The “Brushstroke Pattern” & Progress in Arts : Offering Awareness

As soon as you choose a domain in History : the art of war, a country, Swedish movies or the way people built boats, you learn many things, one of them being “the progress”. Then you take your magnifier…

In Art History, you can study colors or perspective or the way artists paint clouds, but you have always in mind this pattern : each important artist pushes a lever, “the progress” it is. “What’s new here?” is the main thing.

Today I watch the brushstrokes. Painters use paintbrushes, and, man, there was a moment when one should not show the brushstrokes…

Ingres, in the XIXth Century, was like the “guardian of academic orthodoxy” against the crazy romantics. Classicism, it’s the word, and it was gorgeous :


Shadings, it’s the word. The art of painting as the art of “not showing it’s painted”.

Then came the romantics and the realists and then the impressionists and this strange modern idea against “classicism” : showing to the audience it’s painted.

This is a portrait made by Manet :


This painter knew precisely how to paint beautiful perfect things, skin and eyes and flowers and fabrics. He learnt it for years! But all along his career he became to do this : showing it’s made, it’s a painting!

Yes it leads to Van Gogh :


Or Marquet :


Hmmm : as the photography had appeared to “capture” reality, painters began to quit this path to explore other ways. It’s Art saying it’s Art. It captured something else, a mood, a moment, an atmosphere…

Further? Auerbach?


I let to decide where you can go on this road. Franz Kline?


Maybe Nicolas de Stael?


Painting with a knife…

Hey! It’s only a few rectangles of painting, right? So… How do you know it’s a village, with trees and houses? This village was painted in 1954 and is called Menerbes.

I love this little pattern, which is :

“I show you something and I don’t cheat : I make you aware it’s made”

Like in the movies, when a character talks to the audience, breaking the Fourth Wall ( ). Like in a novel, when a character knows he’s a character or talks to the reader. Like when a teacher asks them little students about teaching and ways to do it in acts…

Offering Awareness

It’s a tool and a good one :

  • You address your audience as smart people.
  • You also invite them to think, instead of being hypnotized.
  • You make them smile… right?

In your field (marketing? blogging? poetry?), how could you do that? Why? Could it go wrong, or too far? How?

2 thoughts on “The “Brushstroke Pattern” & Progress in Arts : Offering Awareness

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