I received a letter the other day from one of our featured artists. And, for the sake of putting the record straight - this man is very, very good. I will respect his confidence and grant him anonymity.
Afer reading the critique on Doc Snider's House, he made some dynamite points.
Before presenting some of his thoughts, I want to say that people bring their own life experiences into critiquing. An academic or someone who has a passing appreciation of art may see something entirely different from what an artist sees. The artist's insights are wrought out of years of hard experience in picture construction.
That being said, the writer encourages viewers to take another long hard look at this painting. He says among other things, that "there are all sorts of confusing elements, roof lines for instance, tangents, and butts galore."...the house in the middle lists to the left".
Ok, so lets take another look at Doc Snider's House.
Look at the left roof corner of the centre house. Do you see how an errant tree branch seems to grow out of the angle where the roof and outside wall meet.
Now, run your eyes up the right wall. A tree trunk runs along the outside wall of the uupper floor line and is wedged uncomfortably into the corner where the wall meets the overhang.
Look now at the right tree. The tree trunk not just butts up against the wall but it runs up along its edge and this creates a visual discordinance.
Taking this one step further - take a long, critical look at the lines at the back of the centre building. Look carefully at the space between it and the building to the left. Can you intellectually understand what is happening here?
It appears to be a roof line, but it sort of fades into nothingness.
While this may seem like nit picking, most artists place a very high value on the solid picture construction. This picture has some very questionable composition problems not without which are fragmented and confusing visual pathways.
That being said, it is easy to understand how Fitzgerald was drifting into abstract art forms - but when the two art forms are blended - what is left? A poorly constructed realistic work or an abstract construction which relies heavily upon reality.
Lets look at it from another view. If the artist's prime focus is the ballet of the winter trees - then his choice of title, creates its own confusion. Does the title place pre-eminence on the Doc's House or the trees?
Perhaps its best that this blog entry end with the words of the artist who put me onto this analyis.
The concept that something of significance does not have to conform to the rules because these rules might curb true artistic expression is an intersting concept. How does it become something of significance if it does not use these rules as the basis of its formation. Curious thing is that I am not a compositional stickler and certainly not an expert. So if I see things that are haywire, a true authority could find lots more. But profound creations do not necessarily conform to rules, thats what sets them apart and marks them for greatness....Picasso? Very average work that is flawed really has nothing to recommend it, not even an overly enthusiastic academic critic can convince a knowing eye that mediocre is good if it does not transcend the mundane./blockquote>