a question for the artists on here ..

Order yourself a latte, and a pastry (The virtual cinnamon buns are excellent today). And have a nice chat.

a question for the artists on here ..

Postby PatsyMFagan » November 23rd, 2018, 8:49 pm

I have a friend who is really into her art (painting and drawing) … she spends a lot of her spare time painting, goes on painting weekends and has been going to art classes for a long time … so much so that she has now been asked to take the art classes … she can be a bit boring about her art, always bringing it up in conversation and on facebook. Personally I think her talent is nothing great - she knows all the technical terms/techniques, but to me anyway, not a lot of talent. .. I appreciate art is in the eye of the beholder, but I just don't 'get' her style .. it always looks unfinished with not a lot of detail. My expertise in art ended when I did my 'O' levels and I got a good grade pass. :rolleyes: :oops:

So, can the more experiences artists on here explain to me what 'mark making' is ? She goes into great detail about what she is going to teach each week - She posted this on facebook last week:

'I’m so enjoying sharing my art knowledge with like minded people. I gave them an exercise in mark making this week and got them to work together on a collaboration, which was fun. I also work alongside them to use my canvas to demonstrate. Anyone interested in learning art or renewing their previous experience then do search Hands on Art Adventures on Facebook for info on next term'.

This week it is Impressionism using Van Gogh's works as examples.

(Apologies if I am seeming to be very catty/bitchy :oops: )
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby Zosherooney » November 23rd, 2018, 9:23 pm

Personally I think art is in the eye of the beholder...... It is a very personal thing. I looked at art in Amsterdam (can't remember the studio) and in Italy in the Ufizzi (sp)

Not sure I would put Tracey Emmins bed in the art section of life plus a lot of other rubbish (in my opinion) but what is that worth???

I have to be careful here.....
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby Rainbow » November 23rd, 2018, 9:45 pm

Not an artist but interested in what mark making is.
Found this website - quite interesting

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/student-res ... -exam-help

I agree appreciating art is a very personal thing and there are lots of different styles out there to suit every taste!!

Quote from a friend "Nobody understands art. That is why it is art. If it was understood it would be 'science', or perhaps 'business'."
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby patpoyntz » November 24th, 2018, 12:41 am

We have, in our family a young and very talented artist, who is becoming quite popular. We went to an art exhibition with her, and, looking at a work by Damian Hurst...one of his quite simple ones...my OH declared ‘well I could have done that!’ He was put in his place by our young artist, who said firmly, ‘but you didn’t’. A simple remark with a lot of meaning and It has become quite a catch phrase. If people buy your work, then it is worth what people will pay for it.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby scullion » November 24th, 2018, 2:50 am

damien hirst makes marks - but he can't draw.
patpoyntz wrote: work by Damian Hurst
- sure it was his? or a student he paid to do it? a young man i was at college with worked, in his studio, for him for a while - he paid very, very little.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby Sloe-Gin » November 24th, 2018, 9:25 am

I went to pastel classes for a while and, though she is very, very good, we had to do things 'her way'.

Of course, as Patsy had given her such a good 'plug', I looked it up on FB. As one of my arty friends said, 'people will buy anything, if it's the right price'.

I've never heard of 'mark making' before - the terms 'drawing/painting' seem to sum it up quite well though.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby PatsyMFagan » November 24th, 2018, 9:39 am

Rainbow wrote:Not an artist but interested in what mark making is.
Found this website - quite interesting

https://www.tate.org.uk/art/student-res ... -exam-help

I agree appreciating art is a very personal thing and there are lots of different styles out there to suit every taste!!

Quote from a friend "Nobody understands art. That is why it is art. If it was understood it would be 'science', or perhaps 'business'."


I agree that Art is in eye of the beholder, but dipped into the link and I'm none the wiser, unless I am over complicating things and it is simply 'making your mark' your signature, or having a distinctive style. I think the problem is (with me), that I like my art to be very literal - that is what you see is exactly what has been painted or copied (as Sloe's style is) and as all the pictures are in my house.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby Sloe-Gin » November 24th, 2018, 10:33 am

I thought last Wednesday's Apprentice was interesting, in that they had to choose an artist to represent and sell. I really loved the abstract art of one lady, with bold colours and images. To have an abstract concept in one's head, and convey it through your hands, is clever (to me). I also liked the line drawings, which were deemed 'too simplistic', but which conveyed so much.
I can look at something and manage to reproduce something 'by eye', but I know many portait painters use various methods (grids, tracing, projection) to get details exactly right.

Suffs and the lovely painter are the true artists here, and I'd be interested in her 'take' on this.

Interesting question, Patsy
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby suffolk » November 24th, 2018, 10:50 am

That's part of it Pat ... but there's more to it ... :)

Marks are the way we describe something pictorially ... there are many different sorts of marks that we can make, using different tools and mediums and an artist will develop their own 'language' of marks that they use to describe and create an image.

Watch the way Japanese/Chinese brush painters can describe landscape, distance and foliage https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofkgRd6BzuE and compare it with the marks that van Gogh used in this drawing
van gogh landscape drawing.jpg


Very different types of mark using very different equipment, but both describe landscape, distance and foliage in a realistic way.

There are similar differences in painting ... Canaletto's brushmarks are unseen, his surfaces, although glowing with light are almost as smooth as a photograph
Canaletto.jpg


whereas Alfred Munnings frequently used thick paint in almost chunky brushstrokes to describe light and form ...( sadly nowadays so many people only see paintings as compressed photographic reproductions online or in magazines, and can't see the glorious swirls of paint in their 3D reality)
Munnings Sunny June.jpg


As an artist develops his/her own style they will develop their own repertoire of marks that they use ... it's a study of these that art historians use to identify the work of a particular long gone artist ... i.e. their 'signature'.

It's so hard to describe what I mean when all you can see here are flat reproductions ... I would just say, if you're interested then visit some of the great collections and look closely at the brush marks

The dress fabric in this painting by John Singer Sargent is depicted using generous single brushstrokes from a large brush loaded with paint ...

Sargent_Lady_Agnew_of_Lochnaw-800x800.jpg


Now you've got me started ............ ;)
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby Sloe-Gin » November 24th, 2018, 10:58 am

Thank you Suffs, you make so much sense.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby suffolk » November 24th, 2018, 12:32 pm

scullion wrote:damien hirst makes marks - but he can't draw.
patpoyntz wrote: work by Damian Hurst
- sure it was his? or a student he paid to do it? a young man i was at college with worked, in his studio, for him for a while - he paid very, very little.
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Damian Hirst can draw, in the usually accepted sense of the word ... or at least he could ... https://gagosian.com/artists/damien-hirst/ I believe that is one of his A level pieces. However, drawing is not what he does ... and like any skill, unless you keep practising it you can't do it as well as you used to.

Many artists, from Michaelangelo and Raphael to Damien Hirst et al have used studio assistants ... one of my former tutors was one of Bridget Riley's assistants and worked on many of her well known pieces ... it's one way of learning how to be an artist ... which is a lot more complicated than being able to paint and draw well. :)
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby PatsyMFagan » November 24th, 2018, 5:54 pm

Thanks Suffs ….. I am nearly there ;) :tu: I really love the John Singer Sargent portrait :tu: :tu: :tu: :kneel:
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby suffolk » November 24th, 2018, 6:36 pm

Patsy :D You really need to see the paintings (several Sargents at Tate Britain) ... look at them and ask what the artist did to create a certain effect ... light, space, distance etc. ... so often when you look and compare you’ll see it’s achieved with different types and sizes of brush strokes/gestures as well as colour and tone.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby Zosherooney » November 24th, 2018, 9:32 pm

Blimey, there's a lot I don't know....... Suff and Sloe..... :kneel: :kneel: :kneel: and probably a lot of others out there....
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby scullion » November 25th, 2018, 2:02 am

suffolk wrote:it's one way of learning how to be an artist

he was being employed to do something that hirst couldn't do. he was quite scathing about him.

that's the only drawing attributed to him, that looked as if there was any skill, that i could find, too. if you could show me some more i might change my mind!
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby suffolk » November 25th, 2018, 11:21 am

As I said ... it's not something he's continued to do and like all skills, it's use it or lose it ...

As for using assistants to do stuff he can't do ... for me that's quite legitimate ... he's not a painter ... he has the concept and 'orchestrates' it into existence ......... sculptors often use a foundry to cast their work ... composers often use assistants to orchestrate their work ... I'm not a huge fan of his work but that doesn't mean that I think what he produces is not authentically his. I do think that some of the concepts he addresses are interesting.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby PatsyMFagan » November 25th, 2018, 1:18 pm

Catching up on last week's Countryfile this morning, it featured a wonderful artist from Cambridgeshire … She got her inspiration from trees and her work was truly breath-taking … well at least to me it was ;) I looked at it through very different eyes :bounce: 8-) I'm still not 100% there with 'mark making' … more like developing a style ? Am I getting close ? :oops: :rolleyes:
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby suffolk » November 25th, 2018, 2:00 pm

As I said, that's part of it ........ but you need to use different marks to describe different things :) ... have a look again at the Van Gogh drawing I linked to and work out why he used the marks he did where he did ... particularly looking at size/distance/perspective
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby scullion » November 26th, 2018, 1:12 am

suffolk wrote: he has the concept and 'orchestrates' it into existence ...[...] I'm not a huge fan of his work but that doesn't mean that I think what he produces is not authentically his. I do think that some of the concepts he addresses are interesting.

the trouble is that even he admits that the ideas aren't his!

i went to an exhibition of someone who had also done spin paintings, a couple of years back, - it occurred to me that they must have watched the same blue peter programme.

and i think that anyone with a pencil, hand and eyes could do a recognisable copy of the delacroix - even without using the grid.

Orphan Girl at the Cemetery Eugene Delacroix.jpg


i realise art is subjective but for me the story of 'the emperors new clothes' could have been written about him.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby suffolk » November 26th, 2018, 8:10 am

Yes, a lot of people could produce a copy ... but I know a lot of folk who couldn’t. :shock: :) ... and that’s what comes if we rely on the evidence of a skill as a test of whether or not someone is an artist. It would be like suggesting that Rachel
Whiteread isn’t an artist because despite being a sculptor she doesn’t carve marble ... or that a bronzecaster at a foundry is an artist because they can make a mould and produce a cast.

And to keep my Devil's Advocate hat on a bit longer ... since when did an idea have to be original for it to be used to make art? ;)
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby dennispc » November 26th, 2018, 9:12 am

'people will buy anything, if it's the right price'. Best quote ever Sloe Gin, sums up my attitude to much of today's art – treated as investments.

Patsy, remember when we were kids using our fingers to make faces when the windows were misted up? That's making marks, as we do writing a cheque, chefs do it when putting a spoon through a blob of sauce, they are making a mark. The big question is, why is one mark considered a piece of art and another one, not? Perhaps you're looking for something deeper which isn't there, it's just making marks.

Pop into the National Gallery for its Courtauld Impressionist exhibition – unfortunately they're charging for that bit. There's a Van Gogh wheat field which is made up of swirly shapes, there's another (can't find the image) of mainly trees, in which he uses strong short diagonal brush strokes – up close the marks really stand out. Same artist, different marks.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby suffolk » November 26th, 2018, 9:40 am

dennispc wrote: sums up my attitude to much of today's art – treated as investments


T'was ever thus ... the Medicis supported the Florentine artists (and scientists and engineers etc) in order to maintain and increase their power and influence ... not because they liked the art (although of course they may have done that too) ...

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesig ... ssance-art

A dear friend from my college days has become an incredibly successful international art dealer and gallerist ... he's the most 'successful' of any of the students I shared seven years of further and higher art education with.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby Ratatouille » November 26th, 2018, 10:05 am

I suppose I too was an artist. I can draw still. When we were sorting out the library Mr R came across some of my college sketch books and said he had forgotten I was quite good because I ended up specialising in ceramics. I tried to explain that you have to be able to draw first to be any sort of artist. I had a head strat in a way because I did A level Botany and Zoology and was taugh to observe accurately.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby scullion » November 26th, 2018, 10:10 am

suffolk wrote: or that a bronzecaster at a foundry is an artist because they can make a mould and produce a cast.

that's the question of craft and art, isn't it? although if the artist gives his model to the cast maker (craftsman) to make the mould and final piece for him, the original is made by the artist.

suffolk wrote:since when did an idea have to be original for it to be used to make art?

agree - all art is derivative (can't remember who originally said it) but most artists would use the 'original idea' either to show their own skill at copying or to develop an idea in a different way. i'm not convinced that dh does (or can do) either. making - or getting assistants to make - a six foot copy (pretty much identical) of someone else's anatomical model doesn't really develop an idea - although it does get you sued (and to make a payout) for plagiarism.

i would love to see the sketchbooks he had to produce at art school just to see how he developed ideas.

one of my partner's pet phrases is 'it's art because i say it is' - pointing out that it doesn't mean he's an artist.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby suffolk » November 26th, 2018, 10:15 am

:) Is drawing a craft/skill or art? Discuss .........
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby scullion » November 26th, 2018, 10:26 am

suffolk wrote: Is drawing a craft/skill or art? Discuss .........

were you given that essay to write as well‽‽‽ (or, what is the difference between art and craft).
according to the late brian sewell, art has no practical use whatsoever( - although could the ability to produce an emotional response be classed as a practical use?).
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby uschi » November 26th, 2018, 12:58 pm

suffolk wrote::) Is drawing a craft/skill or art? Discuss .........
The basics are a skill, advanced stages would be a craft. That's the easy bit.

Art is skill (or passion, if lacking in skills) plus X. X is in the eye of the artist and some beholders.

I can draw and I could once draw quite proficiently (I could again, if I took the time), but I am only an artisan.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby dennispc » November 26th, 2018, 2:23 pm

This could be the start of a dissertation Suffolk! Much like modern day football teams, the Medici bought the best in order to show off their wealth. Display is the key word, they want people to see them.

Some of today’s purchases, I suggest, start with the idea of increasing their wealth by investing with a view to a later sale at an increased price. Some pieces never see the light of day being kept in vaults. Profit is the key word

Art/craft? A friend of mine was a painter and decorator, had great skill, lectured at a local college and his gilding decorates a well known cathedral. Also he was a water colourist. Was he an artist or craftsman?

Consider two amateur paintings.

The first a water colour using wc paints and paper. The painter can’t draw, the outlines are traced.

tarr steps.jpg


The second uses only craft materials; rust effect paint, gold spray and mica shimmer mist. However, the surface is canvas. Does that make it an artistic piece or a craft one?

Rust.jpg


Both sold at a local exhibition.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby Ratatouille » November 26th, 2018, 2:39 pm

I think craft. I am sure in my own mind that if you can't observe and transfer to paper what you see then you can't be an artisit. My dad could copy just about anything and used to keep me entertained for hours when I was little. He used to draw or rather copy characters from films and books for me to colour in On the other had if you had given him a blank piece of paper and asked him to draw say, a landscspe in front of him, he would not have been able to. He never "got" transferring three dimensions to two.
He was also a very skilled woodworker - but he always followed patterns.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby suffolk » November 26th, 2018, 3:34 pm

dennispc wrote: the Medici bought the best in order to show off their wealth. Display is the key word, they want people to see them.

Some of today’s purchases, I suggest, start with the idea of increasing their wealth by investing with a view to a later sale at an increased price. Some pieces never see the light of day being kept in vaults. Profit is the key word


For the Medicis , displaying their wealth increased their power ... for many current collectors the investment (shrewdly made) will increase their wealth which increases their power.

For the fabulously wealthy of today the value of their investment in a Van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso, Rubens etc is guaranteed much as it would be if they bought gemstones.

For the slightly less fabulously but still very wealthy who invest in the work of living artists in the hope that it will increase in value exponentially the risk is greater ... Saatchi is one who had his fingers burnt with the works of some like Jenny Saville ... when a warehouse full of his purchases burned down the insurance value was arguably considerably greater than the work would have realised on the market ... far be it from me to suggest anything untoward................. but it could be/has been argued that the fire did his bank balance a favour.

Investment in the work of living artists depends for the maintenance/increase of its value on the artist maintaining/increasing his/her profile ... not all are able to sustain their initial momentum ... this is nothing to do with their work per se.

One of Britain's leading YBAs told us that the best thing that happened to him career-wise was being 'glassed' at a high profile exhibition opening in front of the press ... suddenly everyone knew his name ... he has managed to maintain a reputation of being 'edgy' ... one of the 'bad boys' of British Art, and he will freely admit that has done his career 'no harm at all'. ;)

As for the two pieces of work you've shown ... now we're moving from discussing 'art versus craft' to the subect of 'the artist's intention' ... https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-edi ... rt-forever
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby StokeySue » November 26th, 2018, 4:00 pm

Case of it doesn’t matter what they print, as long as they spell your name right, Suffolk

Im interested in the craft / skill / art distinction

Drawing I did when younger had no artistic merit but was purely a craft, which I was quite skilled at - I recorded things seen during examination of medical samples.

However, I sometime arrange compositions of objects and environment very specifically to record photographically as a picture - that, albeit at a low level is surely art?
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby earthmaiden » November 26th, 2018, 4:48 pm

Might I suggest you learn a craft but perfect a skill?
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby scullion » November 26th, 2018, 5:31 pm

hmm, i would say that 'craft' and 'skill' are, largely, synonymous. the dividing line between craft and art is a blurry one. grayson perry is one of those that blurs the line. his pots are, truly, well crafted and beautiful (even though the subject matter may be uncomfortable), they sit well in both the craft and art camp but would the line be so blurred if he used a beautiful chun glaze on the pot and put the decals and etching on flat art? i think the pot would still blur the line but the decals etc would then be considered as art (especially if you go by brian sewell's definition).
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby suffolk » November 26th, 2018, 5:32 pm

Yes Sue ... the second example you give involved you in making aesthetic decisions ... that is art. :)
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby karadekoolaid » November 26th, 2018, 10:38 pm

In the 3rd century BC, some Greek wag stated that:
" Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"
Never was a phrase spoken in truth.
In the musical world: Beethoven´s last string quartets were booed off the stage. Berlioz ´symphonies were considered decadent. Stravinsky´s " Rite of Spring" provoked a riot in Paris. Schoenberg was thought of as intimidating.
In the literary world: DH Lawrence " Lady Chatterley´s Lover" was banned. James Joyce ´Ulysses was considered as dreadful, as recently as 2012, by Paolo Coehlo. Charles Dickens was thought to be controversial.
In the art world: Dadaism, in the 20s, was the ultimate scandal. Women´s bloomers were thought to be outrageous in the 1890s.
So I remit to the 3rd century BC.!
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby earthmaiden » November 27th, 2018, 12:32 am

But is an artist necessarily striving to produce a thing that appears beautiful to anyone?
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby uschi » November 27th, 2018, 12:55 am

I would have thought that an artist strives to express something.
Doesn't have to be beautiful.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby dennispc » November 27th, 2018, 8:27 am

Earlier this year we saw Grayson Perry's Tapestry Exhibition in Bristol. Huge tapestries produced at a tapestry factory. Fortunately, also exhibited was his sketch book. The guy can certainly draw and his creativity was outstanding.

Whilst OH walked around admiring the skills of tapestry workers, I was surprised the public were allowed to look through the sketch book page by page. Don't recall it being tied down in any way. Equally surprised that his book about his life was available to look through. It wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea!
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby scullion » November 27th, 2018, 9:00 am

i think he was a worthy winner of the turner prize - and not just because he's a potter - he has also done a lot to bring contemporary art/craft to a wider audience who may not, previously, have engaged with it.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby suffolk » November 27th, 2018, 9:19 am

Absolutely agree Scully ... Grayson Perry :kneel: :kneel: :kneel: and an all round 'good egg' as well :D :tu:
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby Ratatouille » November 27th, 2018, 10:38 am

I too am a huge admirer of Grayson Perry.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby StokeySue » November 27th, 2018, 11:15 am

I’m Jealous Dennis
I was at an event in Bristol very near the Arnolfini when the Grayson Perry exhibition was on, and never got to it due to the very short opening hours
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby Seatallan » November 27th, 2018, 11:22 am

Talking of tapestry/weaving, Mr S and I are looking forward to visiting the Anni Albers exhibition at Tate Modern next week. Should be a good one I think.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby dennispc » November 28th, 2018, 9:26 am

Sue, there were two Grayson Perry exhibitions in Bristol at different times, one at the Arnolfini and the Tapestry one at the Bristol Art Museum.

The tapestries were based on Hogarth's Rake's Progress, which were on display as well, as were Hockney's. Didn't 'get' Hockney's.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby PatsyMFagan » December 4th, 2018, 12:10 pm

dennispc wrote:Patsy, remember when we were kids using our fingers to make faces when the windows were misted up? That's making marks, as we do writing a cheque, chefs do it when putting a spoon through a blob of sauce, they are making a mark. The big question is, why is one mark considered a piece of art and another one, not? Perhaps you're looking for something deeper which isn't there, it's just making marks.


I think you might be right Dennis ;) :tu:
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby PatsyMFagan » December 4th, 2018, 12:31 pm

suffolk wrote:Absolutely agree Scully ... Grayson Perry :kneel: :kneel: :kneel: and an all round 'good egg' as well :D :tu:


I entirely agree …

I am pleasantly surprised how my original 'innocent' question has been expanded... I am thoroughly enjoying reading everyone's comments :tu: :tu: :tu:
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby dennispc » December 4th, 2018, 3:21 pm

PatsyMFagan wrote:
I entirely agree …

I am pleasantly surprised how my original 'innocent' question has been expanded... I am thoroughly enjoying reading everyone's comments :tu: :tu: :tu:[/quote]

I've enjoyed also.
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby Ratatouille » December 5th, 2018, 1:39 pm

I'm wondering what everyone makes of this year's Turner Prize as announced last night?
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Re: a question for the artists on here ..

Postby earthmaiden » December 5th, 2018, 4:11 pm

I am curious about the Turner Prize winner. Hard to comment without seeing it but the concept excites me more than some recent offerings did.
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