Saturday, February 4, 2012

In Search of Excellence in Fine Art

This week we learned that Qatar had recently purchased one of five Cezanne Card Player paintings for the record-setting price of $250-million. At first glance, we may wonder why this affluent royal family would want imagery of peasant card-players. It's not the image they've purchased. The Cezanne name and the work as part of a series puts Qatar in a very exclusive club of owners of the other four images, as they purposefully purchase works for their museums. Qatar Buys One of Cezanne Card Players

Whether or not we find these five paintings meet our taste for excellence, excellent works they are. Once again, we see that mundane subject matter in the hands of a master painter can produce extraordinary imagery that will rank excellent at some point in it's existence.

We each have our own reasons for appreciating someone's creative expression, and for our own expression in our works. I believe that it's okay to paint for the joy of painting even if I never create a masterpiece. I'm not sure any of the masters knew their works were masterpieces, except for Clyfford Still. Clyfford Still Museum Denver. He was absolutely certain that he had created excellent art and that it must be shared with those who would appreciate its excellence.

Red Tulips in Spring Snow
I had the good fortune of painting a few hours every day this week working on a series of Spring images from the mountains to the coast. As I worked at the beach, tourists and locals stopped to chat. To some I gave a business card so they could view my "beach" pieces online.

These new works are expressive of my feelings at the time I planned them, regardless of the actual locale in which they were painted. Red tulips in snow are typical for an Asheville flower garden when snow comes late in the year.

Red Maple in Bud

A Montgomery red maple tree is gorgeous in all seasons, but especially when the buds cluster and take on the appearance of brilliant red flowers. We also have red maples in Tampa Bay, but they don't put on as dramatic a Spring or Fall color show as those in cooler climates.

Mountain Home Spring


Another view of Asheville in Springtime. This is much later in Spring when flowering trees are rejuvenated in their pale green colors and Carolina blue skies are reflected in the many mountain springs, lakes, and streams.

Along with this serene view, I painted a half dozen mountain farms over the last few weeks that are in my Spring series studies. Most of these will be painted in more detail as larger oil works.

Water Iris
And one little tropical image completes this post of many pretty pictures. I strove for excellence in each of these small acrylic studies as I painted to capture the essence in each subject.

We tend to be a little selfish with our Florida gardens. Though we can't grow tulips, or crocus, or Iris, we buy them in pots to celebrate Spring's arrival, and do have them in art works or art deco pieces around the home.

These works, along with other pieces completed in the last few weeks, will be available only as prints on my Fine Art America site (first link below.)

Comments are always encouraged. How do you strive for excellence in your works?

If you're following interesting blogs, feel free to comment or post those links here, too. 

All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

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