Art is not about bright colours - tonality is far more important

Art is not about bright colours - tonality is far more important

by Charles Harris
article from Thursday 12, January, 2017

OVER CHRISTMAS I stayed with my kind friends Tom and Carolyn. I went early on my birthday, but Tom has a new dog and I could not walk the one-to-two hours with my weak foot in the slippery mud. So I purchased some watercolours and then sat by the River Derwent on Christmas  Eve and Boxing Day, while he walked the puppy in the fields behind. It was cold, but I enjoyed the work, and I hope you will enjoy the watercolour too that is shown adjacent.

Regarding art, I was again disappointed over Christmas when guests thought their liking of bright colours was the same as liking art. 

I have heard this so many times. They liked the bright colours often used in modern art, so they thought they must like modern art accordingly, but this is a non sequitur. Liking one thing does not mean you must automatically like something else because it appears there too.

Unfortunately,  this was just personal taste for bright colours and what they were liking artistically was just temperature use and not understanding it does not work completely without proper tonal control, as poor modern art removed it. The impressionists, whom the quests really liked most, did indeed often paint with bright colours – recording bright subjects – but did so using a full range of properly learned artistic skills from the great tradition – including tonality. 

So once again I found I was patiently dealing with three generations of utter propaganda, as the guests did not realise that over the years they had been deliberately mislead, and were somewhat shocked to wonder how this happened.

While I also realise most readers here deal with politics let me confess it is so frustrating nevertheless that this modernist politicisation of art constantly requires correction.

Let us look forward to a positive 2017 when we win more converts to true art.


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