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Tenderlysharp
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Is it diluting paint with water and applying it with a sponge? I am curious about your technique, because I was asked to do a fauvist painting using this method, and the result was almost the same.

Its ok if you cant see the difference. I understand that certain mental associations once made are hard to undo.

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I have been contemplating why I am so interested in making images textural and ambiguous. I don't see humans as statues, forever frozen in the moment. There is a fire inside of us, a movement that doesn't cease until we are dead. The paintings I have been creating are attempts to express this movement. Ideas can last for thousands of years, but a human body seems to max out at 120. There is something precious in this fleetingness.

I still have a lot of thinking to do on this matter.

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Yes, life is movement and not frozen.

But the direction of that movement is absolute--it can be only in ONE direction, or 180 degrees different. The will to live is not ambiguous.

When we perceive the world, to perceive hardness and solidity is beautiful, because our functioning, our perception feels "at home" in an absolute universe.

When it comes to perceiving, and painting a human being, it is beautiful to find the hard and solid aspects that are a result of the will and movement inside.

I have been contemplating why I am so interested in making images textural and ambiguous. I don't see humans as statues, forever frozen in the moment. There is a fire inside of us, a movement that doesn't cease until we are dead. The paintings I have been creating are attempts to express this movement. Ideas can last for thousands of years, but a human body seems to max out at 120. There is something precious in this fleetingness.

I still have a lot of thinking to do on this matter.

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I have been contemplating why I am so interested in making images textural and ambiguous. I don't see humans as statues, forever frozen in the moment. There is a fire inside of us, a movement that doesn't cease until we are dead. The paintings I have been creating are attempts to express this movement. Ideas can last for thousands of years, but a human body seems to max out at 120. There is something precious in this fleetingness.

I still have a lot of thinking to do on this matter.

I don't mean to bring up my own work while responding to this post, but I find it incredibly interesting that I too find myself compelled into making textual and slightly ambiguous music, despite the several Objectivist writings that I've read labeling such aesthetic properties as being 'naturalist'. I think the problem really stems from a viewer's inability to separate process from result. Your paintings, to me, are quite beautiful, and I particularly enjoy Inkling. It presents a startling hybrid of natural textures and serene, peaceful colors. I can tell that your style is not forced, and that results in legitimate, valuable art. When I view this art, I see an artist who has achieved romantic results using completely individualistic processes, not too different from Howard Roark.

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... textual and slightly ambiguous music, despite the several Objectivist writings that I've read labeling such aesthetic properties as being 'naturalist'.
I wonder who is writing this, because ambiguity and stylization goes in the opposite direction from naturalism.
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I think the problem really stems from a viewer's inability to separate process from result.

They each should be worthy of each other. the means doesn't justify the ends just as the ends doesn't justify the means especially in fine art. Art is about the relationship of consciousness to reality. The viewer should not separate process from result as integrating the mental and physical is an essential aspect of art.

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An intelligent child is aware that he does not know what adult life is like. That he has an enormous amount to learn and is actually eager to learn it. An ambitious child is incoherently determined to make something important of himself and his life.

So when he hears such threats as 'Wait until you grow up.' and 'You will never get anywhere with those childish notions.' It is his virtues that have turned against him. His intelligence, his ambition, and whatever respect he might feel for the knowledge and judgment of his elders.

Thus the foundation of a lethal dichotomy is led in his consciousness; The practical vs. the moral.

With the unstated preconceptual implication that practicality requires the betrayal ones values, the renunciation of ideals.

His rationality is turned against him by means of a similar dichotomy; Reason vs Emotion.

His romantic sense of life is only a sense. An incoherent emotion which he can neither communicate, nor explain, nor defend. It is an intense yet fragile emotion. Painfully vulnerable to any sarcastic allegation since he is unable to identify its real meaning.

This is my problem with the approach the member who calls himself Howard Roark takes in regard to people who are new to Objectivism:

Sarcastic allegation.

I am invested enough in Objectivism to not be thrown off by such a crass approach, but I am dismayed to think that many people I would love to know have come and gone from this art forum because of similar experiences.

I am trying to learn what Objectivism is, and how it can enhance my exploration of my art and my life. I appreciate the effort many have made to clarify the Objectivist philosophy of good art and how it relates to my work.

After spending 30 years in chronic insecurity, the last 4 years have been an exercise in respecting my own mind and becoming a true adult. In contemplating why I choose to paint the way I do, I'm not convinced that mystery/ambiguity lacks usefulness in objective reality. I compare them to the way light and dark contrast and define one another, or the times Ayn Rand has found it proper to use symbols of mysticism, (Atlas, God, evil) to accentuate the deeper meaning in her point.

“...Marilyn Monroe on the screen was an image of pure, innocent, childlike joy in living. She projected the sense of a person born and reared in some radiant utopia untouched by suffering, unable to conceive of ugliness or evil, facing life with the confidence, the benevolence, and the joyous self-flaunting of a child or a kitten who is happy to display its own attractiveness as the best gift it can offer the world, and who expects to be admired for it, not hurt.”

One of my goals is to make beautiful work, I see beauty in every one of my paintings. If Howard pays me the injustice of accusing me of trying to make something as ugly as a muddy crayon scribble, he can not expect any further words that he offers to be taken seriously. It is a betrayal of Objectivism to use it as an ineffectual excuse to be cruel.

Edited by Tenderlysharp
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If Howard pays me the injustice of accusing me of trying to make something as ugly as a muddy crayon scribble, he can not expect any further words that he offers to be taken seriously. It is a betrayal of Objectivism to use it as an ineffectual excuse to be cruel.

I am deeply sorry if you felt that my criticism was cruel, but you are being overly dramatic about this. I never intended to be disrespectful. I was even interested in your procedure, and asked you about your personal technique, but your answer was completely dismissive. The only sarcastic allegations I can think of would be my first two replies, and the sarcasm was very mild. Of course, you deserve respect, but I never attacked you personally. I was expressing my disapproval for your work, which is not going to be praised and pampered every time you present it in public. I am sorry that you think this is unjust, but I am not going to change my mind simply because of how you feel. Moreover, I am not concerned by the fact that my words are being taken seriously or not. I still think they are true. In any case, many members agreed with me, and they do take them seriously. So, I am not the only heartless villain in the picture. I think that your paintings are bad, but I never accused you of intentionally giving them the appearance of a doodle. That is simply the outcome, and I indicated why I personally think this is true. If I accused you of trying to create bad art knowingly and on purpose, as you said I did, please provide evidence. Since you seem to know more about my motives than I do, I am definitively interested in your method for concluding that my arguments were secretly being used as an excuse for spreading my cruelty. Ascribing false and arbitrary motivations to suit your denunciation of my arguments is called "psychologizing." Now you have something to actually call a "betrayal of Objectivism."

Edited by Howard Roark
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In contemplating why I choose to paint the way I do, I'm not convinced that mystery/ambiguity lacks usefulness in objective reality. I compare them to the way light and dark contrast and define one another, or the times Ayn Rand has found it proper to use symbols of mysticism, (Atlas, God, evil) to accentuate the deeper meaning in her point.

If by ambiguity you simply mean that one aspect of a piece can be understood in more than one way, then ambiguity certainly has value, provided that it contributes to the theme of the piece. In order for this to be the case, I think that the alternate meanings conveyed must be objectively clear, and must be logically consistent with one another. If, for example, it is unclear whether a character in a story is a hero or a villain, until the later when it is revealed that the character's "evil" actions were actually good in light of new information (take for example Francisco D'Anconia), then this type of ambiguity is rational, and can be very effective. If (as is common in modern stories) the moral worth of the character is never clarified, and one gets the impression that the author himself didn't know what to think, then this type of ambiguity is irrational, and should not be included in art.

I think that one could say the same thing about mystery. Mystery can be rational when it serves a specific purpose, when it is clear that there is an objective answer to the mystery, and/or when the solution to the mystery is revealed by the artist at a later time or (in the case of visual art) by a specific aspect of the work (there are many examples of this in Atlas Shrugged).

So, to make more precise what I have said previously, ambiguity and mystery in art must be used in a logically consistent way, without any mystical features, and should not be used for their own sake; they should serve a clear purpose in the work.

Would you agree with this formulation?

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If by ambiguity you simply mean that one aspect of a piece can be understood in more than one way, then ambiguity certainly has value, provided that it contributes to the theme of the piece. In order for this to be the case, I think that the alternate meanings conveyed must be objectively clear, and must be logically consistent with one another. If, for example, it is unclear whether a character in a story is a hero or a villain, until the later when it is revealed that the character's "evil" actions were actually good in light of new information (take for example Francisco D'Anconia), then this type of ambiguity is rational, and can be very effective. If (as is common in modern stories) the moral worth of the character is never clarified, and one gets the impression that the author himself didn't know what to think, then this type of ambiguity is irrational, and should not be included in art.

I think that one could say the same thing about mystery. Mystery can be rational when it serves a specific purpose, when it is clear that there is an objective answer to the mystery, and/or when the solution to the mystery is revealed by the artist at a later time or (in the case of visual art) by a specific aspect of the work (there are many examples of this in Atlas Shrugged).

So, to make more precise what I have said previously, ambiguity and mystery in art must be used in a logically consistent way, without any mystical features, and should not be used for their own sake; they should serve a clear purpose in the work.

Would you agree with this formulation?

Yes I agree. :thumbsup:

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I am deeply sorry if you felt that my criticism was cruel, but you are being overly dramatic about this. I never intended to be disrespectful. I was even interested in your procedure, and asked you about your personal technique, but your answer was completely dismissive. The only sarcastic allegations I can think of would be my first two replies, and the sarcasm was very mild. Of course, you deserve respect, but I never attacked you personally. I was expressing my disapproval for your work, which is not going to be praised and pampered every time you present it in public. I am sorry that you think this is unjust, but I am not going to change my mind simply because of how you feel. Moreover, I am not concerned by the fact that my words are being taken seriously or not. I still think they are true. In any case, many members agreed with me, and they do take them seriously. So, I am not the only heartless villain in the picture. I think that your paintings are bad, but I never accused you of intentionally giving them the appearance of a doodle. That is simply the outcome, and I indicated why I personally think this is true. If I accused you of trying to create bad art knowingly and on purpose, as you said I did, please provide evidence. Since you seem to know more about my motives than I do, I am definitively interested in your method for concluding that my arguments were secretly being used as an excuse for spreading my cruelty. Ascribing false and arbitrary motivations to suit your denunciation of my arguments is called "psychologizing." Now you have something to actually call a "betrayal of Objectivism."

I responded to a question by Alexandros about my medium in post 46. It is my own technique, and I am not willing to share its details with anyone at this time, and no I do not use sponges.

I do take criticism of my work personally. I was directing my disdain for the scribble doodle towards you for presenting it as part of your argument. My work is more valuable than that scribble and I am not the kind of person who would draw that scribble and present it as art.

I am not averse to having my work criticized, and appreciate your will to defend Objective principles. I don't want you to change your mind, I think it would be to your self-interest to present your arguments without sarcasm. There is a coercive nature to sarcasm that is condescending. I have experienced people who do use their philosophy as an excuse to be cruel, and sarcasm is one of the tools they use to do it. I believe it is important to defend myself against it. Maybe if I knew you personally I would have had a better gauge as to the mildness of your sarcasm. A little witty banter and teasing can be fun among friends.

I value emotion and can see problems in many arguments where emotions are too quickly disregarded as having no objective source. This is why I brought up Ayn Rands quote on the intelligent child. I will get better at creating, explaining, and defending my work.

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I responded to a question by Alexandros about my medium in post 46. It is my own technique, and I am not willing to share its details with anyone at this time, and no I do not use sponges.

I do take criticism of my work personally. I was directing my disdain for the scribble doodle towards you for presenting it as part of your argument. My work is more valuable than that scribble and I am not the kind of person who would draw that scribble and present it as art.

I am not averse to having my work criticized, and appreciate your will to defend Objective principles. I don't want you to change your mind, I think it would be to your self-interest to present your arguments without sarcasm. There is a coercive nature to sarcasm that is condescending. I have experienced people who do use their philosophy as an excuse to be cruel, and sarcasm is one of the tools they use to do it. I believe it is important to defend myself against it. Maybe if I knew you personally I would have had a better gauge as to the mildness of your sarcasm. A little witty banter and teasing can be fun among friends.

I value emotion and can see problems in many arguments where emotions are too quickly disregarded as having no objective source. This is why I brought up Ayn Rands quote on the intelligent child. I will get better at creating, explaining, and defending my work.

All right. I never read your answer to Alexandros, but I am not supposed to read every single reply that you give to other members than me, and you are not supposed to assume that I do. You could have simply stated that you had answered my question before, and none of us would have wasted our time. If you take criticism of your work personally, that is your loss. You will have to learn how to correct your way of thinking, or simply deal with it, as everyone else does. Furthermore, you cannot simply state that your paintings are more valuable than a scribble as a fact of reality. Maybe they are valuable to you, since you worked on them, but every value requires a valuer, so please speak for yourself. I can understand that you worked really hard on your paintings, but I am criticizing the product of your work, not how much it cost you, or how much time you spent on it, or what it personally means to you. From that point of view, the only difference I can perceive between most of your paintings and the doodle that I presented before is simply a matter of medium and technique. I am certainly not trying to be cruel, but I am not impressed by your work, even though I wish I was. At first, I was a little sarcastic because I thought that you were not being serious, since Ayn Rand was very clear about her disdain for your type of work. I apologize for that.

Edited by Howard Roark
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If by ambiguity you simply mean that one aspect of a piece can be understood in more than one way, then ambiguity certainly has value, provided that it contributes to the theme of the piece. In order for this to be the case, I think that the alternate meanings conveyed must be objectively clear, and must be logically consistent with one another. If, for example, it is unclear whether a character in a story is a hero or a villain, until the later when it is revealed that the character's "evil" actions were actually good in light of new information (take for example Francisco D'Anconia), then this type of ambiguity is rational, and can be very effective. If (as is common in modern stories) the moral worth of the character is never clarified, and one gets the impression that the author himself didn't know what to think, then this type of ambiguity is irrational, and should not be included in art.

I think that one could say the same thing about mystery. Mystery can be rational when it serves a specific purpose, when it is clear that there is an objective answer to the mystery, and/or when the solution to the mystery is revealed by the artist at a later time or (in the case of visual art) by a specific aspect of the work (there are many examples of this in Atlas Shrugged).

So, to make more precise what I have said previously, ambiguity and mystery in art must be used in a logically consistent way, without any mystical features, and should not be used for their own sake; they should serve a clear purpose in the work.

Would you agree with this formulation?

As do I. Mystery and ambiguity are tools for art, not the end in themselves. The essentials of the piece should never contain mystery or ambiguity. It would be like building something on mud, it won't hold up, but a little mud collecting around the building or on the roof wouldn't make any difference to the integrity of it. That is how I include mystery in my work.

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If by ambiguity you simply mean that one aspect of a piece can be understood in more than one way, then ambiguity certainly has value, provided that it contributes to the theme of the piece. In order for this to be the case, I think that the alternate meanings conveyed must be objectively clear, and must be logically consistent with one another. If, for example, it is unclear whether a character in a story is a hero or a villain, until the later when it is revealed that the character's "evil" actions were actually good in light of new information (take for example Francisco D'Anconia), then this type of ambiguity is rational, and can be very effective. If (as is common in modern stories) the moral worth of the character is never clarified, and one gets the impression that the author himself didn't know what to think, then this type of ambiguity is irrational, and should not be included in art.

I think that one could say the same thing about mystery. Mystery can be rational when it serves a specific purpose, when it is clear that there is an objective answer to the mystery, and/or when the solution to the mystery is revealed by the artist at a later time or (in the case of visual art) by a specific aspect of the work (there are many examples of this in Atlas Shrugged).

So, to make more precise what I have said previously, ambiguity and mystery in art must be used in a logically consistent way, without any mystical features, and should not be used for their own sake; they should serve a clear purpose in the work.

Would you agree with this formulation?

Yes I agree with this, I was about to respond to your question about this in the non-objective art thread. Mystery isn't an end in itself. I think of mystery as an invitation to look more deeply and to contemplate. Ayn Rand was a mystery, something about the quality of my first impression of her lured me in. The more I study her the more concrete she becomes, and yet there are more questions than I ever thought possible opening up to me because of her. In a way she is expanding the mystery and I keep chasing it down. It feels like the big bang. What would it mean for the mystery to be pointless? As clear as Ayn Rand is there are still people who don't understand her.

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"Howard Roark" your comments in this thread from the very beginning have been overtly sarcastic. To try and come off like you've 'just been respectfully giving your opinion' of the work is pretty silly, in my opinion. It seems like from the moment this thread was posted you have made it your personal vendetta to disparage the artist and anyone who appreciates the art. From expressing sarcastic surprise that people on this forum would post praise for some of this art, to comparing it to scribbles, and implying that it should be totally and completely obvious to anyone why her art is 'bad' just as other posters are scratching their heads asking if you actually looked at the art at all.

The standard for art is not 'I figured out what the message is 2 seconds after looking at it for the first time.' If you don't like her work, that is wonderful, you're welcome not to look at it. If you're angry that other Objectivists do like the art, then I believe you're being a tad second handed by remaining here to further clarify how much you really don't like her art and try to pass off your snarky criticisms as 'not disrespectful.'

Tenderlysharp, I like several of your pieces. Had I money, I would buy some, and I think you have a lot of potential to do even better. Good luck. And "Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark."

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..I never read your answer to Alexandros...you are not supposed to assume that I do. You could have simply stated that you had answered my question before

I did assume you read it, I try to read everything in a thread before I respond because I like to reduce redundancy, and only want to add to the conversation if I can. You are right, the correct answer to you would have been to state that I had answered it before, whether I thought you were extending your sarcasm with the question or not.

If you take criticism of your work personally, that is your loss. You will have to learn how to correct your way of thinking, or simply deal with it, as everyone else does.

I don't think its my loss, I think it makes me a more effective creator. "you will have to..." is coercive. It could be in my self interest to communicate more effectively with my art. No free person simply deals with anything, in this line of 'reasoning' you would have to simply deal with the fact that people misunderstand your intentions.

Furthermore, you cannot simply state that your paintings are more valuable than a scribble as a fact of reality. Maybe they are valuable to you, since you worked on them, but every value requires a valuer, so please speak for yourself.

I can understand that you worked really hard on your paintings, but I am criticizing the product of your work, not how much it cost you, or how much time you spent on it, or what it personally means to you. From that point of view, the only difference I can perceive between most of your paintings and the doodle that I presented before is simply a matter of medium and technique.

I can understand and agree with most of this, except that your argument would have been more effective had you chosen one of my works, and described the aspects of its formlessness that were objectionable to you, rather than bringing in a third parties work that I find objectionable.

I am certainly not trying to be cruel, but I am not impressed by your work, even though I wish I was. At first, I was a little sarcastic because I thought that you were not being serious, since Ayn Rand was very clear about her disdain for your type of work. I apologize for that.

I would hope that even if Ayn Rand wouldn't like my work, she would either:

Deem me unwilling to understand and not waste her precious time talking to me about it and then proceed to write a passage in one of her books or articles about the problem (if it meant enough to her).

or:

She might have seen some potential in my work and my willingness to learn Objectivist principles and offer some advice to point me in the right direction.

Moreover, I am not concerned by the fact that my words are being taken seriously or not. I still think they are true. In any case, many members agreed with me, and they do take them seriously.

I was assuming that you want me to take your argument the way you intend it. Did you respond to my art for my benefit, your benefit, or for the benefit of those who already agree with you? I may wholeheartedly agree with what you are defending when I eventually understand it, but when that day comes, I believe I will still disagree with your method of delivering your argument. You are free to not be concerned with how your words are taken, but you may want to rethink that premise.

Also I would like those who did say that they agree with you to clarify if they agreed with how you presented your argument. I believe they would do better to present their own arguments rather than riding on yours.

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"Howard Roark" your comments in this thread from the very beginning have been overtly sarcastic. To try and come off like you've 'just been respectfully giving your opinion' of the work is pretty silly, in my opinion. It seems like from the moment this thread was posted you have made it your personal vendetta to disparage the artist and anyone who appreciates the art. From expressing sarcastic surprise that people on this forum would post praise for some of this art, to comparing it to scribbles, and implying that it should be totally and completely obvious to anyone why her art is 'bad' just as other posters are scratching their heads asking if you actually looked at the art at all.

The standard for art is not 'I figured out what the message is 2 seconds after looking at it for the first time.' If you don't like her work, that is wonderful, you're welcome not to look at it. If you're angry that other Objectivists do like the art, then I believe you're being a tad second handed by remaining here to further clarify how much you really don't like her art and try to pass off your snarky criticisms as 'not disrespectful.'

Excuse me, but I am not trying to come off like anything. If you think that I am being dishonest, support your assumption, instead of merely calling my answer "silly," and getting away with this frivolous and dismissive non-criticism. As I said before, I can only think of two sarcastic comments that I made, and I apologized for them. In that sense, I would agree with you, if that is what you call “from the beginning.” Apart from that, none of the arguments you listed were intended to be sarcastic. That is a shame, because you tried to make it look like there were thousands of them, even though you only mentioned three. My surprise for her praise was not sarcastic, but you say it was, so maybe you can share with everyone your method for figuring that out. I explained why I think that my comparison is legitimate. Later on, I indicated the similarities and the differences that I found between the scribble and most of her paintings, which I listed at the beginning of this thread. No sarcasm there either. At first, I thought that it would be obvious that her paintings were bad, hence my initial sarcasm, but then I realized that this was not the case. While other posters were dubious about this, if by “other posters” you simply mean "Aequalsa," who asked me if I saw the paintings, I explained why I thought this was true. My intention was never to hurt the artist's feelings as an end in itself, even though you say it was, it never crossed my mind, but you can try to prove it. If she felt disparaged, there is nothing I can do about it, except for saying that I am deeply sorry, but my criterion is not based on her feelings. Your entire second paragraph is merely an assumption. I should dismiss it out of hand, but I want to rapidly clarify some points. No, the standard for art is not figuring out the message in two seconds. You are right. Yes, I am welcome to not look at her paintings. What makes you think that I do? No, I am not angry at other Objectivists. They can like what they want. By the way, if I remain here, is simply because I keep answering questions that are addressed directly to me, or comments that pertain to me, like yours.

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My husband, our two year old son, and I met four friends for dinner last night, half way through my son was done sitting there. So I took him wandering around the place, richly colored rooms with red velvet curtains, dark wood and low lighting, up stairs, past snug little rooms with comfy antique couches. He had to try every vacant seat, and i frequently restrained him from blowing out candles(except for one or two). Up more stairs, mysteriously locked doors, along balconies, spotting another balcony that I never found passage to... The centerpiece, where bands play, was viewable from multiple vantage points. Back rooms, down more stairs, past the bustling engine of the place where feasts were delicately orchestrated nightly, through a long hallway with restrooms that were pleasantly distracting. We wandered outside and into a book store, an attendant asked me what I was looking for, Ayn Rand's non-fiction. On the way to the shelf he mentioned that he had just seen an amazing documentary on her. 'A sense of life'. I said I have the DVD and have watched it many times. My new copy of 'The Romantic Manifesto' fits into my back pocket.

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I don't think its my loss, I think it makes me a more effective creator. "you will have to..." is coercive. It could be in my self interest to communicate more effectively with my art. No free person simply deals with anything, in this line of 'reasoning' you would have to simply deal with the fact that people misunderstand your intentions.

Well, that is your choice. In my opinion, it is your loss, since you are mixing two different categories, resulting occasionally in a difficult situation for you, like the one we had. When I say that you have to act in a certain manner, I am obviously not trying to impose any behavior on you. You can do as you please. I was assuming that you wanted to do something about it, rather than keep suffering on the inside every time you receive a hard criticism. If you want to take the negative opinions of your work as a direct attack to your person, you are going to keep getting your heart broken, claiming injustices, feeling insulted, pleading for compassion and responding in a defensive manner to your critics for doing their job. Learning from a rational criticism can certainly make you a more effective creator, but taking it as personal offense will do nothing but harm to you.

I can understand and agree with most of this, except that your argument would have been more effective had you chosen one of my works, and described the aspects of its formlessness that were objectionable to you, rather than bringing in a third parties work that I find objectionable.

If I had the time, I would attempt to do this with some of your paintings, but I am leaving this thread for good. If you want to, you can choose one of your works from my second comment, and apply what I said in my fourth one. In essence, that would have been my answer.

I was assuming that you want me to take your argument the way you intend it. Did you respond to my art for my benefit, your benefit, or for the benefit of those who already agree with you? I may wholeheartedly agree with what you are defending when I eventually understand it, but when that day comes, I believe I will still disagree with your method of delivering your argument. You are free to not be concerned with how your words are taken, but you may want to rethink that premise.

Also I would like those who did say that they agree with you to clarify if they agreed with how you presented your argument. I believe they would do better to present their own arguments rather than riding on yours.

At first, that is what I wanted, until your fifty-ninth comment. I responded for everyone's benefit, except for those who already agreed with me, because I had no way of finding out who they were before responding. That is the purpose of the forum. When you finish reading The Romantic Manifesto, I am sure that you will understand what I am defending. I am confused about why you would write your last answer in that unnecessary and pompous manner, but I am glad that you finally found the book. There is nothing to rethink about my premise. I am not going to change what I think is true simply because of others not taking me seriously, if that is what you are suggesting. You are free to ask anyone if they agree or not with the way I put my arguments. Probably no one will, but I am not looking for their approval. The fundamental message behind my arguments is not going to be more true or false because of the presentation. If you want to, you can ask them to write their arguments in the way that you please. I am not forcing anyone to agree with me, nor to hold on to my arguments.

Edited by Howard Roark
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I don't believe it is to your best interest to end your side of this argument Howard, but do as you wish.

As I stated in the opening of this thread:

To me the lack of activity in the Visual Arts Threads is a testament to some repellent forces to the creative spark that I would like to abate.

I have been pleased to find an abundance of perspective, encouragement, and clarification by the members of these forums. The time you have invested in responding will not be wasted.

Yet art is of passionately intense importance and profoundly personal concern to most men.
(italics on the word personal included in the original work)

To tell me not to take criticism of my work personally (in my opinion) is to tell me not to take either the work or the criticism of it seriously. Ayn Rand took criticism of her work very personally and very seriously. It shouldn't be taken for granted that every Objectivist is required to be impervious to all outside comment.

Cognitive abstractions are formed by the criterion of: what is essential?

It seems that Howard's cognitive understanding is that my work is bad.

The other part consists of applying his knowledge—i.e., evaluating the facts of reality, choosing his goals and guiding his actions accordingly. To do that, man needs another chain of concepts, derived from and dependent on the first, yet separate and, in a sense, more complex: a chain of normative abstractions.

If Howard wanted to make a rational argument for his cognitive understanding it would be to his benefit to take into account that I did not understand how my work was 'bad'. To tell me that my work is bad is out of context. No one with self esteem would accept that her work is bad. I fight for the investment of my self esteem into my work because it will guide me to make better art. Ayn Rand wrote a 196 page book (The Romantic Manifesto) defending her assertion of what good art ought to be. She knew that simply stating that someones art is bad would not be enough.

An individual has the right to not take the time to read the entire thread, or to not invest energy into a proper critique, but how does a half formed argument affect the mind of the novice Artist or Objectivist that comes to these forums looking for a clarification of what he is beginning to understand? If you don't care to be aware of how your words affect him then why do you bother to talk to him at all? Is this what life ought to be?

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If Howard wanted to make a rational argument for his cognitive understanding it would be to his benefit to take into account that I did not understand how my work was 'bad'. To tell me that my work is bad is out of context. No one with self esteem would accept that her work is bad. I fight for the investment of my self esteem into my work because it will guide me to make better art. Ayn Rand wrote a 196 page book (The Romantic Manifesto) defending her assertion of what good art ought to be. She knew that simply stating that someones art is bad would not be enough.

An individual has the right to not take the time to read the entire thread, or to not invest energy into a proper critique, but how does a half formed argument affect the mind of the novice Artist or Objectivist that comes to these forums looking for a clarification of what he is beginning to understand? If you don't care to be aware of how your words affect him then why do you bother to talk to him at all? Is this what life ought to be?

As I said before, I was starting to lose my interest, and a full criticism requires motivation. I gave an indication of the negative aspects of your work, because the peculiarity of your question caught my attention. I never said that I was interested in your career as an artist, or the development of your mind. There is no connection between us, and you are of no value to me. Therefore, you cannot expect that I invest my time and effort teaching you what has been explicitly treated in Ayn Rand's books. You are responsible for your own acquirement of knowledge, which requires that you do your own research, thinking and integration. When you finish reading The Romantic Manifesto, and distinguish the Objectivist aesthetic principles from yours, come back and ask specific questions about the issues pertaining to your work that need clarification. If you want a short analysis about the flaws of your paintings, read Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. There is a whole chapter devoted to art, which condenses the Objectivist position, and briefly explains what the negative characteristics of your paintings are, and why they are incongruous with Objectivism. You cannot simply come to this forum without having read anything about Ayn Rand's aesthetic theory, and demand detailed criticisms, which involve extensive explanations of a subject that you are not familiar with. There are probably other members that would attempt to do this, but I am certainly not one of them. Therefore, take the indication from my fourth answer as my concluding criticism, or half-formed answer, as you like to call it, because I am done with this discussion for good. How does this affect the mind of the novice artist or Objectivist? Well, if we are speaking of a rational human being, he will simply analyze the indication, and decide if he wants to study the subject further, and accept it, reject it or evade it. You were probably expecting me to say that it would scar him for life, or something along those lines, but that is not the case. If we are speaking of a child, or an immature adult who is guided by his emotions, that may be so. In any case, it was nice to meet you. Goodbye.

Edited by Howard Roark
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Howard you may continue to end your side of this discussion, but I will not end mine.

You cannot simply come to this forum [...]and demand detailed criticisms...

It wasn't a demand, I was offering a reasonable argument for context.

I view this forum as an example of what life will be like when Objectivism is the dominating trend in world philosophy(but it isn't... not yet).

Two years ago I came to this forum and left soon after because I knew I had a lot to learn about Objectivism. I decided to come back now because it is important and personal for me to explore and express the process of development of a novice. Objectivism is valuable to me, I am interested in being a bridge to understanding.

How does this affect the mind of the novice artist or Objectivist? Well, if we are speaking of a rational human being, he will simply analyze the indication, and decide if he wants to study the subject further, and accept it, reject it or evade it. You were probably expecting me to say that it would scar him for life, or something along those lines, but that is not the case. If we are speaking of a child, or an immature adult who is guided by his emotions, that may be so.

He will not be scarred for life, merely repelled and slowed in the process of his understanding. Its true, you have absolutely no obligation to help anyone, but how does it benefit you to take a mans ignorance out of context?

You have every right to expect the best in man, the fully conscious Objective adult. Why do you invest your energy talking to people who are yet unable to understand you?

I have only known about Ayn Rand for 4 years, I may well be considered a child or an immature adult, yet I am conscious enough to argue for the benevolence that Objectivism is capable of fostering.

This is why I brought up the quote about the intelligent child in post#59

His romantic sense of life is only a sense. An incoherent emotion which he can neither communicate, nor explain, nor defend. It is an intense yet fragile emotion. Painfully vulnerable to any sarcastic allegation since he is unable to identify its real meaning.

I never said that I was interested in your career as an artist, or the development of your mind. There is no connection between us, and you are of no value to me.

I will become worthy of your value. When I do, will you be worthy of mine?

The next quote sounds like the answer would be Yes.

You are responsible for your own acquirement of knowledge, which requires that you do your own research, thinking and integration. When you finish reading The Romantic Manifesto, and distinguish the Objectivist aesthetic principles from yours, come back and ask specific questions about the issues pertaining to your work that need clarification. If you want a short analysis about the flaws of your paintings, read Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. There is a whole chapter devoted to art, which condenses the Objectivist position, and briefly explains what the negative characteristics of your paintings are, and why they are incongruous with Objectivism. There are probably other members that would attempt to do this, but I am certainly not one of them.

This is clear, rational, concise. Thank you for the challenge you present, this is all the more valuable because you don't owe it to me.

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