Here is the final work on the ébauche painting, titled Coffee with Rothko. I have always enjoyed Mark Rothko’s work. His paintings are surprisingly meditative and contemplative, and if you have ever been up close to one, they are very spatial with a remarkable simplicity. He could go into great descriptions about the hidden meaning and symbolism in his work, alleging his work is based on mythology and philosophy, conveying the spiritual. What Rothko’s paintings lack in skill and craftsmanship he made up for by creating a dialogue about his work and inspiring people to discern their meaning. Don’t get me wrong Rothko was one of my early artistic influences and I would love to sit down, have a cup of coffee with him and ask just how much of his rhetoric was art speak and bullshit.
Jim Serrett, Coffee with Rothko, oil on panel, 12 x 16 in, © Jim Serrett Studio
You will read over and over that art is subjective. What moves one person may not move another… on that I will agree. But there is a means by which we can quantify a work of art and it has very little to do with what explanation is written, what critics state or academics affirm about a work of art.
It is why people work hard and intensely all their lives creating art.
“He who works with his hands is a laborer.
He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman.
He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.”