Tuesday, June 13, 2006
The Art Auction
On the cruise, I visited the art auctions--every one of 'em. And found myself walking away with a new appreciation for art.
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!