Friday, December 12, 2008

Hawthorne on Painting

The Old Mill Pond
I am reading a book called Hawthorne on Painting. Here is a little bit of what he has to say about painting along with my comments.

"Anything under the sun is beautiful if you have the vision--it is the seeing of the thing that makes it so. The world is waiting for men with vision--it is not interested in mere pictures. What people subconsciously are interested in is the expression of beauty, something that helps them through the humdrum day, something that shocks them out of themselves and something that makes them believe in the beauty and the glory of human existence."

What a positive thought to start the day! Some of this is important to me and some of it I sort of disagree with.


"Anything under the sun is beautiful if you have the vision--it is the seeing of
the thing that makes it so."

I very much agree, however, the next part could use some revision. The world is waiting for PEOPLE with vision, is what I would say. But this was written in another time.

I also agree with the part that says:


"What people subconsciously are interested in is the expression of beauty."


This is a good thought but he should have stopped. The people I know and associate with would not include the thought that life is humdrum, we all seek beauty.

And then in the last line he thinks we need to be shocked? He could have left that part out. But then he goes on to say that we need:


"something that makes them believe in the beauty and the glory of human existence."

He is right about that and if a painting were to help them move in that direction, so be it. My job is simply to paint and I will leave the rest to you. Sometimes the things we read contain thoughts that uplift and help. But not every thought, so I take the things I need and leave the rest.

4 comments:

Adriana Meiss said...

Donna,
Nice scene! It's interesting how those sunlit grasses warm up the whole painting.

That first sentence is certainly a positive thought. Sometimes, when I'm driving through areas of the city that do not seem to offer much beauty, I often wonder what would I paint if I were there with my gear. It kind of forces me to look at things in a different way.

José said...

Hi,

It's said that it's the artist's job to improve on Nature :-)

Kind regards,

José

Donna T said...

Beautiful painting, Donna! Interesting quote and I agree with your interpretation. I never aim to "shock" anyone with my artwork. If anything, I'd like to have the opposite effect; to impart a sense of calmness and peace. But that's just me.

Donna Van Tuyl said...

Thank you Adriana, I do keep trying to warm up green paintings. Wherever I travel it seems my mind is painting and trying to think through getting to the beauty.

Thank you Jose and Donna T! Donna, your paintings do reflect your idea of calmness and peace, I do find that in your work. I sometimes let my natural flamboyance show through, but as I get older I seem to value calmness and peace.