What is Art?

white cow in a snow storm

“White Cow in a Snow Storm” 50×50

So What is Art?

I thought I’d share with you my latest painting. It’s an exercise in Minimalist art. The black outline was added so you could see the painting.  No, I’m being sarcastic. I didn’t create White Cow in a Snow Storm, but it does lead me into the topic of  What is Art?

Artworks are like opinions and just like opinions, not everyone will agree on them. Attempts to describe what is art, often becomes a work of art in itself as an exercise in creative writing!

By definition art is an expression or application of human creative/technical skill  and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

However, the genre of Minimalist art which according to one source began in the 1950’s and continued thru the 1970’s was intended to thrive on simplicity in content and form, seeking to remove any sign of personal expression. It was to allow the viewer to experience the work more intensely without the distractions of composition, theme etc.

When TV Journalist Morley Safer died in May of this year (2016), a morning news segment highlighting one of his reports on contemporary art was shown whereby a museum curator was describing to Morley the large blank white canvas hanging on the wall was done by a Minimalist artist. As to who created it I’m both ignorant and apathetic. I don’t know and I don’t care.
Thinking to myself it’s no wonder that it was called minimal because it involved minimal work, minimal materials and minimal thought. After all it was a totally blank canvas. There are plenty of those in my  studio. Why I even have a brand new roll of the stuff. I can roll it out anytime and take in it’s beauty.  If you like, I will stretch one for you. On second thought I don’t want to work too hard, I’ll just buy one already stretched, put my signature on it so you can enjoy it on your wall. You can have it today, just let me know. Oh the price, it’s next to  nothing only a $1,000,000.00. Any takers? Please, serious inquiries only.

Not So Minimalist

If you’re looking for something more affordable and not quite so minimalist, I do have three paintings up on my eBay auction. These bear my “Byron” signature. The auction ends  Sunday July 31, 2016 at 6 PM pacific time. Each auction endings are spaced by 7 minutes, so you can have time to bid on another in case you miss out on one. The Bids are already starting. Remember, I never set a reserve and the bidding started at only a penny. You can click the link to go to my eBay profile and access the auction.

Misty Day 9x12 oil by Byron copyright 2016

Misty Day 9×12 oil by Byron copyright 2016

impressionist landscape autumn oil painting by Byron

Hues of Autumn 8×10 oil by Byron copyright 2016

Spring Days 9x12 oil by Byron copyright 2016

Spring Days 9×12 oil by Byron copyright 2016

Additionally I have two small 6″x8″ William Hagerman signature paintings shown below at Sherwoods Gallery in Houston, TX.

If interested in purchasing these please contact the gallery at: (713) 974-3700

landscape bluebonnet oil painting with cactus by William Hagerman

Bluebonnets and Cactus 6×8 oil by William Hagerman copyright 2016

landscape bluebonnet oil painting with barn windmill by William Hagerman

Sun and Clouds 6×8 oil by William Hagerman copyright 2016

Thanks for reading!


2 thoughts on “What is Art?

  1. Barbara Proctor

    Oh my gosh, that was hilarious. My first thought when I opened the email was “Why isn’t that pic loading”? …Then, I realized…and I lol’d , kept reading 🙂

    I’m with you on the minimalist art, Though I have to ponder, is it possible to remove ALL sign of personal expression from the artist? I mean, Maybe I misunderstand it but how does one NOT put their own twist into it..even if just a little, a stroke here or there, Maybe something in the colors or subject itself. I would think even splatters on the canvas would say something about the artist..even if it was that they were clumsy. I think I would like to know who the artist of “White Cow” is. My guess is,
    1. They probably have a great sense of humor.
    2. They’re the south end of a northbound horse.

    Great post, Babs

    1. William Post author

      Hi Barbara,
      Actually the White Cow illustration was created in my photo program. I just made a blank white square and added a black border and came up with the title. I hope that qualifies me for the number one on the list. Although, I do frequently feel like I’m on the south end of a northbound horse wondering where am I going. I’m sure there is some sense of input or some expression of thought on part of the artist and some works can actually be aesthetically pleasing just to be fair. But, if a picture paints a thousand words, I wonder if those 1000 words aren’t expressed more by the art critic, writer or museum curator who can take a flight of fancy in word expression just to explain the art and make themselves feel good on how many words they pulled out of a Thesaurus.


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