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  • Writer's pictureJules

Yeah, I meant to do that.

Intentionality. Is this the difference between amateur and professional? Child and adult? Can two outputs that look exactly the same be viewed with different merit, just because of the intention of its creator?

Years ago, I exhibited a small-ish oil painting at the Victor Harbor art show, where I'd done really loose swathes of paint across the canvas. You could still see the canvas grain showing through, but I liked the urgency and roughness of the look.

When I handed in the painting for it to be displayed, I saw the lady take a long hard look at that part of the painting and she exclaimed 'oh!'. What this meant, I had no idea. She didn't care to elaborate, but she took the painting all the same.

The fact of me standing there, not apologising for my work, but confidently handing it over, seemed to suggest intentionality on my part. Yes, I meant for it to look like that. I wonder, if she'd have seen it without context, without me handing it over, or in a non-art related arena (say a cafe, or someone's house), whether or not she would have viewed it differently - perhaps feeling it was unfinished.

Intentionality walks hand-in-hand with consistency. Did you mean to do it? Can you do it again?

Tornado by a small house
The grain of the canvas can be seen through the thin wash of oil paint. Yes, I liked that effect.

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