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There was a peaceful sharing of opinions in the comment section earlier this week between Frank and Quintus regarding how to label Scott’s work. In his comment, Frank planted a flag for “realism,” while Quintus countered politely with “platonic expressionism.”

As a result, what follows is the account of Kathy’s week’s worth of learning on the schools of artistic genres.

When I first ran up against Quintus’ phrase “platonic expressionism,” it conjured up one of those fantasy movie scenes where, with a tilted head and slightly sad but sincere look on his face, the hero says gently to the heroine, “I’m sorry, but I just want to be friends.”

The gaps in my art history education makes it painful to be around here sometimes.

Fortunately, Quintus unpacked his idea further.

“… which relies on visible images to create a relationship between artist and viewer using as its common ground the ‘ideal’ form of the visible objects to produce a true aesthetic experience in the viewer.”

Fair enough, but I still needed a bit more help.

Hmmm… not so helpful. In fact, Google warns that it might even be downright harmful to pursue the concept further.

Thbphhhhbbbt! What does Google know?!

It’s an interesting topic to chew on, so I asked Scott and Rick what they think.

They both punted.

Rick chuckled, “I get a real kick out of artists who declare themselves ‘colorists.’ Really?! You use pigment when you paint? Fascinating….”

Scott told us about a woman at a paintout who commented somewhat critically that he exercised “so much control over the paint.” Curious, he wandered over to her set up, and found her using a palette knife taped to an aspen tree branch to apply paint to her canvas, which itself was strapped to the top of her van. Apparently, her therapist had told her she had control issues and needed to cut loose a bit.

Ha ha. But really… what do you really think?

Scott: “I’m mostly interested in light and atmosphere. I want people to be able to read a painting from across the room, where you don’t have to get your nose up on it to see something interesting.”

Some people really know how to dance, don’t they?

He finally did volunteer that Sherri McGraw had recently described him to a group as an “abstract realist,” and given Scott’s admiration of Sherri, I was left with the idea that he was okay with that.

And this makes sense to me. Sherri describes abstract realism as an approach where, “Paint quality, color, edges and shapes are used to lead the viewer’s eye through the painting and become a visual undercurrent that quietly captivates the observer.”

This resonates with how Scott talks about his own work, except he’s a bit more Idaho-straight up in how he says it.

Scott: “It’s about orchestrating all of the tensions to keep the person’s eye moving inside the painting, like adding some horizontals in the clouds to balance the verticals of the trees, but without screwing something else up.”

This passionate dedication to the understanding, technically-skilled capture, and intentional sharing of capital “B” Beauty rolling around inside a man also given to straight talk, bear scat jokes, hunting, football, and gravy stains is what makes Scott, Scott.

And aside from “painter,” “neighbor,” and “friend,” that’s a good enough label for me.

 

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