Tuesday, May 10, 2011

"Wisteria" WIP 2 & Pet Peeves

Just a little peek on a work-in-progress -- I'd say this one is about halfway through. I still have to do highlights and adjust the overall balance of dark and light by pulling the background further back... among other things. XD

Now off to my pet peeves: poorly drawn pointe shoes AND kimono collars closed the wrong way. I know many (too many) people don't care. And it's also true that so many people are just not cultured enough, educated enough, or mindful enough. I find it very irritating that too many artists out there don't do sufficient research on their subject matters -- both of my pet peeves refer to things that can be easily learned if one cared enough to do a little bit of research on Google.


First, poorly drawn pointe shoes. This peeve includes depiction of technically wrong or poor execution of BALLET technique. I've seen everything from pointe shoes that lace up to the knees to pointe shoes that tie with a big butterfly bow. I don't think the fetishist uber high heels that have the mocked up look of point shoes help at all with the general public's misconception (Gosh, it is sad that so many people think that that's how things are...). And with 'wrong or poor execution of ballet technique', I am referring to the 'turned in' legs and feet to the sickled foot and everything in between. There's nothing quite like the disappointment I feel when I come across an otherwise beautifully painted image of a ballerina/fairy/magical being/what-have-you, and the moment I zoom in to appreciate the details, the first thing I notice is a glaring mistake. And it's a mistake that can so easily be avoided if someone would have just taken a little time to research. I can only call this laziness. I studied and taught ballet for years before retiring, so I'm not exaggerating when I say that ballet is an art of details. In fact, to many aficionados of many different types of art, it is the details that makes the statement and separate the 'good' from the 'mediocre'.


Second, the kimono collars closed the wrong way. I can only attribute this mistake to ignorance, and in the West, it hardly even gets noticed and/or pointed out. However, it's a laughable mistake to every Japanese. Kimono collars for all living humans should close with the left side over the right. This is practically set in stones. No Japanese would think to break this rule just for the sake of being different or fashionable. In fact, the kimono collars closed with the right side over the left are reserved only for the dead. I'm afraid that too many Westerners simply don't know that this rule/custom even exists. Cultures and arts rich in history will always have traditions, rituals, customs, and ways of doing things that are studied by many (over years, decades, centuries), and agreed to be set that way. The awareness of such things can only add authenticity to a piece of work. Inaccurate depiction of cultural mores not only robs an artwork of a sense of realness (regardless of one's style of painting... I'm not talking about that here, but most of the pieces I notice those mistakes in are more or less realistic pieces, some hyper-real or photo-real), but in the eyes of a knowledgeable person, it represents the artist's sloppiness, lack of care, ignorance, etc., which all leads to devaluing of the piece altogether. Why should a viewer take anything seriously when an artist didn't bother to care enough about details of his/her subject matter? Anything that is worth doing at all is worth doing well, to the best of one's ability, each and every time.


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