The Sight & Insight Podcast

Episode 18: Experiencing Painting

July 30, 2018

"What is art? We ought to very simply let it be what the artist says it is."

—David Smith

Welcome to another podcast in the weekly series ‘Sight and Insight’ with Lorwen ‘Connie’ Nagle and David P. Curtis, both artists and teachers, as well as – in Connie’s case –psychologist, as they talk with writer and Cape Ann art historian, Judith Curtis. This week the trio discuss the topic ‘Experiencing Painting.’

Judith kicks of the discussion with reminiscences of being raised in an English household where, if they did not have original art on the wall, there were at least numerous fine prints by John Constable and A. J. Munnings. Her first art purchase, with an early pay check in her after school career, was a print of The Oyster Gatherers of Cancale by John Singer Sargent.


John Singer Sargent, Oyster Gatherers of Cancale, Oil on canvas 31 ¼ x 48 ½ in. Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

David says that experiencing painting is akin to understanding the history of the world through art, while Connie suggests that it is more a case of identifying with individual subject matter, or the feelings aroused by a particular piece.

The real question is, what do you think?

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"From the artist there is no conscious effort to find universal truth or beauty, no effort to analyze other men's minds in order to speak for them. His act in art is an act of personal conviction and identity."

—David Smith