Standard measurement?

plumpish man
Plumpish Man (Pencils)



Most artists will agree that although they appreciate the kind remarks of others – it can’t really influence what they produce.

Simply because they have to ‘go with the flow’ to coin a phrase.

We follow through on the ideas that come our way.

In a sense there are (for me anyway) no standards of separation of the good work from the bad.

This sounds a disastrous statement. In that it opens the door for pretentiousness, and the indiscriminate acceptance of anything that purports to be art.

Surely there must be standards, benchmarks, for good work to be separated from the bad?

Well yes – in the accepted sense. Perhaps when we use the skill of craft as our measuring rod. But I have saw great skill in bland work.

Art is so up in the air when it coms to taste.

Laying aside moral considerations regarding the visual – (I’m in favour of moral censor – I hasten to add) – our work is very much judged by the whims of others.

Considering the workmanship of the craft-side of production of course, meets our need for a means of ‘standard setting’.

We admire the skilful reproduction and representation of the natural world, that has ‘emanated’ from the artist’s hand.

And perhaps those who want the jury to decide the best from second best and the rest. The mediocre from the higher standard, need the objective eye that sees great skill or lack of it, and thus the verdict is passed, on the work.

But how something registers with us visually, – well, there is simply no accounting for it.

We do (actually) initially respond with little ‘reasoning-out’ – but rather appreciate what we see in a more direct emotional way.

Hard and easy to define. Everybody gives that unsolicited response when standing in front of a piece of art.

The first encounter, produces a first response. And in the blogosphere we hit the like button or move on to another blog when we first encounter the posted image. Depending on that initial emotional registration provided through our eyes.

I find myself drawn to certain pieces of art by other artists, and notice a pattern in my likes and dislikes, favouring certain types of art over others.

But I don’t always ‘reason this out’.

I have also quickly walked around an art show and out the door because I have previously seen similar pieces time and time again, and can’t (I’m afraid) stir any interest.

Even though I respect the artist and their right to enjoy what they do – regardless of my personal outlook. In other words don’t change for me whatever you do!

The fact that I am drawn to some and not to others – ought to be viewed as a positive. It means that built inside of me – is an aesthetic barometer that is uniquely mine, and is not dependent on academic standards as set by ‘the experts’.

That’s the enjoyment of art (and of course I mean mostly painting) namely that we are all totally free to notice our own preferences, and enjoy the internal decisions (of standard setting) made by our jury of one.


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