To appreciate beauty is to appreciate art. The process of appreciation of an art starts with the scrutiny of the painter and his background. This is followed by checking on other artworks the artist made or by other artists with a similar style and design. If there is none, the focus will be on the art at hand. It is visually judged by its beauty and appearance at first viewing.

To evaluate art, familiarity with artistic composition is needed. It will address questions, like what is the subject of the piece, what is the focal point of interest, are there depth and variety, size, shapes, directional lines, color, and value, what is the meaning presented, and what impact does it give? To an evaluator such questions, among others, would evoke interest and assessment of the work, leading to an appreciation of the art itself and admiration for the painter for his craft, or a critique for the work and dislike of the artist’s preference. More often than not, a work of art gets a visual assessment than a thorough evaluation for lack of resource materials and the observer’s incapacity to value art.

Art critics, however, go to extra lengths of analysis, evaluation, severe criticism and rejection. Even masterpieces of great painters, like Picasso and van Gogh, were not exempted from rejection by hardcore critics (cf. Agora Gallery).

Art criticism can make or unmake a painter. Rejected pieces are great losses for painters who had dreamed of selling their works. There are works of art, though, which were not approved by critics before, but are now enjoying gains, like those of van Gogh (cf. Agora Gallery). It would really depend on the buyer whether the painting appeals to his sense of taste and preference, not minding what critics would say. For a collector of art, impression is the first criterion for purchase.

Painters would usually welcome the critique as part of their struggles to make better designs. Rejection is an opportunity for them to move forward with a new mental picture of the next work of art. The passion does not stop with the rejection. It is refueled and reignited so that the next work would be an improvement of the rejected piece.

There are artists, though, who take rejection badly and stop doing their craft. These artists need the support of stronger peers. Most of the great painters had their struggles but they persevered and carried on with more determination and enthusiasm. They knew how much they were worth and no amount of negativism could topple their passion for art.

Any artist should, likewise, learn from the masters to keep moving forward. Art is evolving and so should the artist. He should be his own avid critique and appraiser of his masterpiece. The artist in him should forever live on and his passion for art should not ever be extinguished but keep on burning. While there is life, there is art. Where there is art, there is beauty and life.

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