Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Remembering Van Gogh
34 x 30 Oil on Linen

The American Heritage Dictionary defines Art as the conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty. Britannica Online characterizes Art as the use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others. Various artists have offered more poetic definitions. "Art is the signature of civilizations" -Beverly Sills. "Art is the child of nature" -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. "Art is the expression of the immortal part of man" -Ignace Paderewski. "Art is the escape from personality" -T.S. Eliot. Others are philosophical. "Art seems to me to be a state of soul more than anything else" -Marc Chagall. "Art is a revolt against man's fate" -Andre Malraux. "Art cannot be modern, art is timeless" -Egon Schiele. Some are cynical. "Art never expresses anything but itself" -Oscar Wilde. "Art is making something out of nothing and selling it" -Frank Zappa. "Art isn't something you marry, it's something you rape" -Edgar Degas. Others more positive. "Art is seduction, not rape" -Susan Sontag. "A work of art is the trace of a magnificent struggle" -Robert Henri. "Art is the triumph over chaos" -John Cheever. Some describe Art with humor. "Art isn't everything, it's just about everything" -Gertrude Stein. "You will think less of the Art, when you know the artist" -George Bernard Shaw. Others take it quite personally. "I feel strongly that the visual arts are of vast and incalculable importance, of course I could be prejudiced, I am a visual art" -Kermit the Frog. Perhaps my favorite definition is E.H. Gombrich’s non-definition, "There really is no such thing as Art, there are only artists"…..

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Oil on Linen
Image 16 x 20 - Framed 22 x 26

Some artists are so full of ideas about what to paint they could never complete them all in one lifetime. Others, though they may have great skills, are clueless about what to paint and are happiest when someone commissions them to paint something. I fall somewhere in the middle. I have many images that I want to commit to canvas but also like to be available for fresh inspirations. One painting frequently leads into the next one but occasionally the chain of thought is interrupted. At those times I often grab a few simple, familiar objects, take them to my studio and play with light and composition and color. Chopin might have called them ├ętudes, Beethoven bagatelles, I like to think of them as serendipities....

The Painting of the Month is a special offer to my blog readers (click on the image for a larger view). This month Serendipity, which retails for $3200, is being made available for $2100 (includes shipping, VT residents add 6% sales tax). To purchase this piece contact me at thomastorak@gmail.com. Payment is by check only please, no credit cards. If you prefer you may make 3 monthly payments. This offer is available for 30 days from the date of this post.