Through the eye of the beholder – Passion for Art

Art is a funny thing. What I find appealing to the eye is definitely not what my wife or anyone else for that matter finds appealing. What is it that captures one’s eye with an artistic display? There is no one answer. For each of us it is an emotional link. Either colour’s that make us happy, content that makes us laugh or cry. Something that can even make us stand back in awe and amazement.

My father taught me a lot in art. From the beginning it was all about light and perspective. My father was a realist and only ever painted realism by way of portraits, flora and fauna and landscapes. He taught me oil painting when I seven years old. He never encouraged anything else because he is a firm believer oil’s last life times. These days, I feel with the right equipment and care, the medium isn’t as important – the materials have come a long way. Even though I have always had a ‘passion’ for art, my father didn’t want me to catch the starving artist syndrome so he encouraged a professional career, which I followed.

Through visual arts studies in High School, I became a little frustrated by being ‘told’ which direction I need to take. I guess I’m as stubborn as my father in some respects. Art that appeals to me, is art that looks like what its suppose to look like. Having said that, I respect all artists.  Anyone who can inspire through creativity is my idol. My wife loves to hang abstract and impressions around the house. Ironically, not anything I’d ever produce myself – As Austin Powers said ‘Not my bag baby!’. My biggest hurdle with art is appreciation on all levels.

 What makes me stand back in awe though?

Since first picking up a brush, pencil again and a stylus for the first time (lol), I revisited my Visual art studies and again looked to what made me strive to get better. Graduating high school at 17 and then starting a career three months later, I hadn’t done anything really artistic in 17 years. Once I began sharing work in the digital art forum and started getting some much appreciated attention, I really wanted to know; How do I make someone stand back in awe?

 I read about Leonardo DaVinci and Michaelangelo. Davinci taking home cadavers so he could study muscle and bone structure. Dead bodies laying around  in the home study to improve ones ability to portray realistic muscle, tone and texture. This day and age, slightly morbid yes? lol. They would lock you up and throw away the key. These stories truly amazed me though. The extreme efforts to tone ones craft is quite amazing. Painting a ceiling on ones back also amazes me. Taking into consideration the eye of the beholders perspective so no matter which angle they observe a piece, they will always see something different. That is what has inspired me truly. It’s not necessarily the finished product that inspires me. It’s the fact these artists sometimes suffered to get the best out of their work. They were willing to try new things and push boundaries where many would not dare go.

I think I’m  a long way from getting anyone to stand back in awe. My suffering has been immersing myself in art I didn’t always necessarily appreciate. That was initially a difficult thing to do. While doing this, I believe it has helped me become a more balanced critic so to speak. It’s difficult to make a constructive statement on an artistic style until you actually adopt it. There is such a diverse range in artistic styles and movements. I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to keep immersing myself in these styles to truly find myself and the audience I wish to impress. That’s the hardest thing.  I still struggle to understand what makes a piece popular. I think my safest bet is to try and not understand. I think as an artist, it is critical to be impartial and neutral to the critics. In all honesty, there’s plenty of my own work I look back on and think to myself ‘what the hell was that about?’.  in my opinion, you need to respect where you’ve come from artistically and don’t get held up in anything negative. Critics can sometimes be helpful with direction. Not always, but some have valid points to consider. Either way, you can always make something better next time and shut them up 🙂

. Passion

The sketchclub collage above is a collection of my impressions of artists who have in some way inspired my artistic direction. Leonid Afremov , Francois Neilly and Patrice Murciano; the way these artists can utilize colour and apply their medium truly inspired me. I had never even tried to build work with colour like these guys. Rembrandt, Pissaro, Davinci and even Bob Ross; how did these artists make such complex scenes with the detail inside the detail like they did. How did Bob Ross do it so effortlessly lol? That’s the inspiration. 

I hope you guys like my work. I’ll continue to ‘mix it up’ as I say as I truly believe variety  hones ones craft.

The game here at Monkeysidebars is a great example of inspiration. The weekly challenges inspire artists to think a little more about what they are going to create. Knowing they will be sharing their own depiction or meaning of a word with many other artists, inspires individuality. When the works are revealed, it’s an eye opener to see what your favourite artists have come up with.

Keep creating and please keep inspiring me !

David Burles


About davidburles

I am one of the author's for the website Monkey Side Bars. Monkey Side Bars is a twice-a-week drawing game where you are challenged to a piece of art on a specific theme. Husband of a lovely wife and father of three trouble making boys. A personnel and asset manager by profession including Emergency Response Coordination. Lover of art, sports and fishing in leisure time. A gamer by nature on all platforms. A little addicted to digital art. Lover of technology and really big fan of politically correct and totally legit tech hacking :-)

17 thoughts on “Through the eye of the beholder – Passion for Art

  1. Very well written and composed and I can really see the connection to your artwork. Your sketch is a visual treasure! A melange of some truly incredible artists including yourself, that makes me stand back in awe 😀

    1. Excellent article David, it felt as though you were simply chatting with the reader. You have always inspired me and I look forward to watching what moves you in days to come. Much love my down under friend!

  2. David that was a great read. Heart felt and wise words. I’m sure many, as do I, stand back in awe of your work. You continue to inspire me asyou have since ds 1. Now more inspiration in the form of words. A lovely piece of work, and you have captured the monkeysidebars ethos perfectly ❤️

  3. The members of monkey side bars are all amazing artists but what really impacts me is the wonderful support system this community has! I am honored to be part of such an inspiring group. Btw David, your art is brilliant ❤ thanks for sharing!

  4. I enjoyed reading your comments very much David. You were very lucky to have a father who inspired you and encouraged you to become an artist. He taught you well. Your talent and your clear and strong idea of how you see the world and your amazing ability to portray it shines through in all of your work. From the very beginning of my jumping into the digital world, you have been very supportive and encouraging to me despite our different viewpoints regarding abstract art. I am so grateful for your kindness and friendship which feels very real to me even if it is online and virtual. I am truly happy to be part of this Monkey community with so many wonderful artists.

    1. Thank you so much Julie. I truly love your landscapes and floral paintings. I also love hearing your viewpoints even when we may not see eye to eye. That is what makes us individuals and it certainly encourages me to learn more about yourself and so many others. It has always been a pleasure !

  5. David you are truly wise beyond your years and I admire you immensely; your art, imagination, inspiration, sense of humor and your sincerity. You encourage so many and your article truly makes you even more endearing! I’m thrilled to witness each new creation!

  6. A great read David…very insightful and relatable. What a gift to have a father who has had such an incredible impact on you – through sound advise, shared knowledge and experience. How cool to be able to pass it on in these various group venues. I love the part about the struggle to understand what makes a piece popular, as well as, critics etc….. I have found your prescribed approach, especially in these social media settings to be most effective. You have been open and supportive since I started here, so it is no surprise that these qualities shine through in this article. Great stuff all around. I look forward to watching as you continue on this path.

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