Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Morning Walk
30 x 32   Oil on Linen

Artists are liars. Botticelli was a liar. So was Renoir. Poussin, El Greco, Corregio, Gainsborough and Eakins were liars. The little Dutchmen, the Hudson River School and the Impressionists were all liars. They all showed you a flat canvas and told you it was not flat. They tried to make you believe you could see fruit and flowers in the round, pastures receding in space dotted with cattle and trees, human figures and groups of human figures, engaged in real, even mythological, activities. It was all a big lie. No matter how real, or spacious, or tactile, or vivid the image seems to you the canvas is still flat. You can lay your hand on the canvas but you can’t pick up the fruit and your hand will not be able to enter the space you think you perceive. It's all an illusion. Perhaps artists are not really liars but illusionist. Magicians. Claesz was certainly a magician. Not only your eyes but your nostrils and tastebuds are set in motion when you look at his still lifes. Corot too. You can feel the breeze and hear the rustling of the leaves in his paintings. Tiepolo was a great magician. He could make you think you were looking though the ceiling of a church and gazing right into the heavens. Rembrandt was an astonishing magician. His portraits not only make you believe you are standing in front of another person, but that you can look the person in the eye and know their character. Each time you view the painting you feel like are visiting a friend. Magic. It can make you believe you are seeing a landscape where two friends are taking a morning stroll, where sunlight floods a distant field and a gentle breeze brushes against the tall grasses in the foreground.....

1 comment:

KVDA said...

So true...I have always said the same thing...especially teaching beginner artists the difference between two dimensions and three dimensions. We are all striving to be the best illusionists we can be...but first we need to know how to do so by manipulating color and rendering true perspective. I think this is an important point you make. Thanks. Great blog post!
Neadeen Masters