Strong Opinion

Strong Opinion

My final ‘free-n-open’ comment:

In the visual arts there are more gratuitous people than creative people.

In the visual arts strong opinions come and go.

It’s a part of the visual arts: Comments that are favourable are few, and torrents of critique and qualified moans are aplenty.

In the visual arts everyone has an earnest appraisal about art.

Apparently everyone knows more about art than I do.

I know it as a fact because they tell me they know about art.

I’m ethnic and my beguiling face obviously semaphores that it’s OK to tell me what art is all about.

I’ve noticed that it’s in the visual arts the commentaries fly. It’s as if all and sundry suffer a compulsion to say stuff, especially to me.

To say stuff, no matter if it isn’t well thought out, just say it anyway, with a qualifier dis-owning the opinion by musing upon a lack of knowledge. Then just barge ahead and say ‘stuff’, like:

“I don’t know anything but I know what I like.”

Hey! I don’t particularly need to hear it! OK?

I’ve concluded that in the visual arts in Australia everyone detests stuff. The love to hate is a rapacious put-down game upon sensitive types, like artists who conclude their ideas and then move on to new ideas. Now, that’s a novel idea.

You know, it’s a no brainer that sensitive artists get out of the main stream, to escape from the mindless know-it-all types.

Go to an exhibition launch and listen to the sport of deadened inspiration gift wrapped as artists’ statements, a weirdly Post-Modernistic phenomenon championing incomprehensibility.

Notions about ‘issues’ like climate change, sexual taste and those rampant desires of mindless consumerism to be checked by green power. Art about racism and segregation are not original, yet emerging artists believe that it’s new.

Once these concerns are voiced and indifferently illustrated the exponents step into their cars, burn some oil, flick on a switch of coal powered energy, unwrap a premade meal while logging onto prepaid connectivity to check on their application for extra funding in triplicate.

I’m probably wrong but I sense there are more brain dead people in the arts today.

The horrible thought is that brainlessness is catching and that I’m brain dead too, which is a thought that gets at me each brand new day.

So, visit the art shows, go on a journey into the realm of those epic artists’ statements that prevail at the expense of perfectly sensible ones.



It is a pleasure to contribute to this ‘school’ website. It makes me think about ‘stuff’ as I prepare for workshops.

My approach is to prime a few ideas and try not to change anyone. I enjoy showing illustration tricks that can be applied if anyone cares to do so.

What really matters is your survival emotionally and spiritually. Once you are older, like I am, nothing really matters so much anymore. It’s best to be in love.

If you have a love for mammon, well, you are in the wrong space. Those who long for a quick fix will have to source substances to abuse elsewhere.

As an older bloke I love really good new products/materials and those many crazy ideas to add to a repertoire of over 50 years of atelier creative methods.

I have uploaded articles and modules to draw your attention to dimension thinking and of doing creative stuff when less gravity applies.

Illustration art is a great theatrical drama. It’s not consistently done in the atelier these days, for myriad reasons. I think a lot of artists in the world are intentionally prosaic as they plod and plot, on screens.

There are many reasons for this phenomenon; the death of the teaching ateliers being a major cause and subsequent loss of tutors in those old ways that were suggested once upon a time.

The excessiveness of the Internet is not conducive to giving artists the private time to mull over the stuff they enjoy doing.

Rather oddly the Internet is a huge blunder in certain ways, but an especially useful ‘mistake’ too. It’s a tool with detrimental contrarian contracts, exhaustingly brazen as it consumes you.

Texting is superseding the storyboards.

So, without rancour, I wish all well for the future and hope everyone great adventures in art. It’s a ‘great game’.

The ‘great game’ continues in sections accessible to ‘registered’ participants.

Reality Check by my tutor:

“Northern Impressionism was really good at capturing moods. Artists learned that doing one thing is great and they focused on exploring atmosphere.

“Ignoring other ideas was beneficial to the ateliers because its identity was well-founded in its main Impressionistic direction.

“Today your education will bounce from one thing to another, adding to your bucket lists on the specious premise that through exposure to myriad fads you’ll become better at art.

“I point out in my conversations that one great lesson learned is best, and lots of lessons half learned is not as good.

“Also, by spending insane amounts of time doing all sorts of discordant art your constructive time is over. You will be time stressed.

“Your tutors at university are grating but they do not care. You are a client and the agenda they push isn’t for you, but exclusively for them.

“A commentator recently called it monetisation. I bet that word will stick around, making money, squeezing every dollar out of art education.

“At the end you’ll probably become an art tutor too or find another job, after having learned smatterings of stuff you cannot use.

“You will know presently that you know nothing much.

“You cannot eat your BA, Pieter.”

Reality check in the atelier, visual diary notes late 1990s


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