Monday, May 14, 2012


Detail of image of Christ in panoramic piece
"Mother Teresa" by Stewart Anstead
5'x10' © 2004 Commissioned by
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church
Draper, Utah

Have you taken an art appreciation class?

I never have.

That's my mistake, but I am making up for that on just about a daily basis. What I know is that whatever I paint, it carries some influence from those who came before. That is absolutely true. Like everyone else, I have been exposed to art from infancy, and that art came from someone.

In other words, when I create art, I am standing on the shoulders of giants ... those who were greatly influential to me.

My original work is reflective of my own art filter.

I like certain kinds of art, certain colors, subjects, and so on.
I start moving paint around, and ... POW! I have something that is somewhat unique.
It's my take.

My hope is that you like my interpretation of art.

I am a great appreciator of the work of a lot of artist, past and present.

There is an amazing array of art created by many artists like never seen before. Every one of them have something to say with their work. This weekend, I even saw artwork generated by robots! What?!

Do you like all art?

I don't know about you, but I don't, and to be forthcoming, I can't always explain why.

I have seen ultra-realistic work where you can see every bead of water on a leaf in complete and utter exactness and was blown away by its beauty. I have seen other ultra-realistic work and didn't have those feelings ... those impressions.

By the same token, I am often moved by impressionistic work with lines and shapes and colors that give the "impression" the artist was trying to convey. And then I will come across art that carries training from the same school in its execution, but it leaves me flat.

Same school. Same tradition. Different reactions.

Renoi. Da Vinci. Monet.

Great artist. I don't LOVE every single thing they've painted. But the ones I do, I really really love them.

I have to say it ... "I don't know why I like the art ... I just do!"

Maybe we all respond to art the same way. It applies to other art disciplines for me.

Elton john and Bernie Taupin have created amazing works of music. But, if you listen to samples of their not-so-popular songs, I find that there are many songs that catch me flat. Many of their songs! Surprising.

Same is true for classical/baroque music. Some of it is quite moving in a similar way. A lot of it loses me in its own discipline; too repetitive, too wandering or meandering or too esoteric.

Same thing when it comes to architecture, sculpture, and animation.

Why do I respond to some and not otheres? I don't know!

But, when art strikes that chord in me, it is transcendent. It makes me reach higher.

In a way, there is a spiritual connection that is made. Not that I worship an artist. Far from it. I believe in God. I believe that the best that man can do, although falling short of the beauty made by God's creations, IS a glimpse into God's work. I think mankind is blessed from time to time with impressions that reflect higher states of being. Impressions. Revelations. Whatever you call it, this helps me understand why someone can see a painting and weep openly because it is just that beautiful.

I think what I am getting at is simply that my work is an expression of appreciation for the work I have been confronted with and influenced by, and an appreciation for the experience of creating. All of these, to me, is an appreciation for beauty ... something that man cannot produce, but tries his or her best to describe and interpret.

Why do you like my work? Why don't you like it?
Maybe you struggle with a definition as I do.

It's ok to admit it ... you may not know why. You just do!

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