A Professional Secret

I recently opened a book of essays by John Berger that has been collecting dust on the shelf. It’s “Selected Essays”.
For those who are not familiar with him he’s written a lot about art and artists among other things.
Here’s a quote from his essay “A Professional Secret”. 
“Without a pictorial language, nobody can render what they see.  With one, they may stop seeing.  Such is the odd dialect of the practice of painting or drawing appearances since art began.”

In other essays he talks about what’s behind the pigment and canvas as well as what’s in front of it.  

Exploring the rendering of objects is a fascinating process.  Sometimes it can feel rote in observing value, color, shape and putting paint on canvas.  But at times it does feel as if the reality of the object closely observed become more real.  Those are the times when I feel as though I’ve gotten out of my own way and the painting paints itself.

Here’s a link to someone who is commenting on that essay


and here’s a link to the book of essays .
its full of insightful observations on art and artists.  Well worth the read.




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