From painting to art


I have just read about an artist called Bryan Saunders who paints a self portrait every day, including a series that were created after taking doses of psychoactive drugs ( ) . His story forms a chapter of Jon Ronson’s book “Lost at Sea” and is interesting reading if you have the time.

Perhaps more conservative art is to be found here on Bermuda. But there is lots, not at all surprising given the scenery and light. My first exploration was to Masterworks museum in the Botanical Gardens ( ). By chance I visited on a day when they were offering a free guided tour, so got to see not just the display but also in the temperature-controlled vault where they store the permanent collection when not on display. That was good because the current exhibition is photography which held less of interest to me at the time, knowing neither the places nor the people in the photographs. But down in the cool basement they have some beautiful canvases.

I realised how Eurocentric my art education has been – I can recognize Van Gogh, Monet, Canaletto etc. but have never heard of Winslow Homer or Charles Demuth.
(Excuse, I am apparently a scientist, and tended to do badly in art exams )

My last post managed to be a Winslow Homer painting, all on its own as I am still learning to use the software. The gallery has 3 out of his Bermuda series of 7, kept wrapped in tissue in a drawer, handled with white gloves!
Masterworks only collects art either of or inspired by Bermuda, but has amassed a collection of 1500 pieces. I would like to see them on display so will probably go back. The cafe serves American- Danish pastries ie very large ones, and decent coffee.

There is a National Art Gallery which I have yet to visit, saving it for a rainy day. I was thinking of bringing out some art stuff and doing some painting of my own – is the creativity in the water, the air, or the person? I wonder if I could paint something and claim it is the influence of my medication and get famous like Bryan Saunders?

Thinking about art reminds me of the PBL (problem- based – learning) case at med school where the patient was named after the child artist Marla Olmsted. I wonder if the students ever noticed that half of that module had patients named after artists? Marla was supposedly a child prodigy abstract painter at the age of 4 – I remain sceptical but it seems she now has a Facebook page (I thought you had to be 14 to get one – she was born in 2000) and is still painting.
The PBL case by the way was nothing about art, the eventual diagnosis was meningitis (whoops, spoiler for future MBBS students) with an assortment of learning objectives (LOBs) none of which explored abstract art, unfortunately.

It is supper time now, trying out Jamaican Curry Spices today – no I am not cooking, that, along with painting, is not my forte.


3 thoughts on “From painting to art

  1. Grandpa Sparkles

    I wasn’t sure about the drug-induced self portrait series. Good idea, but not sure about all the drugs selected. Okay, LSD is going to make a difference, but huffing gas and NOX? The effects are pretty short lived… he’d have to be puff-puff-puffing to maintain the difference from normality throughout the drawing. Maybe he did that? Anyway his paintings seemed very different each time but you couldn’t attribute that to the drugs alone given that there was no established baseline of ‘normal’ to start with…… oh, wait. This isn’t a trial employing scientific method, is it. It’s art. Disregard the above, please.


  2. Becky

    You have to be joking (ok, I take your point about the cooking!) – you used to be soooo good at drawing. Just about getting inspired and going for it. Go KT go x



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