Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Jolly Pumpkin
24 x 36 Oil on Linen

A few years ago I went to see an exhibit by a self taught artist. Now, if you will allow me to be cranky for a moment, it seems to me that a self taught artist is studying with someone who doesn't know anything. That being said the fellow did well enough to have a show at his local art center. He loved Vermeer's paintings and took them as his model. All of the paintings in the show were small interiors with groups of figures going about their daily business, lit by daylight from a single open window. The paintings had a certain charm but they did not have the depth and complexity of a Vermeer. What they did have was a smooth pretty surface with clean, unmuddied colors. I wasn't very impressed with the work but I did come away with something that I think of every time I see an exhibition. As I looked at his work an amusing little play on words came to me. Now when I look at a painting I always ask, is it near Vermeer or mere veneer.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perusing my old issue of American Artist's Color (for oil painters) and seeing the article there by Elizabeth Torak, I looked her up, found the both of you, and am now a fan, completely. (Sorry, I'm a poor artist too and don't buy paintings.) Your postings are particularly wonderful for the ex-music teacher that I am. But the Vermeer veneer merits an Enthusiastic Thumbs Up. Thanks from Louisiana.