Monthly Archives: October 2009

The best art is meaningless

Art doesn’t have to be about anything to be good. In fact, the easier it is to say what a work is about, the less interesting that work becomes. The greatest art takes a lifetime to understand; the slightest takes a moment. And if it really is reducible to an explicit message, is it actually art at all?

Thank you Jonathan Jones, I couldn’t have said it better. Not that I am claiming my scribblings to be “Art”. I have long maintained that I am merely a painter, not an “Artist” and I would rather be compared to a good illustrator or graphic artist than someone who claims to make “Art”.

I have written about this sort of thing before, I have spent my life fighting against the idea of there being any kind of meaning in my paintings. I was steered away from a career in art by a high school teacher who felt that my ability to draw was of no account because my paintings didn’t “say” anything.

Spelling

Am I being impossibly stuffy when I admit that bad spelling drives me crazy? So many of my fellow bloggers seem to make certain elementary spelling mistakes over and over again. I don’t mean typos, which we all make from time to time, or misspelling of unusual, seldom used words. The ones that drive me nuts are the ones that I thought we all had drilled into us in primary school: to, too, two, their, there, picture, pitcher. Actually I saw this last one misspelled outside a school just the other day, as in “Don’t forget pitcher day September 29th”, sad really.

I also find it rather sad that so many Canadians don’t bother to change the default US dictionary when they install software programs. A whole generation is growing up assuming that the only correct way to spell colour is “color”, centre is “center” and honour is “honor”.

I suppose that distinctive Canadian spelling may have reached the end of its usefulness, but there will always be a need to distinguish between pictures and pitchers. On Halloween it’s a good idea, when looking at two small crones, to know which witch is yours even when they’re the same size and their costumes are similar too.