painting, Storm in the Garden by Peter Whiteman‘Grammar provides painting with its concordances, dialectics its consequences, rhetoric it’s persuasiveness, poetry it’s inventiveness, public speaking its energy, arithmetic it’s numbers, music it’s consonances, symmetry it’s measures, architecture it’s proportions,sculpture it’s forms, perspective and optics its enlargements and reductions, and finally astronomy and astrology it’s signs for recognising the constellations; who, then, can doubt that as the sum of all it’s arts, it is the principal art, which en compasses all the others? (Calderon de la Barca ).

The spiritual quest defines all the great art  - all art that lasts. But in secular age the liberal crusade against religion has also taken a toll on art.

Historically the great art of the west has had religious themes,  either explicit or implicit. As a result of its spiritual bankruptcy, art is losing it prominence in our culture.

Sneering at religion is juvenile, symptomatic of a stunted imagination. Yet that critical posture has become de rigeuer the art world  - simply another reason for the shallow derivatives of so much contemporary art, which has no big ideas left (Camille Paglia)

Painting is definitely not dead.

Photography and computer aided research are useful tools.
‘The camera cannot compete with the brush and palette as long as it cannot travel to heaven or hell’ (Edward Munch).

‘All photographs are there to remind us of what we forget. In this -as in other ways – they are the opposite of painting’ (John Berger).
view John Berger’s website

‘I paint what cannot be photographed, that which comes from the imagination or from dreams, or from an unconscious drive.’(Man Ray).

‘Some paint comes across directly on to the nervous system and other paint tells you the story in a long diatribe through the brain’.(Francis Bacon).
I like to think that the best  painting is capable of both at the same time?

‘Artists exist on the borderline of severe psychotic anxieties, if they succeed in symbolising them, then they can produce great art – but if not they can be in trouble’. (Hannah Segal).

There is little evidence of Soutine in Ceret. Art criticism/ vested interests?

‘For me, painting is a way to forget life. It is a cry in the night, a strangled laugh’. (Georges Rouault).

‘All art is exorcism. I paint dreams and visions of my time. Painting is the effort to produce order, order in yourself. There is much chaos in me, much chaos in our time.’(Otto Dix).

‘ I don’t paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality’ (Freda Kahlo).