Who Needs Soap Opera When You Have History

In an effort to come up with creative words to add to the painting I did today, I came across a dispute between James McNeill Whistler and John Ruskin.  If you are unfamiliar with these gentlemen, Whistler was an American artist whose most familiar painting is a portrait of his mother called “Arrangement in Grey and Black, the Artist’s Mother”   better known as “Whistler’s Mother.”  http://jssgallery.org/other_artists/Whistler/Whistler%27s_Mother.htm 

John  Ruskin was an art critic, artist and poet who influenced and supported the Pre-Raphaelites, a group of artists who created a reform movement in the Victorian era.   He later became part of the Arts and Crafts Movement advocating a return to a craftsman base society.

The basis of the argument was Ruskin’s criticism of  Whistler’s “Nocturn in Black and Gold.”   Ruskin said  “I…never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face.”  That clearly didn’t sit well with Whistler who sued Ruskin for  slander.  Whistler won the lawsuit but was only awarded a farthing and the suit left him broke.  Wonder what  Ruskin would say about Jackson Pollock.

Here is a juicy tidbit about Mr. Ruskin (rated pg-13).  His marriage to Effie Gray was annulled on grounds of  “incurable impotency.”  He disputed the charge saying he was willing to “prove his virility at the court’s request.”  I am guessing the judge didn’t allow the demostration because Effie was granted an annullment and later married John Everett Millais, one of the Pre-Raphaelites.

You are probably wondering what all this has to do with this blog post.  It has to do with imitation.  I was trying to find something clever to say about imitation other than “sincerest of flattery” and came across all this which was far more interesting .

Imitation is what this painting is.  I came across an artist’s work (  http://www.frankgonzales.net/ )yesterday and so loved it, I attempted to imitate it.  The work is my own, the style is an attempt at his.  There are bits of my painting I am pleased with, my swirls are painted freehand, I am rather proud of them, and it was great fun and very messy pouring paint on the canvas.   Then I took sandpaper to the canvas letting the raw sienna peek thru the blue. I am being brave giving you a link to his work and then putting my painting up for view.  There really is no comparision.  I am just trying to expand my universe.

Dripping-Paint-and-Bird

12″x12″  acrylic on canvas

Webster’s defines coxcomb as “a conceited, foolish dandy.”  Yep, grounds for libel.

 

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One Response to “Who Needs Soap Opera When You Have History”

  1. Becky McBrayer Farmer Says:

    The birds and swirls seem to fit so well…motion??? What a talent you have! I enjoyed the history and vocabulary as well…coxcomb! lol

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