An Artist Does More Than Copy Outward Appearances – An Example of Ethos Writing

An Artist Does More Than Copy Outward Appearances

A few days ago, I explained what an Essay is Here.

Yesterday, I explained what Rhetorical Writing Is Here.

I said that when we employ Ethos in our writings, we rely on our credentials to help support our claims. I added that in order to do this, we must find some way to communicate our qualifications to our readers. I use ehtos in the first sentence of the following essay, and also at the end:

I have taught art for almost half a century, and I continue to be disappointed that most people still believe that the best artists are those who can most accurately copy or reproduce the way that an object appears outwardly. In reality, art is more about capturing the inward nature of something than about reproducing its likeness. In that regard, art is more than an ability to draw well.

Mere drawing is a technical skill, like typing or riding a bicycle. Almost anyone can master the skill of drawing. Drawing is to visual art what the ABC’s are to writing poetry. Drawing is nothing more than a tool that an artist emplys to capture the greater thing–the object’s essence.

Intuition is an artist’s most powerful vehicle for expressing an object’s essence–its being–its emotional significance. Michelangelo alluded to artistic intuition in saying that his sculptures lay within the stone and that he merely followed the path that he sensed within the rock, chipping away the rest, and thus revealing the essential of what he was trying to express.

I can honestly say that when I am truly painting [this definitely is not every time that I paint], I sense this same type of intuitive force that pulls my hand along and essentially makes my marks for me. In order to draw and paint intuitivelly, a person must quieten himself, and he must respond to something within himself that nudges him forward. In doing so, one becomes an artist and not merely a copier of outward details.

©Jacki Kellum July 13, 2016

Jacki Kellum has taught art to people of all ages for almost fifty years. While she was teaching art in schools, she was named National Teacher of the Year. You can learn more about Kellum and view some of her paintings Here.



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