Art and All That Stuff That Does Not Concern You!

by Jollyon Hooley
(Santo Domingo)

As we’ve discussed before, a certain level of skill is needed by any person engaged in the arts. That means all the arts; painting, music, writing and so forth.

Maybe it is this ability you’d call inherent or acquired? To view any piece of art you have to view it freshly, meaning get rid of all your past consideration about specific styles or tastes. This is not easy to do.

To clear your mind of certain thoughts (empty out all the junk that keeps floating around in your head) you will then become aware of things in the painting you’ve never seen before. A new realization, a cognition, a light bulb going off!

Then you will begin to grasp the full effect of what the artist intended.

Suddenly it is magic, like opening up another dimension.
Some artists, especially oil painters, will re-paint, and re-paint again and overdo it to hell. A number of the “old masters” used to do this, which you can see through some x-rays of previous images that have been painted over. This is one of the biggest mistakes artists usually make—they do not know when to stop.

If the poor chap had cleared his mind he would be perceiving something quite new to him. A simple trick is to view his painting in front of a mirror so he sees everything in reverse. The faults glaringly show up, the artist cognites and he has just lost one of those fixed ideas he had. This is interesting to know about.

Get out one or two of your old drawings and face it up to the mirror—you will get quite a surprise. I’ve stacked heaps of paintings in the basement, left there for maybe 10 years or more and then checked them in daylight and became horrified “that I could have painted this rubbish!”

I know, most artists like me included, are always too critical of their work.

How can an artist decide if his work of art is completed? He can clear his mind of extraneous thoughts, ask family members what their opinion is (I do not recommend this as they will be biased as all hell) or best use the mirror trick or one of those self-reducing glasses where “faults” can usually show up.

Jollyon Hooley
March 21 2016

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