The First ChallengeAs always, the first challenge was two hours. The aim was to capture a flamingo on canvas. Obviously, the notion that the media used was the artist's choice (from the first week) has gone out the window and we're back to oils and acrylics.
|Flamingos at Whipsnade Zoo|
- give their animals a sense of life
- accuracy through observation
- avoiding a cliche interpretation of a flamingo
It's all too easy to use cliches, but to actually look at a flamingo and turn that into a convincing painting, that's very difficult indeed.As if we all walk around with cliche caricatures of flamingos in our heads all the time?
If it was a cat or dog I might understand the point - but flamingos? Really? (PS Suman found one later!)
It began to make sense when the cliche/caricature theme kept coming up throughout the programme. I came to the conclusion he was just parroting a pre-agreed theme rather than telling us his own thoughts.
The other really irritating nonsensical comment he made was during the judging.
It's a portrait and by deciding to make it a portrait we get a sense of character to give it the spark of life which is the thing we were really looking forObviously he's fixated with criteria and has never seen a portrait which portrays somebody dead from the neck up. It's NOT the genre of portraiture that gives the spark of life, it's an artist's talent, skill and experience!
So far I'm totally at a loss as to why he's a judge of a challenge/competition like this which basically focuses on the development of basic painting skills by amateur artists.
While he does make some intelligent comments, he frequently comes up with comments about the paintings which are completely at odds with the other judges who are actual professional artists. I back Daphne and Lachlan - I know them both personally and, although they won't always agree with one another on everything, they are both practising artists and both know what they are talking about! By way of contrast, I looked up David Dibosa's CV again and there's not a jot of practical experience as an artist in it. He's an academic, an art historian and a curator and while I might be very happy with him taking up the cudgels with Andrew Graham Dixon, I really don't see what he has to add to this programme for amateur artists - apart from possibly meeting the BBC's diversity challenge.
This interview with him summed up to me why he is so wrong for this programme - he simply hasn't got a clue about amateur artists or what sort of messages they need to hear!
Was it tough being a judge?However, I come back to the query I raised last week as to why does this programme need SEVEN people other than the participant artists on screen?
It was more serious than I expected it to be. I thought it would be more light-hearted but the contestants were so passionate about their art that it varied from shock and surprise when they got through to distraught contestants in tears when they didn’t.
Would you like to do more TV judging?
Yes! It’s fascinating to see amateur artists progress at that speed. It would be a pleasure to do something similar. I also loved the glamour and being made a fuss of – it’s a luxury having someone always checking you’re looking your best!