The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 11, Issue 6 (September 1, 1936)
The Importance of Paint in Painting
The Importance of Paint in Painting.
All we want to know is whether the object of art is to make the “common man” feel bigger and better and brighter or to provide giddly gadgets to satisfy the mordant mummeries of mental minikins.
We, in our ignorance, prefer even the old masters to the new disasters. We still cling pathetically to the belief that art is imagination under control and not something looking as if it were done by R.A.'s with D.T.'s, or “G” men with gatlins.
We still cherish the illusion that a painting should have a dab or two of paint on it. Of course,
Haven't gone ahead a fragment;
Fossilised and feeble-gaited,
Lacking pep, imagination—
Intellect and inspiration;
No invention, weak of blood,
Sticking staidly in the mud.
We admit it, and repeat,
“Art is art and meat is meat;
Scissor-blades and eggs and buttons
Don't paint pictures—that's our ‘muttons,”’
We maintain—though moderns faint—
That you need a little paint.
If the surrealists are right our next academy masterpiece shall consist of our hen canary in its cage, labelled “Whistler's Mother.”
The one thing that marks the true artist is a clear perception and a firm, bold hand, in distinction from that imperfect mental vision and uncertain touch which give us the feeble pictures and the lumpy statues of the mere artisans on canvas or in stone. —O. W. Holmes.