Monday, December 22, 2014
North Trail, Looking South
An 8x10 pastel of the North Trail, looking south, at Field Farm. When I draw or paint "nature" the challenge is how to make sure what originally moved you is still present, even though what you do is only a ghost of what is "real". Nature is messy, so that it's easy to be messy in response, or the exact opposite, so unmessy that the point is missing.
Kenneth Clark in Landscape Into Art writes how, starting with Gauguin, artists made "museum art" basing their art upon the images of other artists and cultures instead of working from nature. But using nature as a direct source of inspiration only started sporadically in the late 18th century, paralleled academic art throughout the 19th century with Corot and the Impressionists, and now runs parallel to the new academicism of "museum art". The idea of going to nature for inspiration may seem an ancient tradition, but it really isn't.