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Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Wyeth’

Ever beautiful in my eyes, are collages which tell a story solely through color and texture.  There is something wonderful about art that doesn’t have to hide behind glass.  I finish my collages with an acrylic gloss medium, so they will last for at least many decades—and probably centuries.

A couple of years ago, an older woman who had been painting most of her life challenged my proclivity for imaginative art.  She said, “There is so much beauty out there.  Why would you want to paint anything other than a scene as it really is?”

I could have answered, “How wonderful that you can replicate nature exactly as it is.  I didn’t think even the most sophisticated cameras could do that!”  But my childhood training in graciousness would undoubtedly have stopped me.

Most of my abstractions contain enough familiar shapes to provide clues of reality.  Actually, I enjoy making some representational art as well.  On occasion I like to paint still lifes, cityscapes, or tree-lined country roads.  When I’m very tired, or when my disintegrating back rachets me out of bed late in the evening, I’ll seek refuge in painting a vase of flowers or the familiar territory of my patio garden.  There will invariably be a touch of fantasy, whimsy, or color that nature never intended—but the finished painting will clearly say “Flowers” or “Patio Garden”. 

My off-the-wall fantasy emerges on days when I’m supercharged.  Invariably, it is the off-the-wall renderings that please me the most.  They broadcast LIFE, ENERGY, COLOR, and FREEDOM—those inner qualities that keep me believing I’m young even when my family and doctors know better.

In any art conversation, we need to delineate between “art” and “ART“!  Lower case art is what I do—at entry level, of course.  Lower case art is what I see in our local galleries.  Lower case art exists at many levels—the bottom strata of beginners like I am, and the advanced layer of veterans who price their work in four digits on the left side of the period.

Then there is ART—those paintings hanging in museums which I’ll probably never visit in person.  I visit this kind of ART online, or via magazines, and I’m thrilled to shreds.  Given the size alone of much fine ART, a real life viewing might finish me off. 

Regarding upper case ART, I favor those works which somehow augment or supplement reality.  Monet was a master at turning gardens and ponds into breathtaking fragments of light and color; to me, his work is the ultimate in excellence and appeal.  But there are realists who move me to the bone as well.  Andrew Wyeth’s poignant “Christina’s World” is heartbreakingly sensitive, and I believe it ranks among the world’s greatest ART.  

We artists are known to grow, and sometimes change in the process.  We may use a brush indoors today, or pour our paint outside and spray it with a garden hose tomorrow.  We may paint barns one year, and strange creatures from the bottom of the ocean in the next.  We may paint a dog that looks like a dog, or—in my case—dogs that look more like people.  That may be because I’ve always viewed my dogs as people.  But that’s totally beside the point!  🙂

“Art” and “ART“!  There’s room enough on our planet for all of it—and for all artists, whether we are representational, moderately expressionistic, or thoroughly off-the-wall!  We should never have to defend what we like to paint, or why!

Margaret L. Been, ©2012

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