Saturday, September 23, 2006

The How, Why and Why Not?

As a child I was always curious why things are the way they are. I’ve always been frustrated by people telling me that ‘that’s just the way it is’ or ‘that’s just how it’s done.’ ‘Don’t ask why,’ they insist, ‘just use the formula’ they say and ‘they’ too often are teachers. If a kid (or Kidd) wants to have a deeper understanding of something he or she should be allowed to explore it. Okay, when I’m under the gun, I need to know how to get something done and following the established method is the sure way but it’s not a good way to learn. If I know why something is a particular way and I know how a bit of knowledge was derived it is much more helpful in understanding the reason for something. This gives me the ability to expand on a concept. You have to be thinking, what does this have to do with art? It’s not so much about art as it is about how I make art.

My way to make pictures is to understand the world around me as well as I can. In particular I want to understand the pattern, the underlying force(s) that make(s) up the universe. I wander right into specialties that I’m told I have no business in. ‘Hey, this is our area of expertise,’ the experts tell me, ‘go back to your studio and make paintings.’ To see the world with greater accuracy you’ll need to know a great deal about it and you’ll need to use your imagination too. Two things artists and scientists have in common is that they both have to be very good observers and they both have to use their imaginations -- our senses don’t sense all. It’s a great thing to be able to picture things in your head well: to know the weight, to feel the density, to see the shape, to know the internal anatomy, to imagine the reflective property, to see something from many different perspectives, to feel the texture, to understand how your eyes take in light, to mentally adjust the light and all its qualities to fit your needs. This knowledge will give someone imaginative power on a grand scale. Omnipotence!

At the end of the day I still have to have done a nice painting though. I can’t have a career without that, well, not for long. A great number of artists seem to be able to create without having a deeper meaning, at least not consciously, of their subject. I’m sure I can to, but then the work would have less meaning for me. It’s also less fun that way.

Now, what does any of this have to do with the drawing I’ve posted today? Nothing. Not much of anything, that is unless you count the title of this piece, “Omnipotence.”

Maybe this picture is more about the next step after making light in creating the universe. The subtitle could be “Let there be art.”


Blogger Emphyrio said...

This is great!

One suggestion: paragraph frequently, and double-space between them.

Tired, middle-aged eyes hate big blocks of type on the computer screen.

You do show excellent taste in choosing a minimalist, airy blogger template.

Paul Chadwick

12:32 PM  
Blogger Konstantin Pogorelov said...

She is so skinny ! the poor thing...

8:05 PM  
Blogger Tom Kidd said...

Quite often I give the frail great power. It’s because that’s what I see in history. Take for example diminutive Alberto Santos Dumont. He was an enormously brave man who built and flew airships in Paris. Later, when he returned to his own country Brazil, he was the first person in the world to successfully build and fly an airplane that took off and landed entirely on its on power. He could’ve patented his invention and become enormously wealthy but he gave that knowledge out freely. Dumont is just one example of small people who accomplished great things. When I read about people like him, it naturally makes me want to reflect that in my pictures even if they’re pure fantasy.

3:05 AM  
Blogger Marmax said...

Nothing to add but this is a great post!

1:03 AM  
Blogger Nahrin said...

I must say this is a deeply philosophical post and it rings true. I know I have felt that way about art and many other things.

Those who do put all of that thought and meticulous care into a painting or illustration are masters of their craft. After all its not just paint thrown on a canvas in "pretty" patterns or a character plopped on a background. It IS the reason behind the act, the thought behind the story that creates a deeply moving image, and, therefore, unforgettable.

The aspect of human frailty does have an awe-inpiring feeling if conveyed correctly, and this delicate piece is very powerful indeed. Poetic work Tom! :)

2:44 AM  
Blogger tlc illustration said...

Tom - I'm very much enjoying your very thoughtful and thought-provoking blog. I've been in awe of your work for some time, and it's great to 'hear' your thought processes in how you approach art and life. It is very inspirational. Thanks for sharing.

12:46 AM  

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