The usefulness of rules

Rules are extremely wide-reaching. Think of making a painting: there is a difference between “I will not use the color yellow,” “I will not use the color yellow to paint can openers,” “I will not use yellow on this particular instance,” and simply not using yellow in some particular instance without willing not to.

When the same artist is starting a painting, one hypothetical way to go about it might be to start with wide-sweeping rules that coincide well with your feelings, apply them to a concept, and then work on that draft until you feel you have accomplished a complete work of art; changing a pose here, a hue there, and perhaps whittling the rules down to specific, momement to moment valuations that allow for greater sophistication (for which variety is necessary), or maybe not even using the rules after the first draft.

In any case, it seems clear to me that an artist requires a bridge to his/her feelings, and that rules are good wide-reaching bridges.

So much for a defence of rule-making.

The fundamental rule of the artist is what prevents his painting from being mere random noise/splashings.
His fundamental rule is that his product must match his intention by whatever means (even if he didn’t know his intention when he started).

I think you give them too much credit with this “single intention” concept. Actually, too little.

Pretentious art critics mostly.

I don’t think art needs any rules.

I agree. Defining art by a set of rules brings us right back to conceptions from Ancient Greece.
I recently watched a fascinating video concerning ideas of beauty in art:

In the same spirit, you can check this one on the purpose of art:

Hope you like it!


Granted. It already innately has all it needs - the satisfaction of the artist.

hi Emily, welcome to ILP. I shall watch those tomorrow when I’m not so tired. :slight_smile:

So true, Jackson Pollock tried to do something different with his art, but was almost universally rejected by critics, who wanted to see more of his splodges and line drawings, as I call them (yeah a few times is original pandering after that is probably more to do with your “manager”). After this rejection he ultimately took to more earnestly drinking alcohol and died of his addiction. I like to think if he had given less of a damn about art critics and more of a damn about his ideas he would of been much happier. Do what you love is the moral I guess, not what people want you to do.

Now we are speaking the same language.