Exploring ARC

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Exploring ARC

From David Edwards

Published before 2005


You mentioned the Goodart Mailing List in your reply to my first letter to ARC. I subscribed to this some years ago, but thought it had fallen by the wayside. Little was I to know that Brian Yoder had been rather busy - and a contributor to ARC to boot! The knights of the round table gathering in earnest, perchance? (Forgive me, I couldn't resist a Burne-Jones related quip at this point!)

I have also just read two articles about Hockney's latest theory. Highly entertaining! And even more amusing when I read that one of Hockney's premises was that the Old Masters (and, by inference, artists living today) could not co-ordinate hand, eye and brain to draw realistic images.

I have limited skills in this department. Thanks to a background in entomology, I can draw insects, including details such as wing venation, but even with this background of knowledge, I would never claim that my own sketches are of sufficient quality to appear in a text on the subject. When I attempt to draw a human face, however, I find myself at a loss. Sadly, it is a skill I do not possess, and apparently never will. But simply because I do not possess that skill, it would be absurd in the extreme for me to suggest that no-one else could - solipsism of the highest order. Especially as I have *seen* people do precisely this - admittedly, these people would describe themselves as 'amateur', but the results were far better than anything I could achieve. If a self-proclaimed 'amateur' artist can draw a realistic looking human face, then surely someone of the calibre of John William Waterhouse, for example, could so so too? Having seen several of his original canvases in muse ums close to my home (how fortunate I am to be thus blessed, but that's another story!), I find the notion that Waterhouse was unable to draw (and according to Hockney, therefore, unable to paint), along with the illlustrious persons past and present featured here at ARC, to be a notion that strains credulity to the point where it not so much breaks as ceases to exist altogether.

I said in my previous letter that I could spend a dozen lifetimes trying to emulate such transcendently gifted people and fail. My response, however, is one of even greater admiration for their talents. What paucity of the soul must be present in those who seek to shoot down from the skies those who are able to take wing and soar ...

Oh, and many thanks for your reply to my first letter - I shall, in due course, investigate the links that you provided, but ARC itself is now of such a size that exploring it fully may take rather more time than I have left on this Earth! However, that fraction that I *can* devote thus is, I assure you, much savoured and enjoyed!