Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Academic and the Conventional

In the book written by Harold Speed (over 100 years ago) called The Art and Science of Drawing - in Chapter 6 "The Academic and the Conventional" he begins the chapter by writing:  "The terms Academic and Conventional are much used in criticism and greatly feared by the criticized, often without either party appearing to have much idea of what is meant."  he writes on about schools of art, etc., and then says something that makes me think of my own work - for I very much feel it speaks with my own authentic voice.

Speed goes on to write "There is much foolish talk about conventional art, as if art could ever get away from conventions, if it would.  The convention would be more natural or more abstract according to the nature of the thing to be conveyed and the medium employed to express it.  But naturalism is just as much a convention as any of the other isms that art has...been so assailed with.  For a really unconventional art there is Madame Tussaud's Waxwork...they have real natural chairs, tables, and floors, real clothes and even real hair.  Realism everywhere, but no life.  And we all know the result.  The is more expression of life in a few lines scribbled on paper by a good artist than in all the reality of the popular show."

And that's what I think my sculpture conveys; expression of life; the personality of the life and spirit of the animal portrayed.

What do you think about your own art or about the art you collect?  Does it, no matter the ism represented, portray an expression of life?

I will continue to share my favorite insights from this book in the days to follow so stay tuned.  Oh -and sorry there was no post yesterday but there were technical difficulties beyond my control that prevented access to the internet.  It happens.

'Till tomorrow!