Letter to ARC

Home / Education / ARChives / Foundational Discussions

Letter to ARC

From Virgil Elliott

Published before 2005


Too often I hear freedom being touted as justification for inept work. True artistic freedom begins with mastery of the Third Dimension, i.e., spatial depth. Until then, one's direction is limited by what one can and cannot do, meaning, what one knows how to do and does not know how to do. That is not freedom. All the inspiration in the world will not result in quality artwork unless the inspired person has mastered a means of communicating it compellingly to others.

What you refer to as realism, I presume is realistic imagery, i.e. the illusion of three-dimensional depth on a two-dimensional surface. Mastery of the third-dimension illusion opens up a universe of possibilities denied those advocates of "freedom" who lack a thorough understanding of how to do it convincingly. Once one has mastered the illusion of the third dimension, the desire to restrict oneself to two dimensions seems to disappear, as it is insufficiently challenging and too limiting. [And incredibly boring! - Ed.]

Virgil Elliott