Monday, March 08, 2010

What to paint and draw

from w
I'm a scribbler and not a professional artist but I've been thinking a bit about what we 'ought' to draw and paint. So many people think that landscape or nice things are the topics to get us going. Why are painters in Fiji so obsessed with an 'idealistic' Fijian way of life instead of the coup culture or urban ugliness? Ray Crooke and his daughter Diana saw Fijian village life as calm and serene but is it really so? I've posted two of Diana's Fiji scenes below. When I first saw her paintings I thought they were by Ray as they are similar in content and style.

I too fall into the trap of looking for beautiful shapes and textures and wanting order.Many painters before 1880 thought historical and biblical subjects were the only things fit to paint - and portraits – to pay the rent. Then some artists - the Impressionists - opened their eyes to look at their city streets and country landscapes. But a camera nowadays can do that quite well, so why paint a realistic scene? The Post-Impressionists, Cubists, Expressionists, Abstract artists later on even changed all of that.

Though viewed shapes, colours, textures attract an artist because of the amazing variety, somehow we have to choose by observing, adding, taking away, altering, imagining alternative views or options. Perhaps enter a world that is different, what you would like the world to look like and you create a universe that no-one else has imagined.

Mostly we do like to have references though to the world we see as well as imagine, some symbols or icons or details that communicate. Otherwise we are like ‘talking to yourself’!Here is a picture of a painting I did of the spring in the rock at Nukutatava Beach, a place where we once lived. Nostalgia of course.

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