Art Paintings

In this article, I have outlined the experiential processes of art paintings; the processes of dialogue and the processes of reflection or witness. These processes are taken from my own personal research into my artist identity and the findings have greatly informed my practice. This account forms a guide to those artists who wish to delve into their artist identity or those interested in exploring art painting processes.

Art Paintings Processes

The painting processes in this research Endeavour to study the artist identity of the artist through the exploration of consciousness. The basic components of what; where, when; how and why they take place will be described in the following applications, which form a personal account.

These processes have been chosen instead of other media because of the quality of paint’s immediate and fluid response. Despite a background in ceramics, art paintings are where my passion lies.


What the Art Paintings Will Comprise

In my exploration, six art paintings will be undertaken. These will be abstract art paintings and figurative paintings. I will use alternative surfaces. The paintings will include canvases stretched professionally with concrete underlay (thick black plastic).

The dimensions of each art painting will be uniform: 120 x 70x 5 cm. The media used will include oil paint, enamel, oil sticks, Black Japan stain, shellac, pastel, charcoal and ink. The primary artistic focus in this process will lie in the use of alternative materials in painting and in the use of alternative surfaces. Boundaries may be intentionally pushed through the use of construction materials to create aesthetics on surfaces not intended for this purpose.

When the Painting Will Take Place

The proposed plan involves painting every second Tuesday and every Thursday for a period of six weeks. This art painting will occur at night in two to three hourly timeslots.

Where They Will Take Place

The space will consist of a studio set-up in a lock-up garage. For the purposes of the research, the computer and reference materials will be set up on one side of a garage space, and the work bench with art painting materials on the other. I plan to be able to move quickly and freely between both.

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Art investment is a risky business. Even “insiders” such as auction houses, art dealers and experienced collectors make mistakes and sometimes lose money on what they consider to be ‘investment grade’ art. On the other hand, returns can be very high, making art investment a potentially high return, but risky enterprise.

The centre of the art investment market tends to cluster around financial centres such as New York and London and a lot of interest tends to be focused on art that meets the ‘Goldilocks’ principle of being in the middle: not too old that it is considered an antiquity, which often raises issues of heritage, ownership and fakery and not so contemporary that it hasn’t appeared at a major auction house.

In this middle ground, there are a number of factors that can help to reduce risk. Artists that have stopped producing (bluntly artists that are dead) are often less risky than those that are alive for the simple reason that the supply of art is well-defined (although not perfectly so because of the possibility of new works coming to light and of forgeries). Researching the track record at auction and establishing provenance including things like history of exhibition and proof of ownership by an expert and establishing marketability (and hence liquidity), all help to reduce risk.

However, being in the middle also means that there is a lot of demand, and hence prices can already be high which reduces the potential for future returns. Given this, a number of galleries have another approach to investment art, which is to target the less well-trodden area of established and emerging contemporary artists who haven’t yet established a track record at major auction houses. As with the middle ground of art investment, there is risk, but there are steps that can be taken to help reduce these risks. Different art galleries have different approaches, and whilst none are unique, there are methods that you can learn from and use yourself as part of your own due diligence process.

Example criteria that can be applied are restrictions on artists by background (e.g. having to have formal training or studied in a certain ‘school’ of art), had a certain number or type of exhibition (e.g. solo shows or international exhibitions), track record of selling art in some way, some inroads into the secondary market. Other criteria might include using in-house art consultants to review the work to ensure that it of sufficient technical merit and checking on the level of supply of the artist. If you ask about the gallery client list and find out whether it included high-profile private collectors, this will help you to gain a sense of the ‘reality’ behind pricing as the judgment of high-profile collectors tends to reflect the market value of the work. Amongst the various approaches there tends to be a common strand of using techniques to ensure that supply is measured, that art is of a certain quality, that there is some track record of price increases and that there is some form of secondary market. Whether you are buying at auction, through a gallery or in the secondary market asking quetions about the criteria used above will help you judge whether your investment in art is more or less likely to make money.

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Fine Arts is defined in the Encarta Dictionary as being, “any art form, for example, painting, sculpture, architecture, drawing, or engraving, that is considered to have purely aesthetic value” (Encarta, 2004). Though this definition is used in relationship with the arts in the regular world, in regards to teaching, fine arts is defined as a subject beneficial, not essential, to the learning process and is often phased out because of lack of time, little learning potential, and no money. Fine arts is simply seen as painting and drawing, not a subject studied by an academic scholar. Writer Victoria Jacobs explains, “Arts in elementary schools have often been separated from the core curriculum and instead, offered as enrichment activities that are considered beneficial but not essential” (Jacobs, 1999, p. 2).

What is missing in classrooms is the lack of teacher knowledge of the benefits of maintaining an art- based curriculum. Teachers “have very little understanding of the arts as disciplines of study. They think of the arts instruction as teacher-oriented projects used to entertain or teach other disciplines” (Berghoff, 2003, p. 12). Fine arts expand the boundaries of learning for the students and encourage creative thinking and a deeper understanding of the core subjects, which are language arts, math, science, and social studies. Teachers need to incorporate all genres of fine arts, which include, theater, visual art, dance, and music, into their lesson plans because the arts gives the students motivational tools to unlock a deeper understanding of their education. Teaching the arts is the most powerful tool that teachers can present in their classrooms because this enables the students to achieve their highest level of learning.

From 1977 to 1988 there were only three notable reports demonstrating the benefits of art education. These three reports are Coming to Our Senses, by the Arts, Education and Americans Panal (1977), Can we Rescue the Arts for American Children, sponsored by the American Council for the Arts (1988), and the most respected study, Toward Civilization, by the National Endowment for the Arts (1988). These three studies conjured that art education was very important in achieving a higher education for our students. While these studies proved the arts to be beneficial to the learning process, it was not until 2002 when the research analysis of Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development “provided evidence for enhancing learning and achievement as well as positive social outcomes when the arts were integral to students’ learning experiences” was taken seriously by lawmakers (Burns, 2003, p. 5). One study, in this analysis, was focused on the teaching of keyboard training to a classroom in order to see if student’s scores on spatial reasoning could be improved. It was then compared to those students who received computer training which involved no fine art components. This concluded that learning through the arts did improve the scores on other core curriculum subjects such as math and science where spatial reasoning is most used (Swan-Hudkins, 2003).

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