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Lesson Plans

Re: First-time objective choice

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Larry Seiler (
Sun, 28 Nov 1999 08:52:58 -0600

> They honestly believe that "artists don't make
> mistakes."

This is that "talent" myth. I'm personally sick of it!

I emphasize that it takes at least 120 bad paintings to learn how to paint.
Such paintings were done with full intent of each being one's best effort,
but in hindsight one sees how atrocious they were. Mistakes are not
failures. Only quitting is the ultimate failure. Winners never
quit....quitters never win.

We have a real problem on our hands if only those that are "talented"-
those for whom making art comes easy and are really meant for art, are
likely to get the good grades. Then, we have a subject in a school
costing tax payers money when really only a few will benefit. A form of

Then...if poor grades are given out, it is deemed unfair assuming only the
"talented" kids were going to get good grades anyway.

Perhaps this is when the idea of being able to call a work of art "good"
first came into question...and that if art were to be justified as having a
place in school, emphasis would have to be taken off making art....(where
the "talented" few would reign). This wasn't all bad....because adding
emphasis to Art History, Aesthetics, Criticism was good.

> It's hard to get through their thick heads that those
> TV artists--who I've never seen--apparently have been painting
> the same basic things for 30 years,

Well...they make it look "easy" now don't they, but anyone that has been
actually professionally painting landscapes can easily see that the images
made were akin to symbols and cliches. They don't really look real, and
don't really capture what light does in nature. Ross's landscape cliches
would look like cartoons if hung next to many works in the Chicago Art
Institute. This the viewers do not see because they have untrained
eyes..and no masterful works on hand for comparison.

The programs appealed to mankind's fears of anything being difficult and
many art kits were no doubt sold.

Such programs are an injustice for artists. It makes it appear as anyone
could do it, and takes away from those that actually can by diminishing
appreciation for what is indeed more complex.

It is similar to these "Starving Artist" shows where no painting is sold
over $49.95
held at motels during various times of the year. What many do not know is
that workers making about $1.50 per hour in Mexico sit in an assembly line
painting one thing over and over on a canvas passed down to them. One
paints sky...another clouds, another mountains...another trees....over and
over and over, the last signing them. No doubt not one of them could do a
whole scene to save themselves.

> Those artists aren't really
> completing a painting in 30 minutes, are they?

well...the shows are somewhat edited...but, really again, they don't look
THAT good.

I am learning to paint plein airs very very fast. Thirty minutes to 1 hour
out of doors on location. One must capture the effects of the sun very
quickly. Capture the "ah hah!" that grabbed your spirit before the light
and shadows change the sense of the scene entirely. These are small...6" x
9" or 11" x 14" ....I do paint these fairly easily. It just took me 25
years to learn how! <smile>

Hopefully one day...I will have a bunch of these plein airs on my site,
(waiting for my web manager to get it done), but until then if anyone is
interested I can send an example or two by attachment on a private email

Larry Seiler
artist's site-
WetCanvas Artists page- (shorter and quicker loading)

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