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Everything posted by Jonathan

  1. Jonathan


    A few samples of my work: "Pensive" Acrylic and Colored Pencil on Art Board © 1999 Jonathan R. Smith "Resolve" Oil on Board © 2002 Jonathan R. Smith "Azaleas" Oil on Board © 2004 Jonathan R. Smith "GT" Oil on Canvas (detail of a portrait in progress) © 2006 Jonathan R. Smith
  2. Michael D writes: So, when the masses hear Michael D's views that anyone can become the next Einstein or Michelangelo, and they ask him why he hasn't done so, and he answers, "Just because a person is capable of great things doesn't mean that he owes it to himself to do them," will they be inspired to start working really hard at developing their abilities, or will they become hopeless and lazy, reciting Michael's words that just because one could doesn't mean that one ought to? J
  3. Shayne wrote: I don't know where you're getting that. No one is saying that anyone shouldn't try to achieve great things, or that effort is useless. My recognizing that Millais, at the age of 6, was able to draw better than most adult artists, and that he was good enough to be accepted at the Royal Academy at 11, and my recognition that there are focused adults who have yet to accomplish feats of similar greatness, and that perhaps they never will, even with 10 times the amount of time and effort, doesn't mean that it is impossible for them to achieve at a very high level, or even to eventual
  4. Angie, I wouldn't dismiss a person's accomplishments because he isn't famous, wealthy, socially adept or anything like that. If Shayne and Michael were living in poverty while quietly matching Edison's creativity in the privacy of their attics during their spare time, I'd respect their achievements. Profoundly. Just to be clear, I'm really not trying to piss on Shayne and Michael or their accomplishments. Without knowing anything about them other than what I've read here, I'd guess that they're probably very bright, creative and capable in their chosen vocations. For all I know, they could be
  5. Shayne wrote: OK. Perhaps I was wrong to assume that if you or Michael were great achievers in the way that we've been talking about on this thread -- if you were contemporary Mozarts, Einsteins, Millais or Rands -- then I probably would have heard of your accomplishments. If my assumption was wrong, then, hey, great, please tell us about your inventions, discoveries or creations. But if I was correct and you haven't reached the level of those thinkers and creators, I'm just asking why you haven't. I'm not trying to be insulting. It's just hard for me to imagine Objectivists who know that the
  6. Shayne and Michael Dickey, May I ask why, if you think that anyone can become world-class great, you haven't become great at anything? If you're upset that people who believe in innate differences such as talent are just looking for a way to excuse laziness, what excuse do you prefer to use to explain why you haven't achieved greatness? Why have talented individuals become world-class creators and achievers by the time they were half your age, yet you're still just non-great-Shayne and non-great-Michael? Are you saying that you chose to be lazy, that you knowingly chose not to fully develop yo
  7. Victor: What I was getting at is that a painting style, like Gary Kelley's or Tamara de Lempicka's, which is fairly realistic but has been influenced by cubism, can be just as much an intentional distortion as caricature, and the cubism-like distortion can be employed for the same reasons. Victor: As I said, I think you make a good case. And, actually, I think that there are many, many serious fans of visual art who would also agree with you. A good example: I've seen some of Daumier's caricatures displayed at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. No one there seemed to believe that the works
  8. Thanks for your interest. I might post some scans of my work sometime. J
  9. Victor, I think you present a very good case, and I appreciate your seriousness and passion. The art of yours that I've seen is clearly not low-grade amusement park or mall kiosk stuff, where, as you say in your article, the artists work in nothing but generalized formulas and cliched distortions. More importantly to me, the thoughtfulness with which you seem to ponder the concept or theme of what you're bringing to a painting is complemented by a real understanding of serious art essentials - lighting, color modulation, brushwork, etc. I look at your work and recognize that you understand tec
  10. Victor, I work as an illustrator doing mostly 3D rendering and animation, but I also do some fine art painting, sculpting and photography. I prefer realistic styles, but I sometimes explore other modes if the subject calls for it. Btw, I've notice that a lot of the work that you've posted here doesn't include info about which media you've used. Are you working mostly in oil on canvas? J
  11. Victor: Well, thank you, but I don't feel that I have a great sum of knowledge, just an intense passion for the subject. Why does it seem to you that I'm not a visual artist? J
  12. Maybe a better way of looking at "talent" is to say that those whom we see as being naturally good at something actually have an innate lack of incompetence. I suck at math, and always have. I tried very hard in school, but could barely manage to be average at math up until junior high, after which I could no longer rise to the level of average. I'm totally incompetent at it. I'm less naturally incompetent at history, I'm only somewhat naturally incompetent at basketball and music, and I'm almost completely lacking in natural incompetence at visual art. J
  13. I always find it hard to rate someone as "the best," and that's true with caricaturists. I think Hirschfeld was definitely one of the best, but I can't rate his work as being better than Mort Drucker's from the 70s, including his MAD magazine stuff, or better than C. F. Payne's work over the past dozen years (not including his Rockwellian Reader's Digest work, which I'm not a fan of). I'd say that Hirschfeld's work was the most stylistically distinct, Drucker was the most prolific and versatile (his work ranged from full-blown, full-color images to a style similar in its minimalism to Hirschfe
  14. Bob Campbell: It's not too late to get in on the fun and enter to win fabulous prizes:
  15. I voted for Ben Kimball, and I urge everyone else to do the same. In my judgment, anyone who votes for Jenna or abstains from voting has no understanding of the practical role of philosophy in man's actual life—which means that he does not understand the philosophy of Objectivism, except perhaps as a rationalistic system detached from the world. J
  16. So does this mean that "Have you heard DIM?" is about to become the new "Have you read PARC?"? J
  17. Rich wrote, I feel the same way. I don't like most of Pollock's work, but two or three stand out. Undetectable to whom? Beetlejuice, or serious Pollock fans and collectors? Actually, I don't know that it would prove anything one way or the other. Even reputable critics and scholars of realistic art have had as difficult a time as Wendy the Retard would have separating great originals from crappy forgeries. A good example is the work of Dutch art forger Han van Meegeren who fooled serious art critics with his cheesy knock-offs of Vermeer, Hals, Metsu and others. His proportions were awkward,
  18. I remember seeing a compilation of interviews in which Russian leaders credited/blamed the Beatles for playing a part in bringing down the Soviet Union. Contraband Beatles recordings gave millions of Russians a sense of hope and an idea of what the world might be like where fun, happiness and freedom were the norm. J _____ Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe Pools of sorrow, waves of joy are drifting through my open mind Possessing and caressing me Jai guru de va om Nothing's gonna change my world Nothing's gonna ch
  19. Barbara wrote, Barbara, If you haven't already, you should invite your young friends to come and visit with us on OL. J
  20. One thing that never seemed to get discussed seriously on SOLO back during the Peron ordeal (unless I missed it) was what should be the age of consent according to Objectivist principles. I don't know where those who were the loudest during the Peron discussion stand on the issue. Do Perigo, Cresswell and the rest of the Sub Optimal Little Ogres agree with Bill Dwyer (the person who is responsible for bringing the Peron issue to the attention of the Objectivist online community) that it might not be unreasonable to establish the age of consent at puberty, or do they think that Dwyer, and anyon
  21. It's been very long time since I read it, but I seem to remember that Hedrick Smith's The Russians was very good. You should be able to pick up an inexpensive used copy from online book stores. J
  22. Okay, so Victor is giving Hsieh the impression that he is creepily obsessed with her, and now we learn that not only did Victor plagiarize the piles-of-skulls idea, but he probably burglarized the Cox & Forkum studio to do so. Plus he's Canadian, and as we all know, Objectivism holds that the safety and rights of any one American outweigh the rights of all foreigners combined. So I think this all adds up to Victor's behavior meeting the Biddle Standard ("anything that we so much as feel might conceivably pose even a remote threat"). Clearly the Proper Objectivist thing to do is to advocate
  24. Brant wrote, Nor can you really judge the quality of anyone's work based on small scans or web images, especially when they're in black and white. I've seen large-scale color versions of two of Frank's paintings, and I thought they looked pretty good. It's been a long time, so I can't be sure, but I think that Serenity was one of them, and the other was of a male figure in a similar pose, which seemed to be a companion piece. And something just clicked: If I'm remembering correctly, both nudes (or similar paintings) appear briefly in James Valliant's Ideas in Action interview with Leonard Pei