Why Masters School of Art?
There has been a quiet infiltration of modernist philosophy in art education over the past century, eroding and replacing the techniques of master artists. By omitting the foundational techniques of the artistic discipline, artists are left without the ability to communicate their vision on canvas. Their only option is to create from what is already within them, and according to Christ the inner heart of man is dark. Something never comes from nothing, order never from disorder. If you are born without sight and touch, to create an image in the likeness of something you have never seen or felt is impossible.1
To become a great artist you must assimilate information from an outside source. Becoming a master of your craft involves studying the work of masters. Modernist thought today is a rejection of the Master Artist (God), and an attack on representational art, and the great masters of old. Aristotle wrote, "Art takes nature as its model," and the Roman philosopher Senecathat, "All art is but an imitation of nature." Michelangelo said, "Art is but a shadow of the divine perfection." For this reason we look to the Master Artist and His created nature.
Laws of nature were set in place by God, as were laws of spirituality and morality. There is an inherent distortion of natural order and beauty that results from man's rebellion and self worship. Author G. K. Chesterton wrote, "Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere." Where we draw that line is dependent upon our view of existence. Thus the modernist philosophy of today is a symptom of a sick culture, where it is believed order comes from chaos and meaning from within.
You are not told how to do art, as you are not told how to live life. After all, "art and life are both subjective. What may be true for me, may not be true for you." It is held that there is no right way, therefore nothing is discouraged and the principles of art remain untaught.
Students are discouraged to draw from photographs or art in preference to drawing from life, when the apprentices of the great masters devoted a year of their life just to copying other great artists. By skipping the foundational step of learning and imprinting the artistic vocabulary of shapes and spatial relationships, aspiring artists are left without the ability to communicate anything but what comes from within, thus trapping them in the downward spiral of modernist art, moving ever toward chaos.
There is an effort underway to destroy the reputation of high renaissance artists with the slanderous claim that the only way they could produce such art was through the projection and tracing of the image. Modernists and many modern art teachers believe and put forth the notion that art can't be taught.2 Many teachers, taught by other such modernist thinkers, lack the skill themselves to impart much to their students. The few that do, are nearly always loathe to share how to get where they are, wanting people to look at their work as great. To graduate from art school is to get a degree in indoctrination. It is the blind leading the blind. Why is it everyone knows of Vincent Van Gogh and Picasso and few know of Bouguereau or Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema? The reason: Man has always wanted to revolt against God's order, and live as his own God. It is a symptom of a sick culture, and it leaves aspiring artists nowhere to turn.
Representational drawing is devalued as "photographic," "illustration" and the like. How can a representational artist thrive in such a world? Christians must draw nudes to graduate, stripping the body of it's sacredness.
We have been asleep to this problem too long, and it is time someone stood up for the minds and hearts of youth today, that they are not drowned and broken by the dark doctrines of this world, left with nowhere to turn for an education without compromising values and faith. Talented young artists are left to try and piece together centuries of artistic knowledge, in the effort to reinvent the wheel. Newton said, "I see farther because I stand on the shoulders of giants" - so, too, is our call.
There is a need for a school that returns to the masters and, most of all, to the greatest Master Artist for inspiration. It is from this need that Masters School of Art has been born. We have found working artists of the highest caliber with like-minded vision who are excited to see such a school come into being. We are called to be lights in a dark world, and it is time Christians reclaim art, a powerful means of communication. And with it, reclaim the minds of Christian youth from the poisonous doctrines of this world.
MSOA Director of Education,
1It is impossible outside the supernatural, in which case, an alternate source has seen or had the outside knowledge to create something independent of the individual. In such a case, it is not the cultured gift of intelligence and ability to capture what is seen, but the use as a conduit or instrument of another entity’s sight, skill, and creative impressions.