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Art is Quite Useless – | – Art Thoughts

These are reflections I’ve been having recently amidst the current situation.
Made me question the meaning of art… What’s the point of art ? What is it all worth, compared to the work of a doctor, a nurse, or even a cashier, a farmer or a bus driver ? These people are essential cogs in our society, they save lives and run the economy.
But what good is an artist and what’s the point of art ? How is it helping anyone ? Is it useful in any way or completely useless.
It reminded me of what Oscar Wilde wrote in The Picture of Dorian Gray:
We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless.” (Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray)
This quote have been really stuck in my head for a long time, and I’ve always felt there was something true in it… but I never really had time to develop and understand it better. This video is my attempt at doing just that.

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Poésie picturale

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About me (bio) :

I am an artist living and working in France. I learned the techniques of the Atelier of the Nineteenth century and now I try to share some of my knowledge with the rest of the world, because I think that beauty still has an important role to play in artistic creation. I do mostly drawing and oil painting, and my goal is always to provide techniques and explanations that can be useful to anyone, from beginners to more advanced artists.

The material I use most of the time (not necessarily in this video) :

Drawing
Equipement
✓ Kneaded eraser
✓ Plumb line
✓ Small mirror
✓ An old synthetic brush
✓ Masking tape
✓ Cutter
✓ Sandpaper or sanding block
✓ Mahlstick or Hand rest (DIY)
✓ Level ruler
Graphite
✓ Pencils 2H, HB and 2B
Charcoal
✓ If available: Nitram charcoals (H, HB and B)
!!! Or, if not::
✓ Square Venetian charcoals Lefranc and Bourgeois
✓ Natural charcoal box (check that the heart of the stick is not spongy and hollow)
Black and white chalk
✓ Sketch pencil Conté white
✓ Square Conté noir : HB and 2B
✓ Chalk or pencil holder
✓ Pencil sketch Conté Pierre noire : H and HB
Sanguine
✓ Sketch pencil Conté : Blood and blood Medici
✓ Crayon Polychromos Faber-Castel : sanguine
✓ Sketch pencil Conté white
Oil painting
Palette
(Extra-fine paint, recommended brands according to availability: Lefranc Bourgeois, Winsor and Newton, Royal Talens Rembrandt, Sennelier)
✓ Titanium white PW6
✓ Yellow ochre PY42
✓ Burnt Sienna PR101 or PBr7
✓ Venetian red or English red PR101
✓ Permanent Alizarin crimson (Attention: do not use the traditional pigment, which is not very light-fast) PV19 or PR177
✓ Cobalt teal blue PG50
✓ French ultramarine blue PB29
✓ Raw umber PBr7
✓ Burnt umber PBr7
✓ Ivory Black PBk9
Brushes
✓ About ten filbert hog bristle brushes sizes n° 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12
✓ Some flat brushes
✓ Round sable brush or round Kolinsky sable n°10 (from the size of the nail (about one inch) or synthetic imitation
Medium
✓ Linseed stand oil
✓ Odourless mineral spirits
✓ Safflower oil
Surface
✓ Linen canvas, fine grain universal coating
✓ Canson oil-acrylic oil paper Figueras
Others
✓ Palette
✓ Foam and spalter brushes
✓ Palette knife in the shape of a water drop
✓ A few small pots, containers, jars…
✓ Paper towels

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Thanks for watching !

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