Thursday, May 02, 2013

Talent in the Eye of the Beholder

Talent is an amorphous thing. What I see as talent others may not, and vice versa.
We started talking about art and talent at work the other day. The Writing Center where I tutor college students is located in the library. Along one wall of the library, on the walk toward the bathroom, a student artist currently displays her paintings. And frankly, most of them are bad.
I don't think the student is young, since many of the paintings have dates on them from the early 2000s.

"Maybe if she painted only landscapes," I suggested to the other teachers in the Writing Center.

"No," my friend Vivian said shaking her head. "Someone just  needs to take her brush away."
We all laughed, but it's true. Someone, somewhere encouraged this person to keep painting and try to make a career of painting.
"It's just a shame someone wasn't honest with her to begin with," Vivian said.
But talent is like that. Someone thought she was good at painting and now that's what she is.
The dogs in the one below especially bother me.

What do you think? Would you be honest with your friend, child, sibling if he/she didn't have talent in the art, music, writing, photography field?


Just Me said...

I really hate being the bad guy, although my hubby would beg to differ. He seems to be the one person who gets the cold hard truth, at least how I see it. Even as I tromp on his dreams, I don't enjoy it.

Seriously what do I know. Leave it to the art teachers to tell them.

Unknown said...

I think that a lot of ambitions are destroyed when people let their particular tastes dictate whether or not another person "should" pursue a given direction.
It is one thing to encourage a person to hone his or her skill. It is quite another to kill their dreams altogether simply because one does not enjoy their work.

Paulita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Grace said...

Are you trying to subtly tell me something?

Sim Carter said...

Hmmm - I actually think she has an interesting approach in some of these ... I like the colorful skies, and the painting of the chess game is really intriguing. Which is why I agree with Ming Seiko; I can't imagine telling an artist of any ilk to stop doing what they do simply because I didn't like it. Not that they would pay attention. An artist can't stop anyway; I really believe that. If you take her brush away she'll go buy another one; as well she should.

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