Sunday, February 15, 2015

Searching for Beauty

     I'm currently re-reading one of my favourite inspirational art books--"Creative Authenticity- 16 Principles to Clarify and Deepen your Artistic Vision"- by Ian Roberts. The first principle si Searching for Beauty. Ian says the book is not for those who would like to create but are too timid to get started- it is "a book for people who are in the thick of the creative struggle." He says "interestingly, we have come to the point in the contemporary art world where beauty is suspect as an aim in art." He goes on to explain that he doesn't mean pretty or sweet and that a great, powerful, beautiful painting - Goya's "The Third of May 1808" can also be horrifying. It is moving.
      I love where Ian trashes  "the technology of the media  as the vehicle of art, in which the means of communication alone is considered relevant, even devoid of any content". He talks of videos that go on and on leading nowhere. That reminded me of one I saw recently -  in an art gallery--it was as if it was termed "artistic" because it was lousy photography with no point.
     "Life cannot be lived well without standards . Art, as a part of our life, would obviously seem to benefit from standards as well...... I think new standards of meaningfulness in art are resurfacing. Which is where authenticity comes in. Standards that are transformative, that will last, will have to come from a deep, quiet harbor of spirit if they are to anchor us today."
      This book is one that makes an artist question the process and really think about directions and what the artist is trying to express. We all need to  work on our own growth and our authenticity so that our work will matter.
     The drawing is a pastel of Yui in a casual kimono. I tried to capture her beauty and grace. This was a long pose at Life Drawing and is posted in on Pinterest on my Life Drawing folio. I like life drawing because it is always a challenge to capture the beauty of the human figure - even when not necessarily what modern conventions would call "beauty." There is a beautiful person within  and I want to be "authentic" in showing that. I'm currently trying to move in a slightly different direction in some work. This piece is more conventionally realistic  than some things I am trying -although I elongated her a little bit to stress the quiet elegance.

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