Art Talk Tuesday 2-20-18 "Hand of man"

Yep. It’s Tuesday, so here we go for today.


I was fortunate to have a rare AL TO RARE weekend away with my wife, and she was so awesome and let me drag her to the museums in D.C. that I had wanted to visit for a long time. Well, it was so worth it, and it so paid off not only a great weekend away but inspirational and inspiring.


So to the point and this will mostly apply to photographers and landscape painters. While looking at so many amazing old masters painting at the National Gallery of Art and looking at all the landscapes, I had a flashback to my art education days. She and I both noticed very few of the scenes were what we might call pure landscapes. Most of the landscape paintings of the past have what I would call the hand of man items in them. There are these fantastic and majestic landscapes with either a fence a rock wall, domesticated animals and well as wildlife, or ships and barn, houses and heck even people in nearly all of the paintings. And they are, and there is a story beyond the landscape there.

Now there is nothing wrong with the “pure” hand of man free no sign of humans landscape photo or painting. But I question why we try so hard for this and why do we seem to think this is how it has to be in the day and age. The simple fact is it the landscape devoid of human presence is rare to find as the population of the planet grows, and as our world gets smaller. I wonder do we need not seek to hide the hand of man from our art?

Now I am not questioning either way of doing it I am just sharing a point of view and wanting people to realize it can be and should be both ways and as artists, we should not be afraid to create both landscapes. Hell, the old masters did it so why can’t we :-)


Cheers Kevin