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solitary tree, brilliant with the green of summer, a foundation of brown earth and gnarled roots. There was no detail to vex the eye. Three solid masses of form and colour. — sky, foliage, and earth — the whole bathed in an atmosphere of golden luminosity. I threw my brushes aside; they were too small for the work in hand. I squeezed out big chunks of pure, moist colour, and taking my palette knife I laid on blue, green, white, and brown in great sweeping strokes. I saw nature springing into life upon my dead canvas. It was better than nature for it was vibrating with the thrill of a new creation."
“The artist should fear to become the slave « Broado of detail. He should strive to express his Magazine.”
Sept., 1905. thought and not the surface of it. What avails a storm cloud accurate in form and colour, if the storm is not therein ?”
"Imitation is not inspiration, and inspira- Ibid. tion only can give birth to a work of art.”
“It is the first vision that counts. The Ibid. artist has only to remain true to his dream, and it will possess his work in such a manner that it will resemble the work of no other man
— for no two visions are alike, and those who reach the heights have all toiled up the steep mountains by different routes."
“The idea of what a work of art is,” said W. Brymner, R. C. A., in an interesting lecture on painting, “is very vague in the minds of most people. I think the majority are satisfied it is the faithful copying of objects or individuals. From the earliest times we find writers on art extolling paintings, not because they said something, but because they were deceptively lifelike. Zeuses painted grapes the birds pecked at. Vasari continually praises the deceptive painting, and Leonardo said that a painter's best master was the mirror. What is it, then, that elevates a painting from the mere representation of objects to the level of a work of art? Zola describes art as 'a corner of nature seen through a temperament.' That is, that an artist must, before he begins his picture, have experienced some emotion, some thought suggested by the view of nature before him. The artist conveys to us the feeling he has experienced by perhaps making everything very real to us and true, but all as
seen from his standpoint. He leaves out, does not see, the sides of the question that do not emphasize his argument. He wishes to convey the idea he has, and everything «The tending to give form to that idea he uses. beauty of
nature reEverything not helpful to this end he leaves forms itself
in the mind out. In conveying a great truth, he may sacrifice inconsequent facts. I believe, how- creation.”
“Essay on ever, that this is done unconsciously. The Beauty." artist thinks he is copying what he sees, be- Emerson. cause he feels so strongly from his point of view. Of course, this is open to discussion; but if the imagination is true imagination and not merely a grotesque play of fancy, the mind must be in some such condition. Many can learn to copy nature. Few are artists who can make us see and feel with them. The real artist makes us see even the simplest things in a new light. We feel to be true what he shows us, although we have never thought of it in that way before. Thus an artist, although he imitates nature and reproduces its external forms, must throw the light of his individual thought upon it, and this thought or emotion that he conveys by means
of nature must be his own thought, or some emotion he has personally experienced, and his manner of expressing himself must be proper to himself.”
The point mentioned by Mr. Brymner, that the act of the artist in leaving out unnecessary facts, or even changing them, is performed
unconsciously, is a very interesting one. It is 1“Modern alluded to by Ruskin, who says:1 “In making Painters."
these changes Turner does not think at all. Vol. IV. Page 25. They come into his head involuntarily. An
entirely imperative dream has taken possession of him; he can see and do no otherwise than as the dream directs. No happy chance, nay, no happy thought, no perfect knowledge, will
ever take the place of that mighty unconscious2“Land- ness.” scape.” Chap. XIII. In such cases as that of Turner painting P. G. Ham- Loch Awe, or “striking off the refractory erton. 3“ Modern summit of Mount Pilatus” as its lines did Painters.” Vol. IV. not compose well with the rest of the picture Page 232. of Lucerne, or painting the gorgeous colours f“Essay on John
of a sunset in a sky where the sun is still Ruskin.”
well above the horizon, it is difficult to realize W. J. Still
that the act was an entirely unconscious