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Everything posted by Avila

  1. "A while back, I remember hearing that there was a political ad going around in his state basically saying that he has to choose between Ayn Rand and Jesus. He can't have both." That is certainly true, but it does not necessarily follow that such an either/or choice IS the only possible outcome. It's not a necessary choice. Perhaps Ryan (like myself) finds some aspects of Rand's philosophy appealing and reasonable, but not all of it. Certainly her novels point out some essential truths (it is wrong to forcibly take from productive Peter to give to mediocre Paul, for example), but I don't s
  2. This is very interesting -- I happened to see your earlier posts and see your earlier work, and I was going to advise you to look into an atelier for some solid training, as you needed improvement in a number of areas, but especially in the areas of figure work and values. And now that I finally got to your last entry, I see your work has improved dramatically -- because you are going to an atelier! Congratulations....I have my own atelier, and it is always enjoyable to see how students improve in leaps and bounds when given the proper kind of instruction.
  3. "Avila, when you give your critique, please identify the standards that you'll be using to judge the art, and explain how and why you chose those standards, and why they should apply to my art." I'll apply the standards I employ when evaluating the work of prospective and current students. And I'll send my critique to DonAthos via private message, as I've grown tired of your ignorant remarks regarding atelier teaching methods and your childish personal flings. You'll just have to imagine....
  4. "@Avila: what do you find specifically lacking in this painting, which you attribute to Jonathan's use of (or rather, reliance on) photography? What changes do you desire made, and how would those changes make this work better?" DonAthos, We have guests visiting this weekend and staying overnight, so I won't be able to answer until Sunday evening or Monday. But I would be glad to give a critique of Jonathan's piece -- I will approach it as I would any student's work, pointing out the good as well as the not so good. I think it would be best if I can compare and contrast this with artwor
  5. "Well, "dependency" is kind of a scary word, because it suggests that the artist would be limited in his means of expression." That is exactly what I am suggesting. The dominance of modernism in art schools has led to poor training, leaving otherwise talnted individuals lacking in basic skills. To draw an analogy from music: if a person aspires to become a professional pianist playing classical music in concert halls, then one spends years -- often doing fairly boring repetive exercises -- to acquire basic skills. If, however, the dominant culture in music held that such training was stifli
  6. "But okay. Is Avila's contention that photography is a lesser visual medium than painting?" No, not at all. I know quite a few artist photographers (Jim Brandenburg, for example -- I have spent time with him at Ravenwood). But they don't pretend to be painters, which is the subject here. "Or is it that a painter cannot make a good painting based on a photograph?" That depends.....photography is a legitimate tool for painters. The difficulty arises when the artist is too dependent upon photography, which shows in the artist's work. "If we're discussing painting from a photograph, th
  7. "You left out C. -- is clearly ignorant of subjects on which he poses as an authority." OK, so let me get this straight -- an artistic movement that is concerned with standards of craftsmanship and excellence, which employs teaching methods that have been proven of value to aspiring artists over hundreds of years, is reduced by you down to people whom, you claim, are ignorant of subjects that they claim to be authorities on, who attended an atelier, and who disagree with the tenets of modernism (they "drank the hand-squeezed lemonade", as you put it.) You also claim that this movement is de
  8. "The normativity of Oist conception of art is still being missed here. The "what might be and OUGHT to be". It's the OUGHT to be that motivates Mrs Rands claims." "What might be and what ought to be" is valid as an expression of Ms Rand's personal tastes and preferences. But it is incomplete and too narrow to serve as a "conception of art".
  9. "Your point was that there are "limitations of the camera in regard to values and color" The camera does not record information in the same way that the human eye/mind combination does. This is going to affect values and color, regardless of the capabilities of the camera to record the same or more colors and values than the human eye can. And that is a limitation if an artist relies too heavily upon photography. Nothing you have said about your expertise in photography or the capabilities of the camera negates that -- a machine is a machine, not a human mind, and is incapable of duplicatin
  10. "On this thread, I've generally been using the term "Classical Realist" to mean those who have attended Classical Realist ateliers and have drank the hand-squeezed lemonade (remember, Kool-Aid is just too damned shockingly modernist for such ateliers)." So, in other words, a "Classical Realist" is someone who: A. -- attended an atelier; and B. -- disagrees with you. Yet I know of many realist painters who didn't attend an atelier (some actually endured the modern art school), but who nevertheless reject modernism and its tenets. So, would they be considered "clasical realists", even though
  11. "Seriously, are you not aware of the fact that cameras have controls that are adjustable, and that people with human minds can use these adjustable controls to selectively limit or increase the amount of light that enters the camera? Might I suggest that you read about high dynamic range imaging, including its history prior to digital cameras? Personally, I think that I first used non-digital HDR techniques in about 1984 or 1985, combining the use of bracketed slide film with sets of orthochromatic negatives and positives for tone mapping. And here we are in 2012 and you've never heard of any
  12. "Sorry if you find the truth to be insulting, but your inabilities as a photographer are not universal. My telling you that I and others can capture on film what the eyes sees, where you admit that you can't, is not intended as an insult." The camera is a machine, not a human mind. It cannot record information in the same manner as the human eye/mind combination. It has limitations -- perhaps an analogy would be the comparison between human thinking and computer "thinking" : there are functions that the computer can do more quickly and easily than the human mind. But it is not human, and it
  13. "You're still assuming that I must be as inept at photography as you are, and therefore I'm lying and being "defensive" when I tell you that I did not copy a photograph? Hilarious." There's no need to be insulting -- really, calm down. Clearly I touched a nerve, but since you are favorably disposed to modernism, I can't see why: if, as a famous modern artist asserted, that everything an artist spits is art, then I don't see why you should care whether you use spit or copy a photograph. " And I do think that you probably have reason to be defensive about my speculations. As I said earlie
  14. "Hi Avila, I had responded to your post above by borrowing something that you had said to me in this post, but the moderators deleted my post. For some reason I'm not allowed to say to you exactly what you've said to me. Apparently it's perfectly reasonable when you call me a liar by claiming to know better than I do which techniques I used when painting an image that you did not see me paint, but it's viciously insulting when I take the same approach to your assertions about who you are or are not." There's a difference: you might have reason to be defensive about relying on photography f
  15. "I didn't say that any of the pictures that I saw were on that site." There aren't any pictures such as you describe -- my work next to what I'm working from -- on any site.
  16. "And that's also true of what I've seen of Avila's work (I'm now 99% sure that I know who he is)." Jonathan, you mentioned seeing my paintings next to what I am painting from. That isn't me --- there aren't any pictures like that of my work on that site. Scout's honor. So you've got the wrong guy. My atelier is listed on that site as well.
  17. "An artist need not project the world "as it might and ought to be." That's only Rand's description of what Romanticism does, and art need not be Romantic to qualify as art by Objectivist criteria." "Naturalism is not just copying what one observes. That's only Rand's personal opinion of what Naturalism is. But, anyway, even if we accept the premise that Naturalism is just copying what one observes, it still would qualify as art according to Objectivism. Rand herself categorized Naturalism as a type of art." "But you can't know what Larson saw if you haven't personally seen the setup tha
  18. "I hate to agree with 13, given my views about him betraying art by siding with Kant and Pollock, but he is right about the relationship between art and the camera. An artist has to do much more than just copy reality verbatim -- he has to concretize an abstraction (an integration of multiple incidents of, say, seeing an apple) and he must project the world as it might be and ought to be." But I agree with that as well. I don't think highly of anyone copying a photo verbatim -- it takes some skill, yes, but is taking the artist away from the personal filter of his eyes. That's the point I w
  19. "I reckon Easter too was a way to piggyback on the Spring festival." No, it's scheduled according to the Jewish Passover.
  20. "Guilt by association. The American revolution ended up with it's own holiday too, celebrating the 4th of July, and this place isn't some especially foul den of evil like those other things you mentioned." You're right....I was too hasty in my reply!! Upon further consideration, I retract my objection. "And how did the birth of Jesus come to be celebrated on December 25? And John the Baptist on June 24?" Primarily because of the symbolism: December 25 is close to the winter solstice. The days start to become longer, beginning a season of "light entering the world" -- Christ. The summe
  21. "Thinking about more than day-to-day trivialities is useful for disseminating good ideas. Making up holidays wouldn’t be so bad." This is exactly what the radicals of the French Revolution, the Soviets, and other Communist countries did and have done -- take the religious pattern of holidays and special events, and turn them into events that promoted their own dogmas. I have to say, there's a real queasiness I have in response to the suggestion that Objectivism follow that course. If the "good ideas" aren't appealing enough in themselves, then it's an elitist manipulation of the populace to
  22. "Hmmm, let's see. I just did a search looking for the subjects on which you've been pontificating and pretending to be an expert. I think I've discovered who you are. And if you're who I think you are, I understand why you're not posting samples of your work." Good for you. And you will have no doubt noticed the number ateliers advertized on the site as well. So tell me, which atelier is mine? Surely you know...
  23. Much of your response consists of stating how knowledgeable you are as a photographer -- curious, but OK. I'm a painter, not a photographer, and have never pretended otherwise. "Indeed, and there is quite a lot of artifice and kitsch there, along with some quite good art." Most of the work there is of a higher quality than what you have shown yourself capable of. But with some proper training, who knows? "It really is downright ridiculous that you believe that the lack of light and color in a painting could not possibly be intentional, but rather that it is proof of photographic copyi
  24. "Do you seriously not recognize that the painting is intended to present a combination of clarity and obscurity?!!!" Calm down -- you don't have to get so wound up. Of course I admire the combination of clarity and obcurity in any piece of well-executed art. However, there's a difference between "obscurity" and "don't know what to do here because the photograph isn't giving me the information I need". "Do you really not understand that artists intentionally avoid your rules and half-baked theories because they stifle creativity and expression, and because they tend to result in artifice
  25. By the way, for those of you who wish to see some excellent work of the type that Jonathon describes as "dead", "formulaic", and "rarely anything new, either in style, composition or content" and which consists of "repainting what's been painted thousands and thousands of times before", go here: http://www.artrenewal.org/ If you wish to see the work of current painters, either click on "Living Masters Gallery" or on "Salon" to see past winners in this competition. It will give you some much-needed perspective on Jonathon's abilities (yes, he has talent, but not nearly as much as he thin
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