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Art | Can we define it?

A drawing by Renoir

Walsall Art Gallery


This drawing might not seem very special, but if I told you it was by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. You might have a different opinion. Art is about perceptions and a well known name or even the name of a art movement affects our perception of a work of art. This little drawing is in Walsall Art Gallery .


To appreciate a drawing like this that conveys not only the emotions of the people depicted, but also appears to show the movement of the dancers, you must first look at and appreciate the picture. The name ‘Renoir’ is likely to motivate you to look at the picture. We often see pictures, but we don’t really look at them. They say we shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but we do. We look for the name of an author that we recognise and see that as a guide to quality. Is the name that important that it actually defines what is art and what is not?

Avant Garde

Art constantly pushes the boundaries and is ‘avant garde’. Artists pride themselves in bringing us something new and different; exciting even.  The established art movement is the status quo and the status quo must be disrupted for the evolution of art to  continue. The  brush made way for the spatula and that made way for every implement you can imagine for applying paint to a surface. Now we have artists creating in many different ways from spray painting on walls to creating visual images on computer screens.

The Future

I am looking forward to seeing more developments in the future. Digital displays that better display works of art than the computer screen that we see now. I also think 3D printing will bring us new types of sculpture. The status quo of today will be disrupted to bring us the art of tomorrow.


My interest in is neodigital art, creating art with digital devices. The camera, the computer, even the smart phone can be like the brush and canvas of Renoir’s era.


Is my image any less expressive than that of Renoir?  Maybe when I am long gone like Renoir it will be recognised, but will the images be long gone too? Many digital images might not survive unless there is a hard copy, looked after somewhere by an art gallery.  Renoir doesn’t care about where his pictures are now and I doubt if I will either. You can appreciate them now and there are more to appreciate today on a Zillion Ideas, my other site. You can also share your views on art in the comments box. You can  follow me on Twitter too.

10 responses

  1. Art is everything we touch that changes its appearance.

    15, October 2013 at 12:32 pm

    • Hi Tia,

      I think it’s a matter of taste. I saw some of Banksy’s work the other day and I like that. Other stuff, like Damien Hirst pickled sheep I wouldn’t give house room. Thee are little drawings in the art gallery that are fascinating and then there are huge works that shouldn’t be there.

      What do I know? I was dragged up on a council estate and Wednesbury art gallery is only open for a few hours, 2 days a week. 🙂

      15, October 2013 at 1:39 pm

  2. Really interesting addition to the ongoing debate! I have to say, I agree with Thow’s comment, I’d never thought about it that way before but it makes sense!

    16, October 2013 at 12:38 pm

    • Hi Francis,

      I agree that art is everywhere. I saw one definition that said art was beauty. It is definitely about perception. We either see art or we don’t.

      Thanks for the comment

      16, October 2013 at 3:10 pm

    • Thank you, it isn’t very often I make sense. 🙂

      17, October 2013 at 6:37 am

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  4. Hi Mike, Your art is living on in Pinterest. Your Flower Cart image I pinned a while ago is getting a lot of repins this week! You’re beautifying the world in many ways.

    22, October 2013 at 12:50 pm

    • Hi Carolyn,

      I like this flower cart picture. I’m having it printed on canvas for a Christmas present I think. I’ve added a border and it will be stretched over a frame to 30 by 20 inches. It should make a nice present. The light was terrible that day, this was the only decent picture!

      22, October 2013 at 9:37 pm

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  6. Pingback: The model who seduced two Renoirs – Telegraph « How my heart speaks

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