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It is of little use giving exact quantities, since us. Herein lies the whole question of artistic pro-
satisfactory working depends upon all sorts of con- duction. Yet that is worth learning which can be
ditions, constantly varying, such as the temperature, learnt about any form of art, even if it only enables
quality of the materials, nature of tools, &c, none us to realise its true nature, and something of the
of which behave exactly in the same way on all laws of its expression ; which knowledge, at least if
occasions, and must necessarily lead to different it does not confer creative power, greatly increases
results in different hands. the intelligent pleasure of appreciation.
It is only personal and constant experience of Walter Crane.
the subtle mechanical and material conditions
which are inseparable parts of the production of all
work of the nature of art, which can really deter-
mine their fitness to each individual worker, who
must, sooner or later, if his work is alive, make
certain variations to suit his own idiosyncrasies.
It is perfectly hopeless to attempt to pursue any
form of art on purely mechanical principles and
precepts. A few plain and practical directions—as
to a traveller seeking his road in an unknown land
—and the rest must be learnt step by step in expe-
rience, and as much as can be gathered from
opportunities of seeing the work actually grow
under skilled hands, from which indeed everything
learnable can be learnt.
Even complete mastery over materials is, after
all, not everything. In fact, from the artistic point I i Exhibition is the point at which
XHIBITION. BY D. S. MacCOLL.
painter and public meet, with or with-
out the interference of the critic ; it is a
mixture of an entertainment and a shop, and the
peculiar nature of the entertainment and the
trade raises questions about the conduct of the
exhibition which the critic, who merely gleans in
the galleries what he considers good pictures, does
not necessarily touch upon. But he reflects at
times with gloom on those matters of art-politics,
on the poor chance poetic painting stands in the
exhibition as compared with the article of com-
merce which is made to sell.
The good picture, like the bad, is exhibited to
sell, but it was made to please—the painter.
Therefore, if it does not please the public the
painter has no right to feel aggrieved except
against the general constitution of things. Nobody
is bound to be entertained by good painting. To
wean people from skittles on the plea that going to
see good pictures is elevating, like going to church,
is to raise a false issue. " The world," remarked
an occasional writer on art the other day, " is too
big, too grand, too serious to be ruled by technique."
oi view, work only begins then, as the form of Nothing could be truer; and it is equally true that
expression follows the power of speech. Design the world is too big, too gross, too humorous to
has much analogy to poetry: unless the motive is be ruled by painting, whether with or without
real and organic ; unless the thought and the form technique. It is ruled more effectively by the
have something distinctive and individual in them ; policeman; and at the utmost he may be induced
unless the feeling is true, the work fails to interest to wink while such private sports as literature and