A festive shot…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s dictionary word is ‘tichorrhine’ – having an ossified nasal septum – as the fossil woolly rhinoceros. (They often thunder past my window at night doing their loud annoying snorts.)
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Here is a picture I took a couple of days ago in the local (and excellent) art gallery, ‘The Ferens’ in Hull city centre. I was sitting waiting for my interesting, cafe-visiting, tea-drinking, friend who, due to the mad Christmas traffic, was more than twenty minutes late. I suppose I photographed this scene illegally, as one is supposed to get permission from the gallery staff, and sign a document in one’s own blood stating the resulting picture would not be used for any financial gain. Anyway I didn’t ask, and only have a smallish pang of guilt about it. Anyway, I didn’t really think that the photo would be very good because the perspective was all a bit ugly – I should really have stood up to compose it, but I couldn’t be bothered, and also, my standing holding up a camera up would have drawn attention to my crime. Still, I later faffed it around with photoshop and straightened it up a bit, so that it now looks reasonably convincing…
I hear you thinking, ‘I suppose that figure in the painting represents you, showing your reaction to the festive season, and all the concomitant stress and torment that it inevitably brings with it?’ No, not really, I just thought that the juxtaposition with the decorated tree was rather nice… The painting is ‘Electra at the Tomb of Agamemnon’ by Frederick Lord Leighton, done in 1869.
When I was at school hundred years ago, or was it when I first went to art college? we students were taken around this gallery by some visiting trendy art lecturer. I remember him verbally and actually sneering at paintings like this, saying how lacking in integrity, and how stuck in the conventions of the past they were, telling us lads and lasses how things like this were painted at the same time that the Impressionists in France were munching cheese baguettes, guzzling wine, and splashing bright vibrant iridescent colours around. God, he really hated Victorian stuff! Me, I liked it, and was very impressed with it, but of course I kept my young mouth shut. ‘Hell, I wish I could paint as well as that!’ I thought back then, and I still think that now…
That chap was a typical academic, they love an argument, they love having a point to make; they have no skills other than talking and writing, and I think they feel a bit threatened and insecure by constantly having to look at stuff done by talented creative people; I sort of feel sorry for the poor souls…
Surely as an artist you can paint what the hell you like! Isn’t that the idea of art? So, you are painting in an old style… So what? Just do what you want to do. Artists don’t make the rules, they leave that to the career hungry critics and academics to manage all that boring stuff… Come on, let’s get chiselling and painting – there aren’t any rules…

Season’s greeting’s to one and all!

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in art, Dulltown, history, photography, style and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A festive shot…

  1. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    What a cranky man he was! And imposing his narrow views on students – that’s just wrong. It’s up to the viewer to make up their minds about the kind of work they like or don’t. I bet he was one frustrated artist – only his momma bought his stuff to hang in her parlor.

    I shall begin the chiseling and painting in just a few…

    Happy holidays to you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s