Thursday, February 24, 2011

Of Art and “Art”– A discussion of what is and isn’t

A Facebook friend brought up a thorny subject the other day, and I thought I would start a discussion here about it. In effect his questions fell into the subject of “What Is Art?” A question that is probably as old as art itself.

The nuance of the question is when does art become less or more than itself. When does commercialization sap it of its genius and when does genius or experimentation transform it to something other than art?

Put another way:

tk99-09Why is the work of Thomas Kinkade not considered art? One friend compared his work to dollar store Christmas ornaments (ouch). Mind you it looked lovely in the Disney movies, but something happened when these works started being sold as collectors items and people actually started to collect them. We all know how that ended.



rauschenbergwhitepaintingWhy does the work of Robert Rauschenberg (white painting for instance) create such controversy? As one blogger explains “Rauschenberg painted the White Painting as an intentional attempt to see how much content he could strip out of a painting and still have it have meaning.” this sense of “meaning” though, is it art? If it is, is it visual art or experimental art? Is the use of a canvas meaningful or incidental? Is it, in other words a “painting”?



We could discuss of course people like Bob Ross and other TV follow along individuals. We can also discuss the handful of method artists out of the mountain area in the USA who all seem to have breath taking works until you see enough of them and start realizing that you can’t tell one from the other because they all follow the same “process”.

Or we can stay away from the negatives and discuss what makes art art for you. After all, that is what matters, the rest lives around the edges and behind the canvas.

I’m opening this up both here and on Facebook, so take a stab and please… why don’t you let us know how you really feel

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Plein Air Again!

I finally packed my pochade and paints and headed out today. Keith and Helen, fellow OPAS members had planned a paint out in the Markham Village, a lovely area of Markham with historic buildings and a true old style village atmosphere.
For the last couple of years, my themes have been mostly rural farms and landscapes. This was clearly going to be an urban outing and it was either going to be a challenge or a disaster. I made peace with the idea that I may very well come home with a scraper (a panel that is painted and then scraped clean because it was too hideous to keep).
We met at Helen and Keith’s home and business at Wilson Street and fanned out in the area around the village. After looking around for a while, I finally settled down in a parking lot at the intersection of George and Church Street. Helen and Tom joined me in the parking lot as well each painting a different view. What caught my eye was the light and shadows playing off of a small garage and shed just across the street. I went to work quickly to capture the light and spent the rest of the time fine tuning the values and sharpening the composition. My focal point of course was the morning light hitting the structures, but I also wanted to place the shifting planes around the light in focus. The result was this little gem.  I am really pleased with the light and the warm feeling that vibrates through the painting. I could work on it some more, but I feel it deserves to remain as is, a first impression, full of life and with no deliberation.
Now I need your help. I am stomped for a name for this painting. So here is the deal: consider this a call for a competition for the best name for this painting. If you come up with the winning name (post it as a comment on the blog or on Facebook) I will send you a 3”x3” oil on panel mini gem as a thank you! So what are you waiting for? Put on your creative thinking cap and lets go!
Markham Village WIP800s
(La Maison Sous Les Arbres) Oil on primed panel 8”x10” $300

PS: If you go to google to look at the street view, you will find that the view that I painted is hidden behind a truck!! You will need to move back a bit from that corner to see a bit of the view unfortunately.

After many wonderful and welcome suggestions, I chose "La Maison Sous Les Arbres" as the name for this piece. Thanks to everyone who gave suggestions :)

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Please Complete The Survey

I am just curious about what people are buying and what they would like to see on blogs. Please complete the below 7 questions. I will share the results once the survey is closed.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.