Welcome to all:

I hope you enjoy the posts already available on this website, as well as others which I will be contributing in the coming months and years. Most of them will come from my four books. These will cover a wide range of subjects relating to:

  • The practice of painting and drawing,
  • The history of artists and the evolution of their ideas.
  • Creativity.
  • The science that gives insights into how artists use their eyes when at work.

But there will also be posts giving ‘Painting School News’ and, occasionally, on other ‘Miscellaneous Subjects’.

To find all the posts available please use the array of CATEGORIES (in capital letters) and subcategories (in lower case) that you will find in the left hand column.

Alternatively you can click on one of these links which will take you directly to the post concerned :

If, after reading a post, you find that the list of categories and subcategories immediately to the left is no longer complete, the full list can always be found in the right hand column at the very bottom of the page (this may sometimes involve quite a lot of scrolling down).

I look forward to your comments. When you have made them, please leave your email address and tick the box “Notify me of new posts by email.”

.Caladrius bird for categories post


12 thoughts on “Welcome to all:”

  1. To start the ball rolling I am posting an extract from “Fresh Perspectives on Creativity” Chapter 11 : “Having Fun with Creativity”. Its title is “The Potato”. The reference to my own work relates to an earlier section in the chapter where I describe how each stage in a painting opens up a variety of possibilities, only one of which can be pursued at any one time.

    The Potato

    It is always the case that a great deal of what goes into paintings is hidden and, with it, much of what has been put into them. This point that can be clarified by means of a true story relating to a child with learning difficulties told by his primary school teacher.

    George, as I shall call him, was a amiable lad, but never seemed to want to join in what others were doing. One day, during a painting session, the teacher was delighted to see him applying himself with great concentration. She hurried over to see what had caught his imagination and found that he had produced a light-brown oval shape in the middle of an otherwise empty sheet of paper. He was obviously pleased to see her and held up what he had done asking with pride in his voice, “Do you like my potato, Miss?” In itself, George’s production wasn’t very impressive but, sensing an opportunity for a breakthrough in his attitude to school, she enthused about it, suggesting, before leaving him, that he complete the picture.

    Being at the beck and call of the other children, the teacher was not able to get back to George for some time, although out of the corner of her eye she could see that he was painting away with renewed enthusiasm. Her heart was warmed and she was anxious to make an opportunity to see what he had done. When this eventually came, she found that he had covered the entire paper with dirty-brown paint: the potato was nowhere to be seen. In scarcely concealed distress she cried out, “George, what ever have you done?”. But the answer brought one of the most heart-touching moments of her career. “I have planted it under the earth, Miss”, he explained.

    One of the many questions which this story brings to mind is, “Did George ruin or enhance his painting by his surprising behaviour?” There can be little doubt that he had spoilt its superficial appearance, but, in doing so, had he not given it a far deeper meaning? And, if ruining appearances can give greater significance, we must admit the possibility that an important aspect of the appreciation of a work of art may lie in knowledge of its history.

    The trouble (or the opportunity) is that the process of painting covers traces (as is evidenced by the histories of both George‘s potato and my pastels. Nothing is quite what it seems, either physically or psychologically. Everything in painting has its origins deeply embedded in the past of an evolving process and a unique life. In my case, the creative energy comes from a complex web of factors relating to fairly abstruse aspects of painting that may be of little interest to others. In George’s case, the project was simplicity itself, but represented a ray of light shining out from the darkness of caged soul. Moreover, to my knowledge, his idea is unique, showing a striking originality of a kind which had proved beyond the combined imaginations of the great artists of history.

    @ Francis Pratt 12 February 2017

    1. Thank you, Francis. I have been reading all of your posts and am learning tons from them. Please keep posting! Appreciatively, Sylvia

  2. Lovely story! One of the things I’ve come to like about contemporary art is the idea of leaving a trail of evidence in your work to show the development and, ideally, the pulse of it’s taking life.

  3. A pioneer of monochrome indeed. Thank you for sharing George’s story and encouraging creativity in many forms,

  4. Merci Francis pour ton approche très personnelle de la peinture.
    Bravo pour la clarté de ton site et pour les “posts”.

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