Art Musings

I vivdly recall voraciously reading Master Leonardo’s notebooks some years ago, and gleaning from them the wisdom of his remarkable life. He was not just an artist-engineer, he was also a philosopher, and many of his observations I felt I quite related to, many staying with me ever since.

Having had plenty of my own life experiences, some beyond Leonardo’s wildest imaginings and quite a few related to art, I feel I too might have developed a certain level of wisdom, which along with some observations in recent times I elected to share, mostly on Twitter, then on Niume, and now here.

I consider them my “Art Musings”, little expressions or observations that come to mind from time to time and written within the confines of Twitter’s “Tweet” lettering limits.

I can’t recall if any of these are not mine that I may have recalled and recounted from somewhere else. I hope not. I prefer to consider them my own. Some may resonate, some may alienate, some might sound same-same, which wouldn’t surprise since my short-term memory is beginning to suffer worse than my long-term memory, which means I could be guilty of repeating. It’s certainly not my intention to plagiarise. If I’ve repeated any or used somebody else’s work, I apologise for something that was never my intention.

Either way, I have copied them across from my Twitter posts, tweaked a couple of them a tiny bit here and there (especially those whose core message may have been compromised by Twitter’s limit), and in no particular order present them here for your edification and entertainment.

Art Musings:

My art does not help me with my depression. My depression reigns over my ability to create art, so as revenge I refuse to depict depression in my art.

My depression is too bleak for art. I turn my darkness into light and create only beautiful things. That’s where my happiness goes.

I thought I could employ my art to earn my keep, but it appears I was mistaken. I’m too crippled in my head to work otherwise. Oh dear…

I love the pink-brown lustre of fresh bronze. The Romans used it to represent flesh. Their statues weren’t black as today, they were pink.

So sad that painted canvases from antiquity haven’t survived. What does that spell for today’s art? How long will it last?

Travelling through Europe, I was struck by all the ancient ruins. What wasted effort. Restore those buildings! Breathe new life into them!

Ancient buildings weren’t made to be ruined, they were made to be used and enjoyed. Rebuild! Restore! Revitalise! Palmyra, Ephesus, Leptis!

Antibes has Roman taverna still being used as shops, houses still being lived in. They are more beautiful than jumbled piles of stones.

So many artworks gone. Paintings, drawings etc. If I had wanted to be an artist whose work was to be destroyed I would have become a chef.

An artist creating art for sale has a choice between for a client, spec for home owners/corporate premises, or for art galleries.

I’ve been described as having a kind heart in a cruel world. Shame it can’t be a kind world. Won’t stop me being kind. Always be kind.

Some artists put far more art into their salesmanship than anything they put onto their canvases.

Too many art pieces I have seen executed by artists looking to get it done as quickly as possible, forgetting craftsmanship is also part of art.

Some of the most successful artists are those who have an unmistakable style that resonates with the viewer, regardless of content.

A notable artist establishes an individuality that does not mimic another, rather establishes new paradigms in the world of art.

Good humour is a valuable asset in art, but it’s not the only thing. Anything that provokes or evokes strong emotions can make great art.

A strong back-story can make all the difference to how viewers can perceive a work of art. Some art is considered “bad” purely by ignorance.

Art styles have defined their eras. Art Deco, modernism etc. Seems less prevalent in the 21st century, where art is more trading commodity than anything else.

The world is ever-changing, but there seems an unprecedented effort of global cultural homogenisation that could slow that, including in art.

Words will not come, music falls silent. Brushes and pencils lie still. The dark grim glares from above, all is forsaken when despair reigns.

Photography has forced art to evolve from what is seen to what is felt. The best modern art is the heart of the artist manifest.

Drawing is fundamental, painting comes later. Sculpture is more sophisticated still, but sculpting does best starting with a drawing.

An artist gazes upon the world with different eyes to others. A droplet of water is the world, the universe in a grain of sand.

Restore Palmyra? To a living, breathing city again? That would be a wonder indeed! Why not Leptis Magna too? Ephesus? Athens Acropolis?

To marvel at the freedom of birds is to ignore the trials and tribulations they endure every day. Even birds cast shadows.

Some artists give all to leave a legacy. Others tread the Earth lightly leaving no mark. Some dream of immortality, others embrace oblivion.

Is the medium so important? Is it not the message that counts? The potency of the message can be affected by the medium, but only seldom.

What makes great art? Bright colours? Sparkly stuff? Good craftsmanship? Maybe it’s the depth of the message from the heart that delivers it.

Some artists can transform bad feelings, thoughts or events into art, bringing light to the darkness. The world needs more of these people.

Buying an artwork can often be the highest form of praise to the artist. Once bought it’s yours, but it forever remains part of the artist too.

The oldest, most enduring artefact of human creation is not war, economics, religion, politics or sport. It is a work of art.

Art critics offer a perspective artists can barely conceive. While most artists dislike critics, they remain vital to art world economics.

Societies are complex, organic creatures that need art to help comprehend themselves. Art is the ultimate 2-way mirror.

In antiquity, artists were revered because the inanimate objects they created were considered alive (X made “me” instead of “this”).

Some consider many present day artists inconvenient leeches on public money, preferring spending on civic utilities etc. I half agree.

All I’m doing is transcribing what the voices in my head tell me. That’s the art of writing a novel, isn’t it? 🙂

The more I study micromosaics, the more I want to work in that medium. Curse you Italy, and your awesome art and artists! Aargh!

A great deal of conservatism is borne of fear. There’s no place for fear in art, which is why art tends to be so liberal.

When asked why there was so much art made from marble in Rome, I replied there was a lot of other stuff too, but it hasn’t survived.

To think of all the bronzes from antiquity melted down to make weapons in medieval Europe… ISIL are not the only barbarians.

Wondering if archaeologists might ever find a painting on canvas on a wall of the seared subterranean ruins of Herculaneum.

My life and possessions are so humble, but when I wander the halls of an art gallery, I feel wealthier than any king.

The art world changes all the time, as new voices are added to the chorus. What wonders await the world in the light of every new day?

In a gallery in the centre of Sydney, I saw a life-size statue of a snarling crocodile and a cartoon bulldog 4ft high. Who buys this stuff?

Art for corporates is highly unique and exceptionally unpredictable. Imagining most is commissioned, but have seen odd spec pieces around.

A lot of digital art is more readily dismissed than photography as legitimate art. The public need better education on the effort required.

Clouds look better from above.

I visited a gallery in Antibes owned by an artist who sold canvases featuring manipulated photos of the pavement. They were brilliant.

Not for me being prolific. To create anything takes time, patience and requisite frame of mind, which is elusive when I’m not cheery.

I knew a writer who penned fairy tales like those published by Brothers Grimm, yet he never published any of them. So sad.

Uncertainty grows in the world, thus does insecurity, harming markets, especially for the arts, which help soothe fears in the first place.

Great art is not what you see, and not even what you know, but what you help others to feel.

A great painting can be the work of years and millions of brush-strokes, or it can be the deft application of a few strokes in just minutes.

The application of chalk or pencil to paper can sometimes eclipse oils on canvas in terms of artistic merit.

Some people don’t consider themselves artists, yet they can achieve great artistic merit. It is unwise to underestimate the novice.

One of the more important things to me in art is light. The right lighting transform the mundane into the sublime.

Sometimes I have the urge to paint or draw things that in retrospect I realise nobody’s interested in. Good thing I hesitate at those times.

Arguably the most featured subject in art is women, closely followed by flowers. Does this mean artists are largely romantics?

I once saw a gallery in Paris that featured paintings that were perversions of pop culture. It was most confronting, but also quite inspiring.

Some painters depict reality, some depict fantasy. Some paint realistically, some paint abstractedly. Each paint as a result of their own journey.

I love history. I enjoy re-creating lost history. My tastes however seem to appeal to too few people. None of my history artwork sells.

Who buys art these days? New elections looming, terrorists everywhere, too many are spooked, hanging onto their money. Life turns gloomy.

Overzealotry in the world leads to imbalance. Money is worthless if you’re not alive to spend it. Life is worthless if you can’t live it.

A philosophy that arose in antiquity suggested if you’re not forgotten, you never truly die. To this day this drives many to leave some form of legacy.

An artist can create something that lives on long after they are gone. The oldest made thing is a work of art. Art endures.

Artists create what’s in their heart. If they want to eat, they must create what’s in the heart of another.

After realising an art client was a sociopath, I walked away. Some art is not worth that price.

Motivation to create art must be nourished, preferably from joy, but sometimes from the dark. Positivity must triumph for art to flourish.

I beheld their empty faces and hollow eyes and I wept. To paint them was not the answer. My art would have to take a different form.

Alas, our world is one which undervalues the power of the word as well the brushstroke. Artists must persevere through that darkness.

Those who proclaim human definitions to be the limits of the universe need to expand their being far beyond what it is to be human.

To hold a work of art fashioned thousands of years ago is to commune through the mists of time with its creator. This is time travel.

A monument to a banker or politician or sportsman or king is also to the artist who created that monument.


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