Monday, 21 February 2011

Anybody Could Do That

I have had a miserable cold for the past three days that has meant that I have felt like doing very little, if not even just doing nothing. I have watched more television in the last three days that I would normally watch in a month. Some of what I have watched has been dire, but even working the remote has seem challenging.

I watched a film about a village, in which there lived an artist. Yes your typical tousled haired rather witless daydreamer. Not the kind of person you would ever call about to offer advice or help.

Reminded me of the comment made about my abstract last week that it could have been painted by a nursery child. How often have you visited an art gallery and overheard somebody commenting that, anybody could do that?

The truth is that we artists are pretty practical people. Think of the many skills it takes to produce a painting. Stretching paper, canvas , mixing colour , preparing the surface. Then choosing the mount or frame to compliment the painting, so it goes on.

It is not a case of just slapping paint on paper or canvas. You cannot just put red on top of blue, unless of course it is not red that you want.

The finished painting that viewer sees and comments on is the result of attention to detail. Mental, and physical thought, honed artistic inspiration, and much more. Also all the many disappointments when what you set out to do is not what you end up with.

To destroy the beautiful is easy, requiring only carelessness, malice or greed. But to create the beautiful, as the artist knows, requires practical and persistent engagement with many different realities.

The mystic will understand.

So today on my other blog I reveal the last in the series of my Vivaldi – The Four Seasons.

More of that on my other blog.   Winter Has Come


  1. So sorry to hear you aren't feeling too well, Ralph. I hope today finds you feeling ever so much better!

  2. Hi Ralph--I remember patronizing a certain famous restaurant utterly full of great old world art. End to end, top to bottom-- masterpieces, thousands of them jammed up the walls. In the tiny entrance hall there was the only abstract painting, placed there as a joke. it was done by a chimpanzee. Everyone was treated to a belly laugh as they waited the final steps of a very long line. I was always highly insulted by this and a little ashamed--jealous of the monkey. It really was quite good, you know. Wm

  3. Hi, Ralph! I hope you feel better soon. I think most artists are hardworking. Not just "anybody" can do what an artist does. Artists should accept the encouragement, learn from thoughtful criticism and disregard the offhand remarks like "anybody could do that".

  4. Well stated Ralph! Tearing down seems to be our human nature and that is sad.

    Your four paintings all together are quite beautiful. Well done!! Bravo!!

  5. I just came over from PAMO's blog. Sorry you are not feeling well. I love so many abstract paintings but haven't been able to do one yet myself. They are so much harder than I expected. Yes, some children can make some astounding art in their naivete but to do so on purpose and once you are past the innocence of childhood it is very difficult. Which artist (was it Picasso?) said it took him most of his life to get back the freedom of painting as a child again? But of course, even if you can grab that freedom, it doesn't guarantee any good paintings. There is still work and rules and a sense of design that has to come into play. Whew, I don't know where all my wordiness came from and I am just a stranger popping in out of the blue but I hate it when someone makes someone feel badly about their creations.

  6. There are really one two categories of art buyers/appreciators...1. Sophisticated art buyers/appreciators 2. Unsophisticated art buyers/appreciators. The sophisticated understand abstract, the unsophisticated only understand very literal art (their ideal is usually any art that looks "like a photograph". If I peg someone as unsophisticated, I just let it go, they are next to impossible to "convert".
    Hope you feel better soon!

  7. I love this abstract Ralph. I find abstraction to be difficult to do too. My son is always trying to get me to leave my backgrounds and not add anything representational. He figures since the gal in the studio next to me sold $12,000.00 of abstracts (that he doesn't even like) last open studio..that i should do the same..but I can't and don't want to. Besides...abstract is hard!