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on Art 1.9
Study on the Main Theme
Lust and Sin
This series is not intended to be a university course. I am not an art scholar - I am just a painter. I'm going to reveal some secrets that I stumbled upon. Of course, you too may discover some of these secrets in books, but they are hard to decipher. It will be my pleasure to do so and spread the word. My motto will be, as always:
(from a painting of Jan van Eyck, found as a citation in a modern mathematical book, which means: as good as I can).
Your appreciation gives me the encouragement to continue. It is for you and
all the great masters that I do this, and I hope you enjoy the results. Please
don't hesitate to send me
in order to help me with that goal! This kind of journal is new to the net,
so please tell me if the size is OK (eg images are great, but big!).
Because English is not my home language, I do not always express myself clearly. I hope that you are able to interpret my meaning. Also, I invite you to participate. Send me your articles and comments to be published in this journal.
Last month, I told you that I won't deliver step-by-step instructions. This month, I have a good news for those of you who would like to have them. There are quite some artist's lists on the net (if you are looking for some, I can tell you), and on one of them I met John Hagan. John has wonderful lessons on perspective and many other subjects, and he adds constantly new lessons, so you might bookmark his site. Right now, John uploaded a work in progress. He started a grand nude and documents it to the web as he works along.
I will stick to my subject and carry on with my story for today. The questions I pose is: "What Is Art" and "How to Lead a Good Life"? Another way to put them is: "How Can You Be an Artist" or "How Is Art Possible"? When I was young, I didn't ask these questions. I was pretty naive and knew only very little about myself, the world, about art. My teacher in high school showed us quite a number of paintings, Modern Art too, but my favorite was realistic painting à la Norman Rockwell. I was attracted to art but I didn't consider myself an artist.
Art wasn't part of my family. Culture wasn't part of my family. Art and music
is very important for me. Not so for anybody else. Happily, I didn't know
how different I am. I was the first in my family to attend to university
and I had no model to follow. It never occurred to me that I could be a painter.
When I was discontent with my paintings, I never thought of starting a study
in this direction. Therefore, chances to become a painter were very bad.
by Anne Stahl
in Gallery Beck at
Well, my soul thought different. I was bravely studying mathematics, quit painting, started making photographs, slowed down on that activity, and was puzzled again. Somehow I wanted to do something, but all I did made me feel disappointed. Last month, I promised to tell you how I finally found out. I remembered looking at lots of books with photographs from the lending library.
I knew I wasn't the first person to take a photograph, therefore I wanted to learn from those who were chosen by the editors of books with good photographs. I didn't read the texts in these books, but I watched the photographs very carefully, lots of them, with all kinds of subjects, from all times.
Obviously, painting was much older than photography, and I wasn't the first person to paint a painting either. Once I realized that, I went to the lending library and started studying Art from all times. Again, I didn't read the texts. I didn't have any prejudice, I just tried to learn everything I could.
I remember one night when I couldn't sleep. Finally I got up and studied
one of those books. My eyes fell upon one of the paintings of Jackson Pollock
and my heart began to pound very fast and hard. This was a bodily sensation
caused by the viewing experience of a modern abstract painting. I was really
impressed and never forgot this moment.
Interestingly, this experience didn't lead nowhere. I didn't start painting abstract. I just kept on viewing. I remember very clearly another day. I had a book with five Renaissance paintings, all showing the same subject, a Madonna with child. One of these paintings impressed me much more than all the others.
Tonio · Portrait
Order your own portrait or that of your loved one!
by Tina Tacke in Gallery Clay at Art Quarter
Portrait Tonio, life size,
I didn't understand that. How could that be? These five paintings were all master works, literally made by masters. I remember having been puzzled for quite some time. I couldn't solve this problem by thinking. After a while, I had a funny feeling. It occurred to me that this one painting was much better than the others because "it was painted with the heart blood of the painter".
What was that? What did I mean with that phrase? Wasn't I a modern person? I thought some more about this puzzle, but couldn't get a better solution. It was pretty clear that this painter did not paint with his mastership only. He put some more into this painting, and this additional ingredient was something very personal which couldn't simply be passed on from master to pupil.
This painter seemed to be a great person, too. He was very much nearer to the core as could be expected. At that time, I didn't look that deep, but I felt that something very important had been experienced by me. It took me several years to realize the nature of the secret I stumbled upon here. That wasn't too important because I was able to do one next important step.
Although I didn't understand the secret, I was able to ask a question. I
felt that the painter of this painting was really interested in something,
so decidedly that he would rather die for it. It wasn't too hard to apply
this observation to myself. I asked myself what I was interested in so decidedly
that I would rather die for it.
Now I was really in trouble the moment I asked this question. I was 25 then, considered myself grown-up and mature, and expected to be able to lists five or ten items ordered in descending importance. Unfortunately, I discovered that everything I thought of wasn't really important at all. The next two or three weeks, I went about puzzled and worried and couldn't understand how I could grow up not knowing what was really important in my life.
by Robert Schaefer in Gallery Daguerre at Art Quarter
Finally, I had to give up. I had to confess to myself that my life was meaningless. I didn't feel good with that knowledge. After some more weeks, I had another feeling. I was puzzled again. I was a modern person studying mathematics, and I had feelings instead of cognition. During my photography time, I wanted to buy a double lens camera to be able to make self portrays in front of a mirror if only I could afford one.
I had a mirror, I took me some paper and pencils, sat down in front of the mirror and started sketching. I hadn't been drawing for such a long time, I couldn't sketch anymore. I felt embarrassed. I fetched an eraser, but soon I realized that this wasn't the way to go. To avoid seduction, and I switched to ball pen. This was a wise decision. Remember my first lesson? I told you not to erase:
"If you took a ball point pen, you knew it's impossible to correct that stroke. And if you can't correct it, you know that it counts when you do it. You have no second chance! You do it and that's it. (This is a secret!) "
After a while, I became better in drawing, and eventually I was content with
what I did. At this point, I stopped drawing altogether. I didn't understand
why I drawed in the first place. I know now, but I will tell you only later.
Time to close this issue, time to remind you of the November contest at ArtQuest. If you haven't done yet, surf over to ArtQuest and sign up for the draw end of November! You can win a painting!
I made a new screensaver with funny script screens in the vein of Niki de St.Phalle to celebrate the new start of Monday Magazine. Try it if you're on Win! Included is a comment on the new Art Editor of Monday Magazine (this screen can also be seen here).
All the best 'til next time. Yours truly,
PS: If you have enjoyed this issue, please recommend it to a friend. For
your convenience, I prepared both a mailto: link at the
top and a Recommend-It button at the bottom.
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