Vivez Bien * Live Well

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Appreciating Art

I have been going to art classes for a few years now and aside from improving my own painting skills, I have gained a whole new appreciation of art and what goes into creating a beautiful painting. 

I also realise that appreciation of art is a very personal thing. A painting that speaks to me, might not speak to you in the same way. It isn't always easy to establish why we like one painting and don't like another. What I do know, however, is that, in general, while I can appreciate the talent that goes into creating them, I  don't really like paintings that look too much like photographs. Realism is the art style where the subject of the painting looks very much like it appears in real life. Personally, I often find this style of art lacking in "atmosphere"....too perfect in a way.

I am also not a big fan of very abstract art where there is no real indication of what the painting is supposed to depict. They often, in my opinion, look like a toddler has taken up a paint brush and produced an accidental mess of paint! (I suspect I am going to get some disagreement on this one.) My preference is for paintings that are done in a painterly style, where the brush strokes are very evident, where there are blurred edges, where there is an absence of perfection. The essence of the subject is captured rather than every detail and the most important quality of the painting is the mood that is evokes.

All the beautiful paintings in this post are the work of my teacher, friend and talented artist, Belinda Ardé. 

She produces the most exquisite still lives...

....soulful landscapes...

....amazing portraits....

...of people... and of beloved pets.

Beautiful nudes....

...and the best family portraits I've ever seen.

Belinda has a website (here) where she can be contacted regarding paintings for sale, art classes or commissions. She is based in Cape Town, but has recently done a commission for a family in the USA, so if you live abroad and love her work,  don't let an ocean get in the way! I have included her details on my sidebar for future reference.

Wishing you a wonderful Thursday

Till next time

Sharon x


  1. How fortunate you are to have such a gifted teacher. I love the light and softness in Belinda Arde's paintings. And the colors are vivid yet ethereal.

  2. Hey Sharon! it was great discovering Belinda’s artwork i absolutely love her soft blurry poetic style. xo sandra

  3. Ok….would she like to show in my shop as well? These are phenomenal!!! I love them!!! So glad you shared this as all I do these days is seek out and interview artists! Our big Open House is next week to introduce the three new artists we are now carrying…but your instructors' work is right up there with them! WOW!!! Thanks for your sweet comments on my blog! i always appreciate them!

  4. Belinda's work is amazing...
    You made me laugh at your take on abstract paintings... although I must admit that there are serene and calm abstract paintings that I like a lot especially the ones with the colors of the sea although most abstract paintings I don't understand.

  5. I am always grateful for the wonderful blog.
    Japan is a favorite of the Japanese autumn now.
    It is very nice autumn in Kyoto.
    I'm full of dazzling foliage.
    Please search the Kyoto, Japan on a PC.
    I also referred to the fall of appetite.
    It is a wonderful painting.
    I have been teaching painting to students in the school days I also work part-time. I am very nostalgic
    I'm sorry I was wrong spell.
    Ryoma Sakamto.

  6. Belinda's work is so very beautiful. Thank you so much for introducing her to us.

  7. You are VERY lucky to have her for a teacher! I do love abstract art, but I also love these. I love the subtlety of the technique combined with the vibrant colors - just lovely!

  8. Sharon her work is beautiful. I love her soft ethereal style. The landscapes and fruits are my favorites. I have such an appreciation for art as I cannot draw a stick person. We would love to see some of your work as well!

  9. I very much like her landscapes.

  10. I am with you Sharon! I haven't taken a class in years, but try to do one or two pieces a year. Your teacher is a wonderful artist; love her palate. Lucky you to have her for instruction! Show us your work sometime too. xob

  11. These are some of the most beautiful paintings I have ever seen. Love them all!