I am a pastel artist, concentrating mainly in animal and people portraiture and landscapes, although I enjoy most every medium out there. I am mostly self-taught, however the basic drawing classes I had in college have been invaluable. I tried to take a couple of art history courses, but they quickly filled within seconds of opening the registration windows. The community college I attended counted these courses as a social science credit, therefore many students thought they could get away with taking an “easy art class”.
I never did take art history. I enjoy seeing the works of the masters and others, and the more I create art myself, the more I think of the techniques and abilities of those that have created before us. The computer age should make us appreciate the work and abilities of true artists more than ever. With the simple click of a button (okay, maybe a couple of buttons) one can manipulate images, photos, and other items in the blink of an eye. This makes it quite easy to forget the true concept of art itself and how it is created. Many in the younger generation, unless they have taken an art class, really have no concept of art other than going to the store and buying something “artsy” or downloading an image in a matter of minutes and presto! Instant art!
While there is nothing actually wrong with this instant art (other than possible copyright issues, which is a whole other ballgame), there is much to be said about actual artists and their techniques, especially the masters, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michaelangelo, Rembrandt, et. al.
I am going to start posting about once a month a blog that explores artists and their techniques, even some of the mystery and history surrounding them. For example, who were the artists that made up the famous Hudson River School? Did some of the masters really use what is called the camera obscura? If so, what is it? Did Vincent van Gogh really cut off his ear? What made some of these great artists go down the paths they did with their art? Where did C. M. Russell and Frederick Remington live and paint? It is their history that gives us the foundation of where art has travelled through the years to where it is today.
I hope you will like this new blog, and I will try to keep it interesting and helpful. Let’s go on this journey and study small bits of art history together. I sure some of these artists and their lives may surprise you!
(these art history blogs will also appear as a column in the ezine www.theworldfromhere.com)