Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The problem with realism...

"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing," Camille Pissarro

(Below: Details from "Shine")

(from "Shine")
Artistically, I'm a realist. It's probably the only area of my life in which I am even remotely detail oriented. However, this is a bad time to be a realist. I believe that many artists who are not realists either felt disinterested in or pinned down by realism when they were young and now that they are older (and in a position to teach) the pendulum has swung in the other  direction so that now in some art circles realists are sneered at for lack of imagination. This is a problem. Not because I think that everyone should be realists-definitely not! But simply because every person has a different style and a different way of viewing the world and they are all necessary and important. I have found since becoming an artist and truly realizing my style, that I can no more change my style that I can my eye color. Sure I could wear color contacts and pretend to be different than I am, but it would always be pretend. 
I love to notice little details of the world around me that often get overlooked and recreate them in such a way that makes people stop and notice them. For example, the shine on a polished chrome faucet(left). 
For me, the purpose of my art is to make me people look at the world around me. For some people, it's to bring to life the funny little characters that live in their head (Theo Ellsworth) or to simply to make people happy (Sunny Carvalho) or even just to explore the use of line and color. Whatever the style, the artist is giving his or her viewers a glimpse into how he or she sees the world and that's valuable. It's a big world- there's room for all of us.


  1. These look great! I do notice all sorts of reflections thanks to you...

  2. Mary Liz- haha, good! So glad! I've actually gotten dangerous when one of those big shiny tanker trucks go past me...I have to make myself focus on driving. So don't do that :)

  3. I think you are going to be ahead of "your time" LOL! Realism is always going to come back because it's just so damned hard to do! Everything is circular so people will always come back to the things that require real talent and effort...Stand back...realism is coming back!! You are such a fantastic artist and you will have the table set when realism shows up for dinner!