A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Monday, 4 January 2016
Only twice in my life have I been invited to judge Art Competitions. I would be hesitant ever to do it again, and would advise others against.
The first time was in Shropshire, UK. The local Art Club had learned that I was living nearby, and a group of notables was sent to recruit me. I reluctantly accepted.
The works on offer were pretty typical of such amateur art clubs; badly executed portraits from photos of Princess Diana, The Queen, and other Celebs, small floral compositions, one or two awful abstracts, a few pretentiously framed, naive pictures, of exotic foreign locations by the big-wigs of the club, and an assortment of rank amateur scratchings. The quality was abysmal.
Yet, in amongst all the dross was one painting that really stood out; not only for its size, but also its down-to-earth honesty. The 6ft by 4ft painting was on an old piece of hardboard (possibly a door), and I imagine had been painted with left-over house paint. The artist (a farmer) had simply painted what he could see from the front window of his house. It was 99% grass-green, and showed the rough divisions of the fields, as well as all the individual trees into the far distance; he had used about 3 colours (green, darker green, and brown). The painting was very roughly executed, as well as being strangely sophisticated. I gave it FIRST PRIZE, and the committee members were not at all happy.
The next time my judgement was called upon was out in Grand Cayman, where the Visual Arts Society was holding its annual bash. Here the general quality of work was much better, and the task much more difficult. One 'professionally trained' artist was showing two landscape paintings that were both of excellent quality; the larger of the two was slickly impressive and was the one everyone expected to win the top prize, the smaller one showed much more 'graft', and was worked with far more genuine artistic savoir-faire. The smaller one won the prize and the artist himself was slightly puzzled why I hadn't awarded it to his bigger 'opus'.
I took him for a cold beer at a nearby bar, and we eventually agreed that the bigger painting was so bloody slick that he could have painted 10 of them a day with his eyes closed. The smaller one had taken him several days to complete and had showed true artistic craftsmanship.
I haven't been called upon to judge work since then; maybe I'm now on a judging black list!
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 46 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live in an ancient cottage, in a tiny village, in perfectly tranquil countryside. We have a vegetable garden called 'Haddock's' (this may crop up from time to time), plenty of fruit trees, and a view that takes the breath away; we also have a Border Collie called Billy. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!