Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Art of Art – Lesson One

There are Three critical elements that make Art good. It's what distinguishes the Street sign painter from the Da Vinci they are

One - Observation
Two – Technique
Three – Passion

Refining and working on these can only improve your life and your art. If you don't have these three things in your work, get a job as an accountant. If you're a little shy of them, have heart. You can grow. You're never too old or too rigid to grow.

Art is subjective, what's wonderful to one person, might be an abomination to another.

I had a design teacher in College that was so critical of what he considered commercial and or flawed design work. He hated thoughtless trendy art and even balked at the staples in the middle of a two page magazine spread (poor design). Then, one day while he was teaching, his heart stopped. I was in a nearby class and ran to see if I could help. He was conscious and kind of happy, waiting for the paramedics. At the time we didn't know what happened, He was barely 40.

I talked to him when he got back from the hospital. He had to wear a pacemaker, because it turned out had a rare condition that could cause his heart to stop at any time. He said when he woke up in the hospital the next day, he looked out the window and saw the sun shining through the trees and it was beautiful, and he turned around and saw his 80 year old roommate and his mylar smiley face balloons and they were beautiful too. He now had a different perspective of art. He walked through the fire and found beauty in even the flashiest, most commercial and ubiquitous thing. But it wasn't the balloon that was beautiful, it was the setting it was in. It was the old man, the hospital room, the mylar balloon with the sun shining through the window, and a renewed value of life, that was Art.

Observation: It is critically important that you observe the world around you very closely. Notice what makes people smile. Notice the colors at sunset that make you want to stand and stare a while. Don't just take in the colors, smell the flowers and the bacon cooking. Savor every bite of chocolate or that buttered popcorn.

Take 15 minutes out of your day to do something that is not routine. Skip a TV show to go to the Art museum, or walk in the park. Listen to the birds sing and stop and watch the sunrise. Da Vinci made sketches of animals and plants. He taught himself to write backwards and kept his notes that way. He constantly studied and challenged himself to all that he could know or do. We may never be Da Vincis, but how will we know if we don't try?

Next lesson Adventure and Passion: An observation on the artists Bernard Pfriem and Viktor Schreckengost.


Poppys Wicked Garden said...

Beautiful and thoughtful lesson:)

Pili said...

A wonderful lesson on art and on life!

Lana said...

I'm so glad the teacher learned to see the beauty around him (but sorry it took such drastic measures).

Your thoughts are beautifully stated, Cinders. :)

vintage eye said...

Be fully present in your life- everyday. :)

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