“I don’t know much about art, but I understand what I love “.This cliché is definitely an expression that has been said in lots of ways by many people. Knowing what you want is a good thing…being unknowledgeable is not. I want to make the case for educating yourself about art in order to better enjoy it. I’ll begin with an experience I had while in a painting workshop taught by Donna Watson.
Donna is definitely 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 1 of nonobjective abstracts that will add a small animal skull or birds nest as part of its mixed media ingredients. She is really a knowledgeable artist and her goal in the workshop was to produce us more knowledgeable artists. One of many exercises she put us through underscored that goal.
Donna grouped us around a projector and told us that people were to imagine that people were judges for a nearby art show and will be deciding which paintings submitted by artists will be included in the show and those will be “juried out “.(This is an activity used 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 a piece of artwork and we’d vote by way of a hand raised when we thought this piece must certanly be included abstract photos. After the voting, we’d a brief discussion during which people who voted the piece in would express their reasons for including the work and people who voted it out would explain why they thought it must be excluded.
Every piece had its supporters and naysayers, often split 50-50. Then the last slide was shown. It absolutely was a rather mundane painting of an art studio sink. Every hand went up. For initially we were unanimous inside 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’d no idea that it absolutely was by a famous artist, but all of us saw the worthiness of the piece. That which was it about any of it painting that managed to get stand out of the rest? Why did all of us vote it in?
The number of people “judging” were all amateur artists. We work at creating art. We look at plenty of art. We study art. We allow us 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 on which to judge. Let me make a comparison from another creative endeavor, winemaking.
I live in wine country. A normal 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 find in your wine, how to smell it and taste it, and how to savor it. We also drink wine often; all sorts of wine, from “two buck Chuck” to some fairly pricey brands. Without even being aware of 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 had an experience that i’d like to understand what I had gained from my wine tasting experiences.
I opened a bottle that had been a residence 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 similar to the wine pourers often say. The wine sang to me. I totally enjoyed it. This is what can occur once you look at abstract paintings once you make an effort to keep yourself well-informed about art. Knowing what adopts a good painting could make that painting sing to you. You will be able to state, “I know something about art, and I know why I understand what I like.” My next article will start exploring the mandatory things that get into creating a great abstract painting.