We need Art …

And not as some clever trick to deceive but as a true reflection of what we ourselves possibly could never visit or see. I mean times past, previous human experience, spanning generations and perhaps enabling us to build on previous hard won knowledge developed from previous hardships. This perhaps signals my own perceived position in ‘society’ in that my conscience feels that in previous generations my forebears owed their survival to diligent application, to hard work. I hope to not go as far as servility, as inshore fishermen I think we were beholden to no-one but the agent or the price offered for our toil; the carpenter side of the family no doubt would hear constantly that tiring worn phrase ‘thats a bit steep’ and I too have heard such fake pressure.  Yet there will be people, no doubt many that see their forebears as living in good houses, with upper floors and no want of clothing or basic foodstuffs; sorry to say I do not count myself fortunate enough to be among them.

So where does Art count in all this?

…. in many ways and sadly now due to our sucking upon the papp of the much lauded information superhighway we have denuded ourselves of so much of human accomplishment; as if becoming the Donald J trumps of culture ie seeing and knowing so little, existing merely in the here and now. The web should (and can) allow us access to an array of clever and talented minds.

So lets go get it.

First stop is an image when just now googling  ‘distaff’  a term I first encountered from the military in a book thirty years ago and I assume to mean secretaries and typists to aid and abet Officer Personnel back at HQ. In this case we see distaff as a physical object for spinning. I’m a little worried by the painting, a grand interior yet a task of hard slog, meniality, application, long hours. Something I suppose thankfully we have forgotten. Those hands were also the hands of my forebears. Middle European, look at the legs of the chair.



David Cox watercolour sketch burdock and drainage tunnel.
David Cox watercolour sketch burdock and drainage tunnel.

In a mad fancy of accomplishment I would think that in my last twenty years were I to  capture such beauty and interest with ‘simple’ brushstrokes then it would be time well spent and probably best spent. I have my work which is ongoing but also need recreation less energetic than walking miles with my dog. Years ago I would often visualise and work out how to capture cloudscape, distant horizons, thinking of toned grounds, overlays, colour or warmth. My problem is that I can only paint when I’ve had a drink, or maybe need convincing something worthwhile will result from sober effort. Perhaps if I paint with the intention of conciously keeping it all private it will free me up to make me ‘go for it’. In all my travels in all the pastoral settings I can honestly say I have never once encountered an artist or enthusiast of merit wanting to lay down on paper the form, tones, beauty displayed to them. Maybe I should? I dunno. Realise too that Lowrys work often mostly is a lowcost set of negatives from Boots; look closely.

In the above for burdock to grow in such a position I’d say the ditch is dry.


David Cox study of a dog
David Cox study of a dog


If we are on David Cox then we have to see the famous one…..

whoops to follow as somehow unfindable  ….

My idiocy, i had forgotten its Cotman I need to ask for!


or ….

john sell cotman ploughed field and scarecrow
John Sell Cotman


I think I need to go looking for books for them both!

Its a bit like the contracted term ‘poetry’ or ‘books’, what we really mean is all that is contained therein ie viewpoint, experience, memory, mindset, knowledge, a way of seeing; so thank goodness for Art, the valuable kind. I wonder of todays activities of installation, performance, staged and often grant aided events as how they will be regarded as of any merit (whatsoever) in a hypothetical one hundred years (when we have ceased to exist as a species anyway).


For instance free your eye up … http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/2007/british-continental-paintings-w07701.html



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