“I don’t know much about art, but I know very well what I prefer “.This cliché is an expression that’s been said in many ways by many people. Knowing what you want is an excellent thing…being unknowledgeable is not. I wish to make the case for educating yourself about art in order to better enjoy it. I’ll start with an event I’d during a painting workshop taught by Donna Watson.
Donna is an accomplished painter who started her career painting scenes of clapboard houses and the lovely azalea bushes of her Northwestern town near Seattle. She changed her direction to one of nonobjective abstracts that could add a small animal skull or birds nest as part of its mixed media ingredients. She is a knowledgeable artist and her goal in the workshop was to make us more knowledgeable artists. Among the exercises she put us through underscored that goal.
Donna grouped us around a projector and told us that we were to assume that we were judges for a local art show and will be deciding which paintings submitted by artists will be within the show and those that will be “juried out “.(This is a process found in most local and all regional and national shows to insure that the grade of the show is substantial.) Donna would project a slide of an item of artwork and we would vote by way of a hand raised when we thought this piece should really be included. After the voting, we’d a brief discussion during which those who voted the piece in would express their reasons for including the job and those who voted it out would explain why they thought it should be excluded.
Every piece had its supporters and naysayers, often split 50-50. Then the last slide was shown. It absolutely was an extremely mundane painting of a skill studio sink. Every hand went up. For the first time we were unanimous inside our approval of the piece. That slide was a “ringer “.Donna had inserted among all the amateur pieces, only a little known painting of a world renowned abstract expressionist, Richard Diebenkorn. None people recognized the work. We’d no indisputable fact that it had been by a popular artist, but all of us saw the worthiness of the piece. That which was it about any of it painting that caused it to be stand out from the rest? Why did all of us vote it in?
The band of people “judging” were all amateur artists. We just work at creating art. We look at lots of art. We study art. We have developed a palette for recognizing excellence in art abstract painting large. We approached this exercise with at the least some education about art and our education gave us some common ground on which to judge. Let me make a comparison from another creative endeavor, winemaking.
I reside in wine country. An average weekend pastime for my husband and I and friends is to visit wineries for tastings. At the wineries, we often receive instruction on what to look for in the wine, how exactly to smell it and taste it, and how to savor it. We also drink wine often; all kinds of wine, from “two buck Chuck” to some fairly pricey brands. Without even being alert to what we’re doing, we’re educating ourselves about wine. I don’t think of myself as a wine connoisseur; my limited sense of smell probably precludes that avocation, but I’d an event that let me know very well what I’d gained from my wine tasting experiences.
I opened a bottle that were a house gift, poured a glass, and took a glass as I was preparing dinner. To my surprise, I really could taste the oak of the barrel, cherries, and a little pear just like the wine pourers often say. Your wine sang to me. I totally enjoyed it. It’s this that can occur whenever you look at abstract paintings when you take the time to inform yourself about art. Knowing what goes into a great painting can make that painting sing to you. You will be able to say, “I understand something about art, and I understand why I know very well what I like.” My next article begins exploring the necessary things that enter developing a great abstract painting.Read More