Tag Archives: marrying technical prowess with the intangible

Becoming what you see….

In his book, Mastery, Robert Greene writes that it takes 10.000 hours to achieve mastery in any one field. P1160253 In painting, to reach the point where brushes become an extension of body and mind and applying paint as natural as breathing – I believe it takes that amount of dedication.

However, given that the journey of life is of greater importance than the final bow, great joy can be derived from the daily learning experience.      We never quite know what insight or revelation is just around the corner, or beyond the initial steps. 

Rapid watercolour vignette from The Art School, Olhao – http://www.artinthealgarve.com


I also believe that it is only when an artist marries technical prowess with the intangible that the real magic begins.

When we consider the following definitions of intangible:   unable to be touched, not having physical presence, ethereal, spiritual,  it’s easy to understand why this element of painting is often illusive.

I find that when I fully connect to my subject and literally feel inside of me that I become what I see….that I begin to touch on the intangible.

P1150414A Bientôt

Art on a plate

I am a great fan of the annual competition of MasterChef the Professionals shown on BBC 2 TV.    Tonight we will find out who the winner is, although I must say that all three chefs in the final are positively amazing.    I have a favourite, but they all deserve to win. 

This week, they cooked for Massimo Bottura, the chef/patron of Osteria Francescana, a three start Michelin restaurant based in Modena, Italy. 

Massimo Bottura is a chef who thinks like an artist.    He asked of the three young finalists that they let go of pure technique, and allow themselves to feel deeply about the foods they were using.    

All the elements worked in harmony and balance, both visually and taste wise. 


I was reminded of the following quote from the obituary of the great impresario, Yahudi Menuhin.   

‘It is said that Menuhin was liberated from the mundane limitations of pure technique.   His interpretation of Beethoven and especially Elgar has an incomparable and almost spiritual grace.    At such times, Menuhin was without peers in his ability to see, hear and play beyond the notes.    He was able to let go.’

Massimo Bottura asked the three young chefs to marry their technical know how with the intangible.   He asked them to pull from within and allow their creative juices to flow…..and they did. 

It was wonderful to see the joy and surprise expressed by these young chefs as they were given permission to go deeper than their normal experience.     It was an example of the creative process at its best. 



Tonight, after the final gruelling leg of the competition, the winner will be announced.

A Bientôt