At 9:46 am +0100 18/3/02, Christophe Grandsire wrote:
>En réponse à Raymond Brown <[log in to unmask]>:
>> I can't think of any painter who is generally acknowledged as an great
>> artist who was not also skilled at painting.
>Easy to find! The most well known painter of the country I live in now!
>Van Gogh is certainly generally acknowledged as a great artist.

Reasonably great, I'll grant.

>Yet I've seen
>many of his paintings (in his museum in Amsterdam), including paintings of the
>period before his impressionist period, and I can tell you that he had
>absolutely no skill in painting.

I had thought he'd once had some skill - but I'll not argue the point.

>If you come one day to Amsterdam, I'll show you what painting I'm talking
>about. It's not well known. Yet it's worth it! :))

If I ever visit Amsterdam, I'll certainly let you know  :)

>> some feel or understanding of your medium.  It may be something hard
>> won
>> through much training, or it may be because of innate ability it has
>> been
>> acquired almost unconconsciously.
>But then what you're saying becomes a tautology.

I hope not - I hope it's only poor communication.

>What's an innate craft? I
>thought the definition of craft itself implied learning...

'innate ability' was, I think, the wrong expression. I should've said
something like 'innate predisposition', I think.

>If you don't take
>this definition, then the difference between craft and art simply disappears,
>and the proposition that all artists must be crafstmen becomes meaningless.

Is it?  The more one looks at English usage, as I have over the past few
days, the more one realizes that the two terms have been used almost
synonymously in English. It's only of the "liberal arts" (i.e. painting,
literature, music etc) that a distinction seems to have made.  After where
did the 'art' in 'artisan' come from?  From the Latin 'ars' (gen. artis).

I haven't got any grand theories of what is and what is not art and/or
craft.  I was merely objecting to the idea that there was, somehow, a 'high
art' form of conlanging that distinguished certain worthies from the
commanlity of mere bobbyists - the former being 'serious' and the latter
trivial.  That what annoyed me (and still does).

I was re-acting also to the notion of splitting this list apart with
'schools' or factions.  But that nonsense seems quietly to have died.

>Anyway, I'm more of the opinion that the more you know about a medium, the
>difficult it is to push its limits.

Only if one has no imagination or daring.  Picasso (inter multos alios)
proves it is possible.

>I guess art is one of those words that has been used in so many different
>senses that it's now semantically empty, except for a reminding people of
>something they cannot really define.

Sort of like 'craft'  :)

>> I wonder if that's one of these words that don't mean quite the same
>> each
>> side of the pond.  Normally over here it just means "past-time", "what
>> was
>> does in one's spare time" - I have too many  ;)
>In French either I can't think of "hobby" having a pejorative meaning. In
>in the French kind of thinking, it would be rather laudative! Indeed, somebody
>who is artist as a profession is often considered lazy, and should "get a real
>job". But someone doing the same, but as a hobby only, is considered creative.

'tis much the same this side of La Manche.


A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
                     [J.G. Hamann 1760]