mike tremblay

In the beginning, there was abstraction

The earliest cave paintings were abstract. Now we can move on and reappraise the historical bias toward figurative and representational art. The early humans painted what was natural. Abstractions!

Artistic Plagiarism: a commentary

I wrote an opinion piece in the Art of England (issue 77,  January 2011) on the issue of artistic plagiarism called “On Learning to Steal”. I start by musing on the usefulness of students learning art by copying works in art galleries. You know the story, littered around the floor… Read More »Artistic Plagiarism: a commentary

Feel the fear and paint it

Marion Milner, a celebrated child psychoanalyst wrote of her own creative anxieties in her book On Not Being Able to Paint (Heineman, 1950, but still available). Fear is embedded in much of the writing on creativity, mainly because creativity is a public expression of internal life. It is a form… Read More »Feel the fear and paint it

Frankenfolks can be artists too!

“Frankenfolks” can be artists too!” Originally published in Art of England, Issue 86, 2011. Reproduced with permission. Are older people curiosities, especially the long-lived? Do we see them as ‘marvellous’ simply for their fact of survival. Perhaps instead, we trap others in the medico-social web of nursing homes, expensive end-of-life… Read More »Frankenfolks can be artists too!

The mind in another cave

Another early scratching of an early human endeavouring to capture the external world has been found in Wales (2011). What was this person thinking, and why did he or she even do this? What is particularly interesting, and assuming this is about 14,000 years ago, is that with visual forms,… Read More »The mind in another cave

How to swing the arts funding axe

No doubt many in the arts community are concerned at rising levels of public sector austerity. For many their very existence depends on public funding of one sort or another. Few, though, will of necessity understand the underlying logic why there are public funding programmes for the arts in the… Read More »How to swing the arts funding axe