Perhaps there is a parallel in the attitude of classical musicians to the world of rock 'n' roll! Some years ago George Martin recorded 'proper' musicians playing Beatles numbers - when David Williams tried to play one of George Harrisons solos he was completely flummoxed, just couldn't get it, so George H was asked to help. His response was that it was simple, just re-tune the guitar like so... There was once a series of programmes featuring Stephane Grappelli and Yehudi Menuhin, YM enthusiastically fiddling gipsy-influenced jazz. Embarrassing. Willie Nelson and Julio Iglesias, anyone? I'm not a Willie Nelson fan but please! It's different, it's not better.
Most modern art leaves me cold, not because it is 'difficult', 'intellectual' or 'not what I like', but because mostly it is pretentious rubbish, part of a scam to make a lot of money by flogging the Emporor's Clothes to death. Artists, dealers and critics work hand-in-hand to milk the easily-impressed wealthy who wish, in turn, to impress. How many times do you hear that stock phrase from art critics - "I think what the artist is trying to say...". Well, try a bit harder, chum. David Hockney is one of the few current artists that I really like, his approach is invigorating, the finished work captivating and, for me, moving. Lucien Freud is more than competent, and has produced some terrific work - but he's a one-trick poney.
The point is that there are many illustrators who are better at drawing and painting than many 'artists', and who are not concerened that their work is commissioned for commercial purposes. Quite how that is different from a crude, multi-million pound/dollar sculpture commissioned by a large bank to erect on their fore-court I cannot see. I appreciate that drawing and painting skills do not have much bearing on what is art, and art, or Art, has moved on from a mix of skill and imagination to more pure intellectualising, but it doesn't prevent a lot of it being grim.
I have some sympathy with the view that grinding your own pigments may have little to do with the intended profesional career path, but surely it doesn't hurt to know, it doesn't waste years of your life, and if similar groundwork is left out of other courses there is an outcry. Like the measuring-point perspective, you'll probably never use it, but it doesn't hurt, in fact it can help, to have learned it.
I want to paint, not because I want to be known as, or think of myself as, a Fine Artist - I just want to paint, probably landscapes more than anything, because if you have an artistic, creative temperament that is not given some freedom, I don't think you can ever be truly happy. Well, happy is probably not the right word, but happier than otherwise. To my mind true artists appreciate artistic endevour in every walk of life, not just their own narrow field.
Well said, Tony. As an artist and musician as well as a former racer and still a motorsports enthusiast, I have to say my piece here too. We may be off topic, but you guys started it.
As an example, many times I have both seen and been on the receiving end of musical elitism, usually coming from a "schooled" musician who feels a compulsion to demonstrate technique and/or knowledge. Some of the finest musicians I know are also some of the poorest technicians, in that they connect directly to their own essences to relate what is inside in musical form. Right now I'm working as one-half of a duo with a wonderful young woman, entirely self-taught (as am I), who has a very basic and limited command of her instruments. Yet she writes some kick-ass songs because she knows how to consistently find the perfect melody and harmony to showcase her voice and her lyrics without worrying about what is acceptable to the musical academicians, and has not had the filter (read: limitation) of formal training applied to her creative process. Is someone like this not an artist? When moved, if we can make the movement real to others, we have succeeded in bringing a portion of our souls into perceptability. To me that is the definition of Art.
I do not perceive the soul in color field work, nor in much of the electronically produced music that is becoming more and more commonly heard. Maybe the artist will say it's there but if I can't find it, I pass.
And, yes, more than one of my own compositions has stumped more than one trained musician.