“I don’t know much about art, but I understand what I love “.This cliché can be an expression that’s been said in many ways by many people. Knowing what you like is a great thing…being unknowledgeable is not. I wish to make the case for educating yourself about art to be able to better enjoy it. I’ll begin with an event I’d whilst in a painting workshop taught by Donna Watson.
Donna can be 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 at least one of nonobjective abstracts which could include a small animal skull or birds nest as part of its mixed media ingredients. She is just a knowledgeable artist and her goal in the workshop was to create us more knowledgeable artists. One of the exercises she put us through underscored that goal.
Donna grouped us around a projector and told us that individuals were to imagine that individuals were judges for a local art show and will be deciding which paintings submitted by artists will be included in the show and which ones will be “juried out “.(This is an activity found in most local and all regional and national shows to insure that the grade of the show is substantial.) Donna would project a slip of a bit of artwork and we would vote with a hand raised if we thought this piece should really be included. Following the voting, we’d a quick discussion during which people who voted the piece in would express their reasons for including the task and people 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 your last slide was shown abstract photographers. It was a rather mundane painting of an art form studio sink. Every hand went up. For the very first time we were unanimous in our approval of the piece. That slide was a “ringer “.Donna had inserted among every one of the amateur pieces, a little known painting of a world renowned abstract expressionist, Richard Diebenkorn. None folks recognized the work. We had no indisputable fact that it was by a famous artist, but most of us saw the worth of the piece. What was it relating to this painting that managed to get stand right out of the rest? Why did most of us vote it in?
The group of people “judging” were all amateur artists. We work at creating art. We look at lots of art. We study art. We are suffering from a palette for recognizing excellence in art. We approached this exercise with at least some education about art and our education gave us some typically common ground where to judge. Permit me to make a comparison from another creative endeavor, winemaking.
I are now living in wine country. A typical 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 your wine, just how to smell it and taste it, and how to enjoy it. We also drink wine often; all sorts of wine, from “two buck Chuck” with a fairly pricey brands. Without even being alert to what we are doing, we are 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 understand what I’d gained from my wine tasting experiences.
I opened a jar that were a house gift, poured a glass, and took a glass as I was preparing dinner. To my surprise, I could taste the oak of the barrel, cherries, and some pear just like the wine pourers often say. The wine sang to me. I totally enjoyed it. This is what can happen when you look at abstract paintings after you take the time to become knowledgeable about art. Knowing what goes into a great painting will make that painting sing to you. You will have a way to state, “I understand something about art, and I understand why I understand what I like.” My next article begins exploring the necessary things that enter making a great abstract painting.Read More