Refuge for incompetence

Home / Education / ARChives / Foundational Discussions

Refuge for incompetence

From Virgil Elliott

Published before 2005


Jeffery LeMieux wrote: I've often felt that one reason many people are unable to draw well is that they were trained in badly lit rooms.

Jeffery,

As I see it, reasons why people are unable to draw well include not having been interested in it enough in the first place to spend enough years working at it to master it; not having had good teachers; starting too late in life; and being in such a hurry to "be an artist" that they started painting too soon, before the eye was developed enough, and thereby neglected the study of drawing.

Someone obsessed to the requisite degree to really master it will not limit his studies to the classroom, but will draw on his own, every day, and in those sessions will be free to choose whatever lighting he wishes.

Mental discipline is a very unpopular concept in the modern world, where mental laziness is the accepted norm. If instant gratification is not to be had, people tend to give up and look for something easier. When they realize how hard it is to actually learn to draw well, and that there are no short-cuts, no instant gratification possible, their interest generally wanes, and they either give up or look for ways of faking it. The so-called avant-garde provides a convenient refuge where their egos need not acknowledge their deficiencies, at least openly.

Virgil Elliott