn't happen nothing much has been accomplished.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Our Slogan Is....

There are election posters littering the streets when I wrote this and one large sign had a photo of the smiling candidate along with the slogan "We Can Do It". A simple minded slogan and apparently a platform with no meaning whatsoever. Well, in painting the public is "sold" the same thing, trite pictures with no meaning or substance by heavily promoted artists producing primarily for the salability. It seems to be the easy way to go and pleases everyone. Eye candy with no meat. Don't think that anything short of giving your paintings as much meaning and thought as possible will give you any lasting satisfaction. Your paintings need a real platform that speak more than mere slogan. Don't paint pretty pictures for the sake of painting a pretty picture.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Painting Demonstrations

I have been making some painting demonstration videos and immensly enjoy the process and especially being able to share them online. As to the value of such programs, I wonder if watching someone paint is like thinking you are going to read by listening to someone reading. You may be inspired, motivated, and learn helpful tips but it's doubtful if you will learn to paint. I could be wrong.
If you are interested in watching any of my videos on painting and other short subjects you can find them on my video page.