Artists' Generosity / by Jeannine Cook

When I was hanging my art, alongside my friends, in our joint exhibition, Eight Reflections, today at the Hinesville Area Arts Council Gallery, part of the celebration, for me, was generosity of spirit.

Japanese Kanji symbol for Generosity

As all of us tried to help each other in the art gallery as the work was organised and hung, I kept noting how thoughtful and generous each artist was with the others.  It made for a very nice couple of hours as we worked.

I was reminded of an interesting snippet I read about Michelangelo.  Apparently he frequently lent his artist friends detailed studies that he had drawn to help them with their own paintings.  As David Galloway commented in his ArtNews review of "Michelangelo" the Drawings of a Genius" at the Albertina, this generosity of spirit was testimony to the "generous humanism that so vividly animates his work as a whole."

Study for the Head of Leda," Michelangelo, circa 1530. Red pencil on paper.  Image courtesy of  the Casa Buonarroti, Florence, Italy.

Perhaps we all should remember that our character and optic on life in general comes through in our art, whether we like it or not.  I think we can all think of artists whose work sings of a generous spirit, and others who definitely seem to lack that warmth in their work.