Esther J. Williams 's comment on Fish Stew and the Self-Taught Artist
|Esther J. Williams |
|27 months ago|
Keith, this is an excellent article. There are so many elements of art besides these visual proponents, line, shape, values, textures and colors. How to see the way light forms shapes, making the most out of color combinations, perspective, atmosphere, etc...Some teachers call them fundamentals, others, principles. Those need to be taught first or we can waste years of plastering paint all over a canvas and think it is art because it looks like a Jackson Pollock. Oh, I don`t mean to open up a can of worms here with his name, but his art breaks all rules. If he was self taught and listened to his voice, then so be it and we can not argue that his art is worth millions. Abstract artists seem to be able to break all the rules and it goes into museums. Representational artists for the most part follow the rules and still manage to be included in museum collections but not as much anymore. Where are we heading with art? Are we painting works that just express feeling and color, no depth, no composition? I have spent decades learning the principles and have applied them with much practice. Sure, my painting quality has evolved and improved since the first ones. I tried to be like Monet, Van Gogh, then Renoir, then Turner, even some modern living impressionist artists, until I found my voice like you said. I used to be more realistic, but now feel very comfortable being a little more lose and abstract within my representational style. Sure, I am self taught but I borrowed from many artists and came up with my own expression, only showing respect for the fundamentals, not trying to break rules. In my bio I say I am part French impressionist and part Calif. impressionist with a touch of realism. What we do is to make a sophisticated, eclectic soup after awhile. I feel I am a recipe when I say part this, part that. But I do not paint in a formulaic fashion. I am always exploring and reviewing books or old master`s art. Artists today are paving the road to new fashions, new styles that borrow from the past. The past we shall not forget, thanks to museums who hold the masterful works we shall continue to study and learn from. Then we have the joy of expressing our own voice to create present day masterpieces. Whether they are abstract or representational, the learning of the basics of art principles will greatly help an artist throughout their life, I do completely agree.
There are many teachers out there today who are better off to learn more themselves than teach students and spare them. Beginning artists are so hungry to learn that they will take whatever they can find in lessons to give themselves a jump start. I have heard of teachers spending the first day of a workshop teaching basic fundamentals while the students are going mad wanting just to paint. So, it`s not all the teachers fault, it`s much too eager artists wanting to jump out of the gate and run off down the track.