One of my favourite tv series was the British production “Minder”. George Cole (Arthur Daley) was superb in his role as a con artist, a man whose dubious livelihood was deception at any cost (as long as he paid very little and was rewarded with a large return).

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that artists are dishonest or dubious in any way, but we do paint pictures that aren’t real, they just look real or believable, to the observer. The more “real” or “believable” the painting, the happier the buyer, or “punter”, as Arthur would say.

If you are sure that the painting you are buying is convincing, then it doesn’t matter how accurate (honest?) and detailed it is. When it comes to buying art there are few rules. We like a painting; we buy the painting, it’s that simple. Why people buy artwork is of no importance to anyone but the buyers themselves. Whatever the reason, the artist is probably the happiest person in the deal!

I have seen art bordering on “terrible” sell, while on other occasions I have been privileged to view brilliant exhibitions where there were no red stickers. Why does this happen?

There are a multitude of reasons why some art sells and some doesn’t (and some probably never will). There’s no accounting for taste!

Honest art comes from an artist’s soul and is an essay expressed in an appropriate medium. The artwork “speaks” to the viewer. There’s a message, a meaning, maybe even a story.

Each artist should try their best in every painting they create, but at the same time they should leave their “mark”, their own way of seeing and painting.

I struggle with the work of artists who strive for pure realism at the expense of their own style. An artist’s style is the greatest asset they have and it’s the reason people buy their art, isn’t it?

Today’s featured painting is of the North Esk River, just East of Corra Linn, not far from the city of Launceston in Tasmania. This is a beautiful, natural place where the sound of babbling water, birds, frogs, landscape and the wind combine in a symphony that has inspired many an artist including yours truly.

But is this painting a true and accurate record of what is actually there? Well, no, it’s my interpretation, my summation of the “scene”. I chose to paint a “feeling” for the subject, not a photo-realistic account. This is how I work; this is how I “see” my subjects. Maybe I’m a con artist after all. If you enjoy my painting, does it really matter?

The painting looks much like my source photo, but it isn’t an exact painting of that particular photo. If it was, then it would be an imitation and imitation is not art, it’s craft. There are things missing and things have been added, but the “spirit” of the scene still remains, or I hope it does.

This painting still needs more work, but another session in my studio should see it completed.

Friday: My new sets of Prismacolor pencils have arrived.


About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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8 Responses to CON ARTIST

  1. MoniqueE. says:

    Theres nothing like a new set of pencils…all that potential and the new pencil smell…Love the painting.

  2. dalesart216 says:

    I agree with you Richard. A true artist uses their imagination and talent and as you say it is their interpretation of the subject. So long as ‘people’ can understand the pic then nothing is lost. I love what you have done so far.

  3. Excellent post. Both the painting and essay. I agree with your sentiments on an artist possessing a sense of original expression in his work. If an artist is going to a deeper more cathartic place to reveal himself, he must paint beyond the surface. Brillant Richard.

    • artkleko says:

      Thanks, Walter, it’s a long journey and certainly an interesting one! My next task is to convince a doubting art market that I have something to offer.

      • We are definitely on the same path Richard. To convince others we have a voice. I just published yesterday a 20 page volume of art and poetry in book form with Blurb on-line publishing. Entitled “The City Series”. My goal is to have various established “platforms” i.e. website, blog, online store, books, e-books, exhibits etc. And a marketing agent. I always believed that PREPARATION and OPPORTUNITY = SUCCESS.

      • artkleko says:

        Brilliant, Walter. Where can I see this?

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