Artistic Honesty

Left brain. Right brain. One’s the creative half and one’s the logical side. Only problem is, I can never remember which is which. Until now. I’ve just found this fantastic image on the Facebook page of the Missouri Institute of Natural Science.

5 FeathersNow I have a visual image I know I’ll be able to remember which side is which. Quite handy when my students ask me about the left brain/ right brain subject.

Sunlight & ShadowSo which am I? I’m a weird blend of both but I suspect you’d guess that by looking at my artwork. On one hand it’s accurate, scientific, organised and controlled and on the other it’s “the urge to paint on an empty canvas”, vivid colours, creativity.

Purple Gallinule

At it’s best I think my artwork combines both aspects. The intensity of colour, the love of shape with the scientific accuracy and structure.

My point is that as artists we should be expressing our own character through our art. We each see the world in an individual way and that is largely due to our own personality.  To try to do something different in our art is to deny who we are.

I was talking to a friend recently about a friend of mine whom he hadn’t met. He knew her art though, and provided a fair description of her personality based only on her work. Now that’s honest art!

I’m reminded of a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins I’ve always liked. It doesn’t seem to have a title but begins “As kingfishers catch fire…” and contains the words “what I do is me”. Exactly! That’s not to say we shouldn’t experiment and explore with art, but it should be about expanding our repertoire through discovery rather than doing something new according to the latest trend. That’s why I’m always interested in seeing a timeline of an artist’s work. It shows their journey and how each discovery has led their art onwards.

This is turning in to a Deep Thought Tuesday post. I’ll stop there, but which are you – right brain or left brain, and how do you express it?


About Jackie Garner

Wildlife artist.
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2 Responses to Artistic Honesty

  1. Diane Wallace says:

    I’m a little of both – probably more on the right side than left. Consider myself creative, but just love numbers/math, problem solving……In either case, I feel my art is a reflection of me. Bright, cheerful, simple, spontaneous. Took me a while to get to that point, but now that I’m there, painting is such joy. Thought provoking. Thanks.

  2. Hi Diane. Doesn’t it feel good when your art and your personality are in accord? Might be a struggle to find that point, but it’s well worth the effort when you get there. I love the quality of light in your watercolours, by the way.
    Thanks for your comment.

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