Saturday, 1 June 2013

The "artist's curse"



Today I am taking it a bit easy and am mostly browsing articles online. I watched part of this video:





While I agree with a lot of it, mainly how you cannot indeed judge your own work, I don't necessarily agree with the rest. But one thing that is being said here triggered a bit of a revelation. Namely why I don't really enjoy hyper-realism. I find it important to understand how to draw realistically as it's the basis of all, but to me this is only a study for what will come later, a warm-up exercise. What Mark Carder says about things going "wrong" if an artist deviates from pure observation is exactly where I distance myself from his view. I totally respect that people enjoy reproducing things exactly, but it's not what I am trying to do. I do want to walk away from the "perfect" reproduction. I need to search for emotional response. And that's the whole fun part. If I got the emotions right in my own view, then I am happy, if I get an emotional response from others then I did my job right.

Then I went on to read James Gurney's latest blog entry

This is extremely interesting and in fact made me wonder once again how much my extreme astigmatism is affecting my work, or indeed my vision of the world. I get a lot of remarks from people who love my use of colour. It's apparently the one thing people notice the most and I often wondered why. To me it's still very basic and rough. I want to go way beyond this.

I would imagine that this was also what Monet was trying to do, and he's one of my big favourites, I guess it's no coincidence. Not that I would compare myself to him.

The thing that comes out between these two very different points of view is one that has preoccupied me a lot lately.

Trying to get colours exactly right as Mark Carder does is essential for perfect likeness. Well, in any case values are vital. But it inevitably leaves emotions out. It does for me anyway. I am very impressed by such technical skill, but I can't feel anything. Just as I am bowled over by the technique when I listen to Jeff Beck play the guitar, but feel nothing, while if I listen to Jimmy Page, I can hear the "errors" (what some will see as such) but I feel such strong emotions that no one else can match these musically for me. OK maybe Joe Bonamassa can.

For myself, I need to work with depth and vibrancy, I need to work in layers, which can easily derail into ugliness. My favourite activity in life is to make colours sing together and vibrate. Is this why colour is the main thing that strikes people in my work? I still feel so clumsy when I use colours, is this part of the "artist curse"?

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