Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Thoughts from Famous Artists, No. 2
"I don't believe an artist can influence the solutions to ecological, or social, problems -- as soon as he tries to do that, his work becomes edifying and boring.
"But art that is sincere will bring the artist's love for his surroundings across to other people who maybe fail to see the beauty. Only in this way can an artist contribute to the solution of the problems of society -- but it is a process that takes time and often produces disappointing results."
Vadim Gorbatov in 'Portrait of a Living Marsh'
I just haven't been able to do much artwork recently. I have however been greatly enjoying a book produced by The Artists For Nature Foundation about the last remaining lowland marshes in Europe, 'Portrait of a Living Marsh.'
I don't know all that much about ANF so I'm not going to write about it. More information can be found at their website. If you go to this page, then click on 'Read more', you'll get a lengthy PDF article on ANF, full of many great illustrations and a lot of history. It may download or display in your browser, depending on how you have your browser set up.
I have to say I'm mightily impressed by this book. It includes essays on the ecology of this area of Poland, coupled with over 100 drawings and paintings by world famous wildlife artists who went there as a field expedition of ANF. They did this in the early 1990s. ANF has done many other such projects.
I have to confess that I had never heard of many of the artists, including Vadim Gorbatov, whom I quoted at top. But I have thoroughly enjoyed the artwork and the essays. There is such a feel of honest concern for nature and honest love of portraying it. I think that's why the Gorbatov quote struck me. The best way to convince others of the value and beauty of nature, or anything else for that matter, is by portraying your own love for it.
I originally posted this last night without any artwork. I just hate doing that. So this morning I did this 30 minute watercolor of a Wood Duck and ducklings at Tinicum. I can't say it's a great step forward. But it is something to look at.