Art is Mastery

Michelangelo\'s Pieta

“If people knew how hard I have had to work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem wonderful at all.” -  Michelangelo

While some people can be preternaturally talented artists, knowing immediately how to draw a stunning likeness or paint using a vivid color arrangement, this is not the case for most people, including some of history’s best artists.  For an artist is only as good as the tools that they have to work with for those tools are what shape the art into being what it is.  If the tools are shoddy or the artist doesn’t know how to properly use them, the artwork will suffer.

The artist will have their vision held firmly in their head.  To get that image out to share with the world, however, they will need to use a physical medium to express themselves.  Exploration of this physical medium is a great way for artists to come into themselves, but only though lots of study and practice will they be able to use these tools and this physicality to take the vision from their head and shape it, paint it, or express it for the world.  Only by proper study, dedication, and eventual mastery will an artist be able to take a vision from their head and share that vision with the world.

6 Responses to “Art is Mastery”

  1. Joan DaGradi Says:

    To hear Michelangelo express so eloquently that talent is not enough, gives me renewed hope and enthusiasm. “Only by proper study, dedication, and eventual mastery will an artist be able to take a vision from their head and share that vision with the world”. EXACTLY. Your quote should be prominently placed in all art schools. Sometimes the road can seem very, very long, but there are no shortcuts or tricks, other than study, trial and error. Thank you for publishing this great quote and entry.

  2. Artsz Says:

    Thanks Joan. Many people believe that artists are just made of talent and there is much more than talent …

  3. Nkolika Anyabolu (MD) Says:

    “For an artist is only as good as the tools that they have to work with for those tools are what shape the art into being what it is.”

    Isn’t what we see now contrary to the above statement. Artists’ tools have evolved much more than what Michelangelo used in his time but the works we see now are in no way close to what he and others in his time did.

  4. Artsz Says:

    @Nkolita: I partially agree with you… but…

    If Michelangelo was born today, do you think he would be the same artist (or would produce the same artworks) he produced 500 years ago?

    or… if he had then the tools we have today, do you think he would have been a better artist?

  5. Nkolika Anyabolu (MD) Says:

    Naa…….I strongly feel his art (along with the art of his contemporaries) was influenced by the time they lived in. A time when man was more in tune with God and the very essence of creation.

    If he had the tools we had now…………maybe his art wouldn’t have the kind of essence they have cos he probably wouldn’t have had to work so hard.

    Just my thinking………….

  6. Artsz Says:

    @Nkolita – Thanks for your opinion.

    I agree with you that his art was influenced by the time he lived in. That’s the whole point. I think that if Michelangelo lived today, he probably would not be a well known artist, since the art he was great at, is not appreciated (if done) today.

    I disagree on the second point though. Michelangelo was a perfectionist and he would have never settled for less. I think that with better tools he would have either gone to more detail or he would have produced more artworks than he did (since he could have worked faster).

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