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Pretty as a Picture?

Is art simply a ‘pretty picture’?

I’ve been thinking a lot about what is it that attracts me personally to a piece of artwork and subsequently, are those same likes present in my own work?

It didn’t take long for me to realise that quite a lot of what I find appealing in other’s work is not always present in my own…that was a bit of a shocker to be honest!

Let me dig a little deeper and try to open this up further….

The question was put to me recently…’what specifically do you like in the art you want to own?’

Hmmm… I’d never really considered that question before and I was totally thrown; not only by the question but the fact that I wasn’t sure of the answer. It got me to start finding out; noticing what specifically I liked about a painting or chair; sculpture; textile; basically, I was looking everywhere.

Some of what I identified was of no surprise, for example the colour green (which is something of a joke within my circle of friends because I always choose the green option!) There were other more subtle nuanced qualities I was attracted to…obviously, I knew I loved texture; it exists strongly in virtually every piece of my artwork. This was something more…a deeper understanding.

I identified that aged, worn and weather-beaten texture was what I was most fond of. The old door with peeling paint; the abandoned fishing boat with the eroded hull and ironwork; tumbled pitted stones found on a beach; partial images, emerging from beneath the surface. I realise that all sounds very romantic and fanciful and I’m not intending it to be, I’m trying to articulate what deep…deeper emotional response is being triggered for me when I view these objects.

Certainly, the imperfect surface texture was appealing to me. Then the colour had an impact but much less than I had envisaged. What the item was had very little importance to be honest!

I then went through a period of almost losing my sanity as I was noticing everything in my surroundings… every dent or scratch on a passing car; the rusted clasp on a farmer’s gate post; barbed wire; worn leather. So much information my brain could hardly keep up and I’m sure there was a drop in the number of friends asking for lifts in my car!