By W.R. Jones
I was reading an article about Robert Bateman, an extraordinary wildlife artist. He mentioned being soundly thumped by the critics for selling prints of his work.
I’ve never understood the need for or value of an art critic. What exactly is their purpose except to sell more newpapers or magazines? If I was an editor I would save money by having the sports writer do the column on art as well. “Hey, Bud, when you get done with the big game give me a piece on the art show, will you? Don’t strain yourself. If you can recognize it, call it crap. There is a fellow in the show who creates using male bovine dung; you know, something you sports writers can relate to. Call that ART.”
I’ve yet to see a painting by an art critic. Now you don’t have to be a painter to make valid relevant observations about a painting, but if someone is critiquing a work of mine, I will be more inclined to listen if I respect their painting skills.
I’ve gone off track. Those criticizing Bateman claimed by selling prints he was being commercial. The scoundrel; trying to make money. He should be more like me, thinking only of elevating the life of the public. Following this commercial, making copies for money is evil idea, I think it would be logical to demand that no copies be made of books. There should exist only the original manuscript. If you want to read it, you will have to stand in line at the museum/library. Plays should be put on only once. You want to see it; you better get there early. There should be no music CDs. That clearly demeans the performing arts. And don’t try to play the song more than once to grub for money.
My take on this is that I’ve got to sell the same painting multiple times. That is ok with me, I don’t mind being a crook.
Speaking of copies, this painting is a small 6″x8″ copy of a larger work by T. Allen Lawson, a landscape painter living in Maine (http://www.tallenlawson.com/). I took a workshop with him in Scottsdale a few years back and found him to be an excellent teacher as well as one of the best landscape painters in the country. He has workshops in Maine that I would like to attend. However, living in California, it is a long drive. If someone will come get me I would love to go.