“I don’t know much about art, but I know very well what I like “.This cliché is definitely an expression that’s been said in many ways by many people. Knowing what you prefer is an excellent 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 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 one of nonobjective abstracts that’ll add a small animal skull or birds nest within its mixed media ingredients. She is just 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 individuals were to imagine that individuals were judges for a local art show and would be deciding which paintings submitted by artists would be within the show and those that would be “juried out “.(This is a procedure found 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 bit of artwork and we would vote with a hand raised if we thought this piece should really be included. After the voting, we’d a quick discussion during which those who voted the piece in would express their reasons for including the work and those 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 the last slide was shown. It had been a fairly mundane painting of an art form studio sink abstract painting colorful. Every hand went up. For the very first time we were unanimous inside our approval of the piece. That slide was a “ringer “.Donna had inserted among all the amateur pieces, only a little known painting of a global renowned abstract expressionist, Richard Diebenkorn. None people recognized the work. We’d no indisputable fact that it was by a popular artist, but we all saw the worth of the piece. That which was it concerning this painting that made it stand right out of the rest? Why did we all vote it in?
The number of people “judging” were all amateur artists. We work at creating art. We look at a lot 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 traditional ground which to judge. Allow me to make a contrast from another creative endeavor, winemaking.
I reside 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 which to find in the wine, how to smell it and taste it, and how to enjoy it. We also drink wine often; all kinds of wine, from “two buck Chuck” for some fairly pricey brands. Without even being alert to 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’d an event that allow me to know very well what I’d gained from my wine tasting experiences.
I opened a package that were a residence gift, poured a glass, and took a sip as I was preparing dinner. To my surprise, I could taste the oak of the barrel, cherries, and some pear just as the wine pourers often say. The wine sang to me. I totally enjoyed it. It’s this that can occur when you look at abstract paintings after you take the time to become knowledgeable about art. Knowing what goes into a good painting could make that painting sing to you. You will have a way to state, “I understand something about art, and I understand why I know very well what I like.” My next article will start exploring the required ingredients that get into creating a great abstract painting.