Let me back up. I am completely untalented when it comes to art. I’ve managed to perfect the drawing of a horse and a chain, but that’s about it. Oh, and I do the plot skeleton, but he only serves to prove my complete inability to draw. So I’ve always had a sincere appreciation for anyone who can sit down and make a flat page come to three-dimensional life.
I think I am interested in art because it’s so analogous to writing. Both writers and artists start with a blank canvas. We both could create worlds of anything. We both have to think about theme, character, setting, and sometimes even plot. We both work in a medium that is fairly subjective–bad is bad, good is good, but beauty can be a matter of taste.
Several years ago Tyndale House hired artist Michael Dudash to paint covers for five of my historical novels (Roanoke, etc.) A couple of years after the series finished, Michael wrote me and said that he was trying to help his church raise money for a new septic system. So if I was interested, he’d sell me those original oils at a good price. I had never in my life bought anything that could even remotely be considered “fine art,” but I wanted to help with the septic tank, so I promised Michael that I’d buy a painting for every contract I signed that year. And, as the Lord would have it, I signed enough contracts to buy the entire series.
Fast forward a few years. I DO love fine art–I have a passion for Van Gogh and the impressionists, and I dearly love Klimt. But I was pretty much buying good copies on eBay. 🙂 Until the cruise and the art auction.
The auctioneer, Andre from Australia, taught us as he moved those paintings. I saw a video clip of Howard Behrens, who paints incredible scenes with a . . . the word escapes me–pallet knife, I think. Anyway, it looks like a little trowel, and he just dabs paint onto the canvas and magic happens. I also fell in love with Pino, who got his start doing romance novel covers, and I learned a lot about Erte, Picasso, and Chagall. (While I can appreciate those latter three, they wouldn’t exactly look at home in my house, if you know what I mean.) I also learned about a new artist (new to me, anyway) named Nechita. Oh, and Luongo. They had two Luongo originals on the ship that were positively breath-taking.
Anyway, I came home with a hand-embellished Behrens seriograph and two seriograph still lifes (lives?) of fruit–I have a thing for fruit. And I think I’m going to try to do more to support the art world–in what is an admittedly small way. Because I’m enthralled by the wonder of it all.
BTW, if you’re interested in how writers learn to write, BJ Hoff has a fascinating post on her blog. Here’s the link:http://www.bjhoffgracenotes.typepad.com/ Enjoy!