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Fish taxidermy/painting is NOT art

Discussion in 'Fish Taxidermy' started by Kevin Neidigh, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. AnglingArtisan

    AnglingArtisan Well-Known Member

    JL, Mudbat, Megan :) and 1 other person like this.
  2. jemmick

    jemmick Active Member

    Scale tipping a little hard on the front ,was it Rich??!!
    Cecil likes this.

  3. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    You cannot have it both ways John. It's either Art or it's not regardless of how good a job one does...
  4. Steven Klee

    Steven Klee Steven Klee Studios

    I disagree. Just because a number of people perform the task of painting a canvas, sculpting a model or mounting a fish does not give them all a free pass as art....... or not....

    Not everyone has the capacity to create art. If they could, there would be no need for critics and no weight given to a critic's opinion in any major publication, showing or competition. Anyone who has an education in the art field knows no one goes very far without a critic's approval. With over 40 years experience in the art field, I've spent a considerable amount of time in and out of art guilds spanning 3 states. I can assure you, anyone here who thinks they know what a critic will consider art, or any derivative there of, at any given moment is only fooling themselves...

    To all of you nay sayers who think the procedure of painting the scales on a reproduction fish is paint by numbers and not art regardless of who does it, let Larry tople, Nick Laferriere or Thomas Kinkade paint those scales and see if a judge or critic might contradict your opinion.

    The teacher has implemented her own opinion of what art should be thus stifling the student. I can't tell you how many times I contradicted my art teachers in school and won major awards. Including winning a full art scholarship for a rendition of a pirate in a tv guide at the ripe old age of 6.

    To truly teach, one must give educated opinion while still letting the student learn from their own endeavors. To truly learn, one must not believe they are educated enough to assume the outcome of ANY situation.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
    JL, FishArt and 3bears like this.
  5. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    Interesting opinion Steven. Also interesting is we have pretty similar experiences in the Art world except the pirate deal (I thought was a scam back then btw). Didn't know they actually gave out scholarships! But, I too have won an Art contest or two back in the day. My best accomplishment I placed 3rd in an all Chicago area grammar school Art contest for my age at 8 years old. Yeah, that's going back pretty far - lol! I guess if you include that I'm at 48 years of experience in the Art world - lol!

    Some counterpoints to your comments. If a fish is considered Art as you say where is the composition? Sticking a fish on a piece of driftwood??? lol.

    BTW, my "paint by numbers" comment was an exaggeration to make a point.

    Do you also have a teaching degree in Art Steven? Reason I ask is b/c I do and I wholeheartedly disagree with you on your comment that the teacher is stifling this student. If anything she is allowing this student to grow in her creativity.

    A lot of folks on here think that Art students in h.s. are incapable of higher, creative thought and should focus on techniques. The latter is true to an extent. The former is the norm in high schools today - h.s. Art students are considerably more talented today than most here think (I believe). Most advanced Art students in h.s. I know could learn how to paint a walleye replica with me in a day. AND, their fish will look better than probably 80% of the folks on here! THAT is how much sooner kids are learning things today. Heck, I taught an aUtistic teen how to paint his walleye and his fish looked better than half the fish on here (or more!!!) So, are their walleye replicas all pieces of Fine Art? Sorry, I don't think so. They are simply copying and there's very little artistic expression and (again) where's the composition and creative latitude???

    I do agree with you about learning from Art critics to advance. You are 100% correct. AND, I think that's why many on here fail to grasp what some of us are attempting to say regardless of which side of the fence one stands on with this topic. How many on here actually do flat Art or other Art mediums (besides taxidermy) AND also have had their arses ripped apart by qualified Art critics? Taxidermy competitions don't count! If those here haven't had that experience(s) then their opinion is based on their one sided experiences and quite frankly ignorance on the Fine Art side. Some might be offended by that comment, others should realize they have quite a bit to learn. But, probably not though because there is that ego thing going on here and not too many are open to critiques w/o their feelings getting hurt - lol! Like I said it took me til my 4th year at Cornell before the light bulb went on. Either I'm really "slow" or there's a LOT more to creating "Fine Art" than most people realize. JMO for what it's worth......
  6. 3bears

    3bears Well-Known Member

    Marty, I think you read more into what some of us think about the abilities of kids. I for one do believe that some are capable of producing pieces that would fit the label of "Fine art" but, that is not the majority. I just have a different opinion, as you know, of how to let students reach their potential. Most humans learn better with guidance not dominance, or strict adherence to some perceived interpretation of a "Rule". That is my opinion, gained from multiple decades of life experiences and like your's it ain't worth chit, ultimately.
    What actually happened Kevin?
    FishArt likes this.
  7. FishArt

    FishArt Well-Known Member

    3Bears you wouldn't believe how some H.S. students can replicate what they see in pencil that almost looks like a photo! My niece - who started drawing more seriously in pencil at age 14 is one of them! Very cool and I am encouraging her to pursue Art. But, drawing from a photo and copying a photo - any Art critic is going to rip her a new one in college! And she should be encouraged in h.s. to start thinking outside the box (if she wants to learn), but she is home-schooled so I don't know how that works. The typical comments she'll get from a qualified Art critic will be "If you wanted to reproduce something to look exactly like a photo then why not just take a photo???" Been there, done that!

    All good teachers guide but they also challenge their students. Being careful not to put things too far out of their grasp. I still contend this topic is less about "Is it Art?" and more about learning. Forcing her to do something else more creative is learning and helping her reach her potential IMO...
  8. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

  9. 1fish2fish

    1fish2fish Well-Known Member

    I'm not familiar with art critics determining what IS art. Definitively, focus is on determining the merits of a work and deciding if it should receive praise or reward. This is of course verifiable by dictionary.

    In the case in question, the "teacher" has evaluated something he/she has not even seen. What attempt to teach has this "educator" made? Seems he/she is a critic, but of a different camp, defined by unfavorable opinion and capricious judgement.

    As musical composition is combination of notes, paintings are a combination of colors, textures, and optical effects. By definition, composition is the way in which a whole or mixture is made up. Thusly, pigments, color, texture, reflection, refraction, transparency, translucency, opacity are all in play in a representative piece of fish art. There isn't a need for habitat to fulfill any compositional component of art.

    One particular fish artist once remarked that maybe, just maybe, a piece of his fish taxidermy might evoke the question, how'd he do that? That's a hell of a lot more meritorious and than the "why the hell did he/she do that?" that much fine art leaves viewers wondering.
  10. Steven Klee

    Steven Klee Steven Klee Studios

    EXACTLY where I was headed with it Scott, but articulated much better than I.
    3bears likes this.