And so as a new adventure begins. I have started by asking myself; What do I wish to gain from this course? How will I approach exercises and research points? What kind of artist am I? What kind of artist do I wish to become? Of course most of these answers are difficult to put into words given that they are more emotional ideals rather than logical conclusions. Clearly my end goal would be a BA (Hons) in painting but I want more than just a piece of paper declaring proficiency in a subject. I want to emerge myself into one of the oldest and most revered traditions throughout history. What intrinsic value does a true piece of art actually hold? Other than a few exceptions, the frame is worth more than the canvas, this however is not the true value of art. When a person is prepared to pay an exuberant amount of money for a piece, what are they actually buying? I would suggest that they’re not paying for a painting but for how that painting makes them feel. This shows us just how strong the pull of art can be and this is a large part of what fascinates me. I also find drawing/painting extremely therapeutic which given the amount of concentration and thought involved is paradoxical. I tend to be representational when I paint and whilst I often find the more abstract art to be pleasing on the eye, I confess to not truly understanding it. I recently began to read The Practice and Science of Drawing by Harold Speed and in the preface there was a short paragraph that resonated with me
“If anybody looks at a picture by Claude Monet from the point of view of a Raphael, he will see nothing but a meaningless jargon of wild paint-strokes. And if anybody looks at a Raphael from the point of view of a Claude Monet, he will, no doubt, only see hard, tinny figures in a setting devoid of any of the lovely atmosphere that always envelops form seen in nature.” (Speed, 1913)
This indicates to me that whilst art is subjective and an individual may have certain preferences, it is important to understand and experience other forms of art, after all no one would argue against both Monet and Raphael being masters of their craft. It is with this in mind that I shall endeavour to keep an open mind during my research and whilst on occasion I may not personally like what happens to be in front of me, I will try to understand and at the very least admire and respect it.
I will be setting myself deadlines and try to do a little each evening and more on the weekends both practical and theoretical, slowly progressing through the course. I hope to complete each unit in around a year or so to finish within the 12 year time limit. Of course it is very early stages at the moment so these are very loosely defined right now.
My next steps will be to finish reading through the study guides have another look through the course and complete “An Introduction to Studying at HE”. Once I have done this and had a chat with my tutor I will be reporting back after completing the first exercise.
Speed, Harold (1913) – The Practice and Science of Drawing, Dover publications inc.