I have finished reading My Name is Asher Lev and a few things have struck me. First of all, is it wrong to focus so much on one talent that we lose sight of other gifts we have been given? Second, should our art (what ever it may be) be all consuming regardless of the barriers it puts up between us and others (Asher and his father)? Last of all, the portion of the book that stood out most to me is where Asher paints a "fasle painting" and is told by his mentor, "it reeks of cowardice and indecision. In art, cowardice and indecision can be seen in every stroke of a brush. If you hate him [Asher's classmate], paint your hatred or do not paint him at all. One must not paint everything one feels. But once you decide to paint something, you must paint the truth or you will paint green rot."
I found this to be true just last saturday when I was asked to sing a song that in my oppinion is not good music and should not ever be sung. I had to sing it a dozen times before I could get through it without laughing. Would it have been better for me to be snooty and refuse to sing the song once I found out who the composer was or should we allow ourselves to deliberately paint green rot when others ask us to so we aren't seen as being elitist?
In art, I don't immagine that I will ever own a Thomas Kinkade (or any of the hundreds of knockoffs), because to me (I know this may be quite controversial as his prints are in every other house in America) he paints green rot. I don't believe he started out that way, perhaps it was his popularity that pushed him there, in any case, it is when an artist stops painting what is important to him, and paints only what is appealing to the consumer that he creates a "false painting."
To me Van Gough is a true artist. He is able to convey emotion in a way few other artists have been able to capture.
One of my favorite artists is Mary Cassatt. Most of her paintings depict mothers with their children in every day life--no glammor, no forced emotion, no improving on God's work and yet to me her paintings are far more moving than Kinkade will ever be.
My father-in-law who is also a very gifted artist did a painting of his wife holding their son Zach as a child that I absolutely love for the same reasons I love Cassatt. Some day, you'll be able to buy his prints online, but for now only a select few are privey to his art work.