The Artistic Bent
By Guest blogger Chay Partridge
The artistic bent is a subject open to personal interpretation, like many things to do with art. This week I bring you some thoughts about it, that you may or may not have considered before.
“One day I went a-wanderin
Down a dusty road
As dusk was casting its shadows,
Across my precious load…”
This is the beginning of a poem of mine, and to be honest, nothing external prompted it, the inspiration for it came from a place inside me where beauty resides. As far as I am concerned, if an artwork does not even attempt to touch this place, it is merely wearing the façade of art and is not the genuine article.
I make this bold statement because I am experienced in channelling inspiration, and I have found that this place of beauty is its home. As we complete an artwork and examine its fluidity and overall effectiveness, we can begin to see that its congruence is due to the overall beauty that has been achieved.
This is not to say that all art must be beautiful, but only exceptional technical skill can make up for a vague moment of inspiration.
Beauty is what causes us to admire things – it is what I describe as an absolute-value, as it is the nature of all beings to move toward what they are attracted to. This attraction gives our inspiration the wings it needs to cause us to create, develop and evolve.
Painting by Waterhouse
So how do we find it? Does everyone have an artistic bent? Well, there are two ways to ‘get inspired’… the commonest and easiest way to do this is to look at stuff until you find what you like, then get ideas from it and come up with your own version. The other more advanced method, for the artistic aspirant, is to find it using introspection. We do not concentrate on looking for ideas we like in our head or finding out nice stuff to paint or write about, but rather we concentrate on self-analysis, constructive self-criticism, and reflection upon what is important in our lives.
It is definitely a slower method, but by doing this we get rid of what is unnecessary and discover that which truly makes our life meaningful. And THAT my friends is what actually drives inspiration… it’s the meaning, the being of self and the purpose of what we are doing that gives it real grunt and long-term drive.
You will see in the Rembrandt piece, that the subject is an ugly old man, but Rembrandt’s inspiration has used characterisation, colour and compositional fluidity to capture the beauty that is inherent in life – it doesn’t focus on superficially ‘beautiful’ traits.
Rembrandt – Portrait
There are some instances where a person may be delighted to create something grotesque and call it art, yet you will find that with all artistic movements, even surrealism and cubism, aesthetic harmony and balance are never compromised. Because these are the essential features of beauty that give art its foundation.
Picasso – cubism