As a child, I strived to make all my drawings and paintings as realistic as possible. I had seen all the styles of art in books and museums, and all around in every day life, but I always went the route of realistic, or replicating someone else’s unrealistic version. Maybe I thought that it was harder to make something realistic, and that that somehow made it better. I was wrong. The amount of consideration, planning, and thought given to a realistic image is not any greater than what is given to an image with any level of abstraction. For me, I think realism required less consideration and I was taking the easy way out.
In college I visited the Philadelphia Museum of Art and saw Cy Twombly’s Fifty Days at Illiam,a series of ten paintings around a room that together depict the last fifty days of the Trojan War based on Alexander Pope’s translation of Homer’s Illiad. Each painting is a different combination of scrawls, marks, letters, numbers, drips, clumps of paint, and erasures, some parts are bold, and some barely visible. I made the comment ‘I can’t scribble that well.” My comment was mistaken as sarcasm. It was not. I was becoming aware that I really could not scribble that well and that perhaps in trying to make exact replicas of photographs or real life references, I was preventing feeling and emotion from showing through my art. Art should give emotion in order to receive emotion.
Be sure to take the time to appreciate all the different art around you. Show respect for all art, whether hanging in a museum or made by your friends and family. All art is beautiful when an artist puts their heart into it.