That Thin Line
The exhibition was set for the first day of summer. The local artists in the town had a chance to display their works. It was a splendid day, warm and sunny. It seemed like the clouds and weather patterns knew about the event, so they cooperated to their fullest extent. A full house was to be expected, due to it being an annual event, where people all over neighboring cities came to see and buy their paintings.
The most skillful painter in the town had spent many intensive hours at his craft to make sure his paintings suited his taste and as perfect as they could be. He relied on the revenue from the buyers to support him and his family for the whole year. He had a good reputation, so he tried his hardest to live up to it. He built up a good business relationship with many wealthy buyers throughout his many years.
The least skillful painter in the town also had his paintings on display. He spent as few hours as he could get by with on his paintings. He just swooped his brush a few times across the canvas, not caring what it looked like, then put a gaudy frame around it. He gave it some elaborate name, then put a highly inflated price tag on it. He usually got away with it, because he impressed the buyers so much with his eloquent speech and his flamboyant attire. What he lacked in artistic prowess, he made up for it in his physical appearance. He made the most money of all the artists.
That thin line between artistic maturity and immaturity is not more prevalent than in the case of these two artists. The mature one, the true artist, has the pursuit of excellence ingrained in his being. It is like his inherited creed that he lives by. Even if he tried to approach his art in a different way with a nonchalant attitude, he couldn’t. His self esteem wouldn’t let him.
It is easy to differentiate between a mature and immature plant, because one bears the fruit, and the other one is yet to. But between artistic ingenuities, one could be deceptive without being noticeable. If countless productive hours were spent on one through the pursuit of excellence, it can’t be called immature even though it looks that way. It was produced in a mature manner with excellence in mind. Only those with the most introspective minds could be the judge. That thin line is drawn between two hard to recognize artistic attitudes toward what is acceptable and what is unacceptable, and what is produced through self righteous channels. Deception is hard to detect.
The less skillful painter is the deceitful one. He looks at art in a different way. Success to him is based upon how many people he can defraud to sell his paintings, and not the honorable way of letting his work speak for itself. He accepted the fact that he is an immature artist, and conducted himself accordingly. He let monetary gains influence the way he approaches his work.
It is hard to say one painting is good and the other one is bad. It’s easier to say one is mature and the other one isn’t. It is most difficult to say what is immature and what is up righteous, or what is immature and experimental. That thin line is too fragile to make a distinction between good and bad.