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To live and enjoy every day to its fullest, use my gifts to help others, I travel to wherever passion finds me.

What Will She Paint?

So many friends I met here...!

Monday, April 20, 2009

FLOWER PETALS ON MY PATH

Click on image to see flower petals strewn on the path...

While I'm eating
ice-cream
because this is the second day in the 90ties here LOL, I like to thank you everyone - I enjoyed the interaction! Received lots of good suggestions about my brush from China. One conclusion I have made is that I will not use it for the oil medium, to preserve the hair of the brush. Also it's a keep sake, and I don't know if I'll come back to China.
....................

Turning now to something completely different. With an artist there are the paintings, and there is her life. My life likens that of a pilgrimage. If you have ever read Pilgrims' Progress from John Bunyan, this is my walk on the road to the city of Mistaken Identity.

One time I had an argument with the then boyfriend W. of my daughter about the painter Thomas Kinkade. To clarify a bit, at our house, we call these discussions, but others call them arguments. W. presented Kinkade as a great painter. I responded that I didn't think he was a painter.
I could tell that did not sit well with W.
I should have seen the signs right then that W. would not fit in our family. On one of our family outings, he took us to his apartment. Then I understood. In the hall i saw he had invested in a real Kinkade.

Some years later I had given a workshop and lecture on art at a big youth conference. The next week, the organizers sent me a "Thank You" package in the mail. When I opened the package, my jaw dropped. You guessed it.
Among the items in the package was a copy of Kinkade's book (now on my Shelfari shelf).
My dilemma was that the organizers were my friends, and they thought the world of me, as well as my art. No matter what my own opinion was about Kinkade's art, the least I could do was to read the book.

Since it was a book about daily experiences, there were plenty of items I could relate to. He had many positive and practical suggestions about life. It started also changing my mind about his art (uh, kinda, sorta...), because I could see his motives behind his paintings. I still had a difficult time though the way he chose to visually express himself.

Another time I saw a calender he had done with his illustrations of sports. I thought, maybe he can paint. At least these are not sentimental cottages.

Around Christmas last year, my hubby had recorded all kinds of movies, because we refuse to see garbage, no matter how many cutting edge awards films have received. If you like garbage, just open up your garbage bin and smell the toxic fumes. You will smell like "it" afterwards. The wafts of toxicity sometimes invade my living room from some blogs (not the ones who comment on this blog:) ).

Coming back from my side path, hubby had also rented a movie called "The Christmas Cottage." We didn't know that it was about Thomas Kinkade's life. In viewing the special features, the producer gives the viewer a look into his world. His mom was single, broke.

Cobblestone Mill by Thomas Kinkade

When Thomas was on his bike rides, he would see the lighted houses of the more fortunate and long for an easier, more normal life. In his teens he started helping a painter across the street, cleaning his brushes, sweeping the floor. The painter would give him many of his views on art (why does that sound so familiar?). Later, after that painter had gone on, Thomas would paint these houses of his home town, filled with light.

My understanding about his life, slowly changed my views about his art. For most artists these two are so connected.
I still do not like his approach to the visual forms in his paintings, but I admire him in succeeding to make a living of what he loves to do: art, and to honor the giver of his creativity and all the people who have helped him to get to the place where he is now.

26 comments:

Whitemist said...

Good story and I can relate. I do not particularly like Thomas Kincaid's Paintings, but I have learned to accept many forms of art. I do not like one of the areas more famous water color artist, Mr. Sutherland, but that is my opinion of what i like, not a reflection of his talent. What I do not like is when someone tells me I need to paint like so and so. That offends me, my style is my style and i can recognize the mistakes i make and when my talent went missing, I recognized that as well. Each person is different and each talent is different. Some I will like, some i will not, but it does not invalidate the talent.
One of my foibles is that I can not create the same piece again. It will always be different depending on my perceptions at the time.

jeannette stgermain said...

Joey,
You bring to some good points to the table. The difficult point is for me, what is considered art and artistic talent? What is the point to where you say this is not art? (I'm thinking out loud). Some of that, I am sure has to do with my European views of art, which do not always mix well with the American ones.
I agree strongly with that someone else cannot prescribe how I should paint. Yeah, I have the same thing, I tried several times to copy from myself, and it doesn't work LOL

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

This story reminds me very much of Barbara Steisand. Many, many years ago when she just started to become popular, I could not stand her singing. A friend of mine, (after all what are friends for :) ) said to me one day, "really listen to her music". So dutifully, I sat stiff and sour while he played me some of her records.

At this stage there were a lot of hi-fi rooms and in this one I could sit on an easy chair and be surrounded by about 20 speakers that boomed out. Slowly but surely her songs started to get to me, then I even started to like her voice and guess what? I like her voice now too. Okay not all of it and she is not my favorite, but I did make an about-turn too. LOL!!

antigoni said...

We are so alike, you and me. Sometimes i'm very harsh about something i know well (like religion), but life taught me not to do this any more. Everyone has the right to have and express his opinion even if his opinion is different from mine. It's nice to hear others and except them the way they are. That's life. That's why God made us different. If we were all same, the life would be very boring.

jeannette stgermain said...

How funny Joan, with me it's the other way around. I love her voice, but I do not like her as a person. There's something about her that I can't pinpoint...
It's hard to picture you stiff and sour!!!My turn to say LOL, LOL!

jeannette stgermain said...

Antigoni,
I don't consider myself an expert on art, but I do have strong likes and dislikes. I think it was understanding the person behind the paintings that made it easier for me to change my mind.
Bytheway, I enjoyed your last post about Easter tremendously. You must have been tired after all those activities LOL

Michelle said...

I have no idea what 'style' I am.

Evolving I guess :)

(Those still life's were student works though and a real learning curve for me)

jeannette stgermain said...

Michelle,
I hope you're evolving - I hope I am evolvoing! Are there other artists who have an opinion about your "style?" Or you don't have people around you to talk about art?

Also, do you mean to say that you are not learning as much now?
Sorry for all these questions:) I'm just a curious person (by nature -haha).

Merisi said...

I love your vie en rose!
Our driveway back home in the State used to like that when the blossoms of our cherry trees started to fall. I used to close off the driveway to keep the pink petals in prestine condition as long as possible.

I did not know the story behind Thomas Kinkade's paintings, thank you for enlightening me, very interesting. I once happened upon a special showing of his paintings, but left before the artist arrived. I think he brings so much pleasure and joy to so many people, why should his work not be as good as any art that the common man cannot even begin to "understand"? I wish him well and may he continue to make a good living off his art. It may be Kitsch or not, at the end of the day, he has filled many people's lives with good thoughts and happiness.

jeannette stgermain said...

Merisi,
In my mind I can see you prserving the petals as long as possible:)

So true what you are saying about Kinkade! Many people enjoy his paintings. And every artist should express him/herself in the way that is characteristic to them, no matter what people's opinions are.

Otherwise we wouldn't have van Gogh today and so many others who went against the midstream of their time.

Thanks for your visit. I don't know how you keep up with 300 readers!

DUTA said...

Someone has mentioned here Barbara Streisand. Well, with singers it's like this: either one's got a voice or not. Streisand has got a voice, a good voice, but not everyone likes her style of using it.

I suppose the same applies to painters. They've got the talent for painting but not everyone likes the way they're using their talent.

jeannette stgermain said...

Duta, I know you are open enough to discuss this:) It's all in good jest!

Oly a problem arises when someone hasn't got a voice, and they think they have one!LOL
Same for painters. It's not black and white, but there are hundreds shades of grey/gray.

For example, van Gogh -who
decides whether he had talent or not?
the Salon painters of his time?
They were considered back then the experts on art.
Does history decide who has talent or not? If it's history, van Gogh has enormous talent - a 3 story museum all for his paintings.
If it's the experts of his time's decision, he has lost, and is a scribbler who does not know the first thing about painting.
That, Duta, is the background thinking of the post I wrote.

Reader Wil said...

What is art?I don't know, I sometimes have the feeling that some one is pulling my leg, or I am very simple. I like your paintings, because the colours are beautiful. I don't like the latest paintings of Mondriaan, but the first ones I think very beautiful. Same with Picasso.
Thanks for sharing your opinion. I don't know the painter you mentioned ,so I have no opinion about him. Thanks for your visit Jeannette!

The Gossamer Woman said...

I had to Google Thomas Kinkade and maybe the man is a good painter, but what he paints is nor art, but pure kitsch for people who don't know what real art is all about. That's me putting my foot in my mouth. I can't take that kind of work seriously for one minute and I do not appreciate it and I think it is a waste of talent, but apparently he makes money painting this way, which gives you an indication of the artistic taste of a large portion of the masses. I can find no redeeming qualities in it and would be embarrassed to hang such a work on my walls.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

I think what I don't like about his work is that it is so commonly mass produced--available just about anywhere, anytime, and much of his work is either somehow factory produced or finished by staff.....etc...

jeannette stgermain said...

Reader wil,
this is why I like being on a blog witha variety of people, instead of all artists, because I get to know what the viewers of art think! I think that in the end the laymen decide what art they like.

Hope you look at his painting that I added after I realized that many from outside the US may not know Kinkade, and give your comment - thanks.

jeannette stgermain said...

Irene,
You are entitled to your opinion, as is everyone else:) I hope that some more artists will react - because I am curious to know if artists in general think the same, as the layman.
Hope you're doing better today (because by the time you read this, it will be Wednesday!

jeannette stgermain said...

Gary,
That I think has to do with his staff of public relations. I was told that he paints one painting a week, hands it to his manager, and they'll take it from there.
You are right, it's very commercialized (if that is a word:) ), but that was actually not my initial objection - it's the sentimentalness of his work that gets me.
But do you know that has been done by more artists, that students finish it? Rembrandt for instance hs been copied by his pupils.

matthew houskeeper said...

Interesting post!
I do not really like his work, but it is a great story.

jeannette stgermain said...

Matthew,
Thanks! Which is your favorite artist at the moment?

Jo said...

I'm not a huge fan of Thomas Kincaid's style of painting, but I admire that he keeps at it. I can tend to be a lazy painter, and I admire anyone with the "stick-to-it-ness".

And ... I can eat ice cream when it's 20 below zero. *heh* I don't need an excuse.

jeannette stgermain said...

I agree, maybe that's what I have to do with the business side of painting - I am lazy that way. For me it has to be hot - or vacation-to eat ice-cream, and I take the hot flashes after that in stride, LOL.

thanks for the "follow":)

Maria said...

Hi, thanks for the congrats:)
I'm happy that you like to visit my blog! I am full of admiration of African marathon runners, too. I dont know ANYTHING about their lives...
Hugs from Vienna, Maria :)

Merisi said...

Thank you for your answer, Jeannette!

How do I keep up with 300 readers?
I try to visit fellow bloggers who leave a comment, not every day, but whenever I can. I wished I could find the time to regularly answer comments directly on my blog, but unfortunately most of the days the time I got is just enough to put up a new post. Trying to post every day, making it as good a post as I possibly can in the time alotted, is how I try to keep "contact" with my readers. Their faithful readership and the generous comments, for which I am very grateful, in turn spurn me on to not abandone blogging (there are days when for one reason or another I ask myself if I want to continue).

Thanking you for your kindness and wishing you joy and satisfaction with your art,
Merisi

Michelle said...

No, I'm not surrounded by artists unfortunately. I am caring for my mum and not even painting much right now, no time. I will get back to art school one of these days. I actually left half way through my 2nd year because I was evolving away from 'me' back then, feeling like I was constantly trying to please and to paint what others wanted....but I would like to go back when I have more of a sense of myself...which is happening, albeit slowly :)

jeannette stgermain said...

Michelle,
Hope you don't wait too long with going back to art school, if that is what you need to do. Sounds your life is on hold right now. Hope you find a solution to get back to "yourself" and the sense of your own art again:)