Practice And Study Of Art
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
PRACTICAL AIM IN ART-STUDY (see STANDARDS).
In any study of art, however, it must always be borne in mind that to reach a philosophical result is not the sole or the chief aim. This aim is practical ; and it was a practical aim that first suggested this series of volumes. At a time when their writer was an author and a teacher, looking for guidance and finding none, most of the criticism of the day, whether of poetry, painting, or architecture, revealed an absence of any standards of judgment, if not a disbelief in the possibility of their existence. Indeed, some of the foremost leaders in criticism took the ground that there are no such standards, an opinion virtually maintained, despite all protests to the contrary, in what are, perhaps, the freshest and most suggestive of the books on aesthetics that have been produced even very lately.—Proportion and Harmony of Line and Color, XXVI.
PRACTICE AND ART-PRODUCTS (see also DRILL, INSPIRED, and SKILL AND REVISION).
It is true, of course, that no amount of practice can enable some to become artists, and that, in exceptional cases or upon extraordinary occasions, some may produce genuine works of art who have practised little; but, as a rule, practice is indispensable if one wish to attain the characteristics supposed to be possessed habitually by the great artists.—The Representative Significance of Form, XIII.
PRACTICE AND PROFICIENCY.
In all education, as in musical, in which everyone recognizes the fact, later proficiency is the result of early practice and patience. The expert in using all the elements of sound began his familiarity with them by being introduced to them, one by one, and over and over again, because he could not elsewise remember them; and the thrill that we get when he masters his forces is the direct result of the drill that he got from those who mastered him when a boy.—Essay on Fundamentals in Education.
PRACTICE, ITS EFFECTS See also INSPIRED, THE, and SKILL).
Exactly what was it that practice had thus done for Beethoven ? . . . It had given his fingers muscular flexibility, enabling them to sound upon an instrument what-ever notes a composition demanded. But besides this, practice had given the brain controlling his fingers what also we might term flexibility; and it had given the mind, too, lodged in his brain, a mental habit of using the right fingers in the right places, and all the fingers in the right orders of succession. Beyond this, it had enabled his mind to comprehend in a single glance large groups of notes on a printed staff and, no matter how numerous and complex, to send his knowledge of them through the nerves, and transfer them to sound with precision and yet with the rapidity of lightning. Moreover, all this, which, when he began, had involved the slow and painful process of consciously thinking of each note on a printed staff, and of each corresponding key on an instrument, practice had enabled him to do at last unconsciously at the same time that all his conscious powers were employed in giving expression to the general effect.—The Representative Significance of Form, XIII.
PRACTICE OF ELEMENTS, ESSENTIAL TO PERFECTION.
My theory is, that, in the degree in which any essential characteristic of delivery is defective, there is not a movement of the elbow, wrist, or fingers, of the lungs, larynx, palate, or tongue, which can be freed from defect except as a result of automatic action acquired through a slow and laborious practice of exercises, every feature of which has been accurately described by the instructor and put into execution by the pupil; for no matter how rapid or how slight a gesture or a tone may be, the eye or the ear will be sure to detect and feel any defect whatever in its expressional quality.—Essay on The Function of Technique.