Guest Artist Writer
Featuring GUEST ARTIST and WRITER INES ALLEN from Nafferton, Yorkshire.
My friend Ines writes occasionally in the ‘Make your Point’ in LP. Her following letter was rather interesting and her paintings are delightful.
Lessons in art
I was delighted with the article, Lessons in the Landscape in the May issue. I like John McCombe’s work very much and his comments on being told to paint abstracts by his art tutor certainly struck a chord with me.
I was a full time art student in the early 1950s. Half-way through the course the head of the painting school retired and was replaced by a man who frowned on any attempt to paint realistically. His frequent scathing derision of my ‘old fashioned’ approach to painting would leave me in floods of tears. But my teacher was not alone in how he felt about art; everywhere art critics held similar views, and art galleries automatically rejected realistic work regardless of its artistic merit.
Without any opportunity to exhibit their work in prestigious galleries, coupled with the widespread negative propaganda that realistic painting was neither art nor of any value, there must have been some who became part of a lost generation of potentially gifted artists. The extent of the loss to art will of course never be known. But all is not lost.
Realistic art is beginning to make a come back, and some outstanding work is being produced. Even so, it remains the case that artists whose style can be regarded as realistic, however brilliantly gifted they may be, and however wonderful the design and use of colour in their paintings, it is unlikely they will be acclaimed as artists, or receive the recognition they deserve by those who make up the establishment and who seem to think that their definition of what constitutes art is right. I feel it is time for those critics – as John McCombe’s tutor once said – to come into the 21st century.