In Pursuit Of True Painting Together

In the fall of last year, I joined a Discord community of young visual artists formed around an american painter who lives in France: Paul Rhoads. It was new to me to find a group of like-minded artists. I had been quite alone with my artistic goals before. Instead of the desert of contemporary art, I had finally found an oasis where real learning and an honest exchange of ideas was possible. Quite soon, a channel called Composition Club became a particularly significant forum on Paul’s server, where we posted pictures of our current compositions and painting plans. I participated in the discussion and received a lot of useful feedback.

Soon we decided to choose a topic from which everyone began to work on compositions with the aim of learning about the creation of so-called History Painting. History Painting used to be the most highly regarded form of painting in visual arts: a biblical, mythological or historical scene, often with a lot of psychological drama and numerous figures. We realized that we cannot revive

the tradition of noble history painting from scratch, but must start with the simplest possible subject (albeit with all the possibilities of drama). So the bible story of Potiphar’s Wife was chosen as the subject of our artistic adventure. I will not go into the story itself but only say that, in principle, the compositions were intended to depict at least two human figures, Joseph and Potiphar’s wife.*

The channel began to fill with the interpretations of Potiphar’s wife by numerous artists. Initially, the intention was to produce quick sketch drawings, and only gradually were they developed into finished paintings. Very soon, the benefits of such a virtual learning environment began to become apparent. The artists reacted to each other’s compositions, and make their own versions of them. This produced very fruitful results, and everyone’s compositions

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