Friday, October 31, 2008
trucks and meaning
Mark and I were talking about this in the car and it started me pondering... I was wondering why it seems to me that there is a tendency for there to be much more kitchy water colour painting out there, and most really "real" contemporary or interesting work is done in oil or acrylic. I went to Art Central and was just checking out the art, and its always inspiring...but there is a real lack of water colour work. And then I realized I dont see much water colour work - unless it like a painting of a barn, or something. Most of the work in "how to watercolour" books is technically great but not really thought provoking to say the least. It seems watercolourists tend to veer towards technical proficiency over content... and the work seems to shout out skill even when there is thought... I can think of one artist whose watercolours are incredible, and that Gary Bertieg who is a good friend and mentor. Some of his watercolours are simply soul stirring.
some theories I had are:
1)watercolour is harder to do really well. If you are a contemporary artist looking to express an idea, you may choose oil or acrylic because, in my very humble opinion, those are easier to fudge...without like 25 years painting experience.
2)watercolour is more like a zen thing that focuses on the act of painting, because its harder to change after you put something down. So you tend to focus on the skill rather than the content
3)because water colour is cleaner, more portable and doesn't require big canvases it is more accessible to amature painters who dont have an "art"education and are more concerned with technique than participating in an artistic/visual dialogue.
those are my thoughts...what do you think? do you think its harder to make something
that is powerful in watercolour for these reasons? (what do you mean you dont think my muddy truck piece isnt a meaningful dissertation on our human condition?)