Saturday, 5 April 2008

Art History

Waihi 1912

This morning I emailed my blog address to a friend in the U.S., Andy Reurich. I told him he could also google my name to find the blog and when I finished emailing Andy I googled my name and mein gott there is a heap of stuff there on me including all contact details.

And if I was a wee bit worried about baring my soul on this blog it's like forget about it! I'm out there in the world whether I like it or not. Privacy? Shit, that's a last century ideal, a philosophical concept for academics to ponder on.

I realized I can be found as easily as my art heroes, an interesting thought..

And speaking of art heroes I am reminded of one in particular who inspired me at a time when I was riven with self doubt (don't you just love words like riven? the english language is so cool).

This was a New Zealand artist, a girl of about 11 years old who was on the tele making a bit of a splash with her wonderful colourful abstract paintings and the media person interviewing this young lady asked her who her favourite artist was and without hesitation the young artist said "Me!"
And I was immediately gripped with a strong and happy emotion and thought "YES!"
This young lady and myself were then added to my list( it's a bloody long list mate) of art heroes.

No, I am not that vain but being one of my own favourite artists is a great tool to keep my dander up and not fall prey to depression and self dought as I am wont to do.
Many times I will do a drawing, a portrait, that turns out pretty good and I will look at it and it is like looking in a mirror. I see myself in the drawing because it is in my style and looks so old and familiar as to be almost boring as in it looks like it has existed forever, or as long as I have lived and is an old and achingly familiar friend...

If you know what I mean, hope that makes sense.

Most of my favourite artists are giants in Art history unlike myself and the young lady I saw on tele who so inspired me and some of them are: Shiele, Toulouse-Latrec, Degas for drawing and Vincent, Goya and Rembrandt and the unknown master who painted the Villa of Mysteries mural on the outskirts of Pompei about 63AD for their ideals or suffering or ability to express the inexpressable. But there are so many, so many.
I like to think of art as the oldest profession in the world, dating from the stone age when bands or small tribes of people would have had a leader counseled by a shaman and an artist (perhaps the same person) to work the sympathetic magic necessary to survive in a place of danger and wonder.
Another hero of mine is Betty Edwards who wrote two great books on drawing that take us away from sympathetic magic and into the workings of our bi-cameral minds. If you are at all interested in drawing read Betty.

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