According to Aristotle ….

"....the aim of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."

Doppelgänger

I remember reading many years ago that Graham Greene was troubled by encountering reports in the press of his attendance at various events at which, in fact, he had not been present.  He was convinced that somebody out there was going around pretending to be him, making speeches on his behalf and engaging in other forms of impersonation.  The novelist…

Art and The Donald

No: seriously!  I mean it.  Hang in there!  Many years ago I painted a portrait of a member of the family.  She didn’t like the result.  “It makes me look angry,” she said.  This should not have been surprising, because she was angry.  Nevertheless, I tried to alter the picture …. and ruined it.  Perhaps this experience has something to…

Tambourine Man

A friend just posted a video-clip of Bob Dylan singing Tambourine Man at Woodstock in 1964.  I have to confess that I have a recurring fantasy/dream of being marooned on a desert island, so that I might have the time to work out just what that song means.  In one way I don’t care what it means, and yet I’m…

“Current Obsessions”

The local group of painters to which I am attached, Unit 9, had one of its regular meetings last night, accompanied by the usual plentiful food and drink.  A major item of business was confirmation of our programme for the coming year.  Because I have been so busy with other things I had not previously registered very consciously  the fact that…

Whither England?

No!  I am not referring to the football world cup, although there is a tangential connection with what I have in mind.  The other day I descended into the recesses of the University Library to help sort out some old records and other material from my former department.  Glancing along the shelves in the “Special Collections” area, as I waited for…

Painters, actors and writers

I still have ringing in my ears the phrase my father used to come out with whenever any of us kids cried, “It’s not fair!”  “Whoever told you life was fair?” he would respond.  I’ve been suffering from a bit of  “not fair” today, while out walking in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  Why is it (I asked myself) that…

My wife and Eugene Delacroix

I’ve just begun reading Julian Barnes’ book of essays on art, Keeping and Eye Open.  Barnes makes an interesting comparison between Delacroix and Ingres, noting that whereas for the latter an understanding of line and form are crucial to his art, in the case of Delacroix it is his heightened awareness of the importance of colour that provides a key to…

Mystery and music

We are back home again after our brief trip to Wales.  I would like to share an unusual experience from yesterday evening, that has stayed with me throughout the day. The hotel in which we were staying was unremarkable in many respects, but it did possess one quite arresting feature.  The late wife of the proprietor had been very interested…