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The Purpose of Art

Close up of Artisanal Bread
Art – There To Confuse You

It seems that everyone has their own thoughts on the purpose of art. Wikipedia opines that “The purpose of works of art may be to communicate ideas, such as in politically, spiritually, or philosophically motivated art. It may also be to create a sense of beauty, to explore the nature of perception, for pleasure, or to generate strong emotions. The purpose may also be seemingly nonexistent.

I suppose all of that may be true, but I would venture that art may also create confusion.
Let me tell you why.
I was in a “Checkers” store the other day and spotted a range of breads in racks, behind the normal bakery counter. Pointing to the breads on the top rack I asked the lady working in the bakery if the breads were freshly baked.
“No Sir” .
“Are they yesterday’s bread?”
“No Sir, they are art breads. “
“You mean artisanal breads?”
“No sir, they are art breads. Made of plastic. Look nice – but you can’t eat them”

Q.E.D. Art is confusing.

Art - There To Confuse You - Art By Bruce
Art – There To Confuse You

Checkers. Still my favourite grocer.

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I am up to any challenge and invite you to contact me if you have a favourite image or even an idea for a painting. You can e-mail me on and I will get right back to you.

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Moravian Bell

A Creation by Warren Voight

art by bruce, landscapes,
Moravian Bell By Warren Voight

Warren Voight is an artist from the Boland area. He is equally at home with landscapes and portraits and likes a challenge. This work is an Acrylic painting on a stretched canvas and measures 40 x 30 cm. Moravian Bell comes complete with its frame. Warren can be contacted via his Face Book Page – Warren Voight Fine Arts or on his email which is wbvoight at gmail dot com

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Hermanus Fyn Arts Festival – 2019

The largest festival of its kind – 7 – 17 June 2019

Art By Bruce, Hermanus Fyn Arts, Exhibition, Music, Art, Food, Wine
Beach Scribe – Hermanus Fyn Arts

The Annual Hermanus Fyn Arts Festival will run from 7 to 17th June 2019. As always the Fyn Arts exhibition team have put to together an amazing program for the two week festival which covers Music, Performing Arts, Art in all its forms, Photography, Food and Wine, Tours, Exhibitions, Demonstrations and competitions.

Enjoy a festival of joyous South African Art in all it’s abundance, colour and tradition. The full program, Bookings, Exhibitions, Performing Artists, Accommodation opportunities, Restaurants and Tours can be found at Hermanus Fyn Arts Festival

Other Festivals and Exhibitions – Hermanus Fyn Arts 2018, Awaken (March 2019) and The Hermanus Kalfiefees due in August 2019

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Exhibition – AWAKEN

Yola Quinn Solo 14-27 March 2019

Yola Quinn Exhibition Studio Art Gallery
Awaken – Yola Quinn

The Studio Art Gallery in Simonstown is hosting a solo exhibition by well known South African Artist Yola Quinn. It runs from Thursday March 14 through March 27 and opening hours are 09:00 to 17:00.

Artist Statement

What  lies within is the most uncharted territory for me and it offers the most exciting material for my work which is in essence a map making process of a personal journey . A record of experiences that shape an ever evolving personal myth that is being lived . How do we as individuals feel into those unknown areas within ourselves . I use painting as a vehicle to not only record the journey but often  it becomes the journey itself . – Yola Quinn

You can visit
The Studio Art Gallery
Harbour Bay Centre
Cnr Dido Valley Road and Main Road

For more info call them on 021 786 9457

Other exhibitions happening shortly are at the Hermanus Fyn Arts Festival and The Kalfiefees in August 2019

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Kate Douglas Wiggin on art

An extract from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Art By Bruce, Oil Painting, landscape, Girl, Walking, Rebecca,
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm

Rebecca’s idea of being a painter like her friend Miss Ross was gradually receding, owing to the apparently insuperable difficulties in securing any instruction.

Her aunt Miranda saw no wisdom in cultivating such a talent, and could not conceive that any money could ever be earned by its exercise.

“Hand painted picures” were held in little esteem in Riverboro, where the cheerful chromo or the dignified steel engraving were respected and valued.

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm – Kate Douglas Wiggin – Chapter 16

See what Picasso and Claude Monet had to say about art. Rebecca – Girl in a pink gingham dress will soon be on my easel so please do come back in a while.

Do you have a special passage in a book that you would like brought to life in your own painting? Contact me with your passage on and lets see if we can dream up something beautiful.

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Diogenes by Jean-Léon Gérôme

Diogenes, artbybruce, Bruce Andrew
Diogenes – by Jean-Léon Gérôme – 1860 – Courtesy of the Walters Museum

Around 420 BC the Greek philosopher Diogenes walked around Athens with a lamp burning in the middle of the day. When asked why he was doing that he replied “I am searching for an honest man.” Apparently, he never found one.

I’m not decided if he really was a philosopher or if he was just plumb crazy but he certainly stirred things up in Ancient Greece. He lived in an overturned earthen wine vat, broke all the rules of civil society which today would land you in jail, and had the sharpest of wits which he often put to good use.

Alexander the Great was a big admirer of Diogenes and it is said that in a conversation Alexander had with Diogenes Alexander pronounced “If I were not Alexander I should wish to be Diogenes” to which Diogenes replied “If I were not Diogenes I would also wish to be Diogenes”.

Whether he met all the standards of being a philosopher or that he was indeed plumb crazy is open to debate but he certainly inspired a number of artists over the centuries.

This painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme in 1860 hangs in the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore US.

I really like the balance of light and dark, the contrast between curve and straight lines and the intensity of the four dogs watching Diogenes lighting his lamp.

The painting was owned for a short while by August Belmont (of horse racing fame) and from 1872 until present by members of the Walters family and the Walters Museum. I doubt that it would be for sale but hey, there’s some nice stuff on this site for sale.

Larger version of Diogenes

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Somewhere in the Western Cape

Many years ago we were doing renovations to an office of a business we had bought and behind an old steel cabinet we found a painting of what appears to be an old farmstead somewhere in the Western Cape. It was dirty with what appeared to be coffee stains, dirt and dust. We took it off to an art gallery who had it cleaned up and re framed.

It has hung in our home for 17 years. The artist’s name is almost illegible but it may be “Wildman” or something similar. It’s not important, because it’s value lies not in the artist’s name, but, (like all the other paintings we have) in the story attached to it.

Somewhere in the Western Cape
Art By Bruce, Bruce Andrew, Heart and Soul
Bruce Andrew
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Hermanus Fyn Arts – 2018

Hermanus Fyn Arts 8 to 17 June 2018

Probably the benchmark of Fine Art Festivals in Africa. Join thousands of art lovers from around the country and enjoy myriad of styles, themes, mediums and the characters of the art world. All forms of human endeavour are covered in the 10 day festival.

For more details of the 2018 festival see the relevant page on the Fynarts website


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Bruce Andrew
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Art is not pretty

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Smithsonian American Art Museum

Art is not always about pretty things.
It’s about who we are, what happened
to us, and how our lives are affected;

Elizabeth Broun
Retired Director of The Smithsonian American Art Museum

That may be so, and it’s good that it is so. If it wasn’t then there would be no room for the expression of emotions, both for the artist and for society in general. Art in the broader sense is much more than visual art, and all art is living.
Art, in whatever form, tells a story. Art, aside from the commercial form, lets the world into the artist’s inner being, into a hidden chamber if you will. In that space there’s a mill, a grindstone of immense force and the grist for the mill is countless – places, faces, things, light, dark, emotions, sounds, tastes…. the list goes on and on.
Because my art is about who I am and how I see the world my art is different. Just as every artist’s work is different. Not always pretty, sometimes not even good, always authentic and always from the heart.

See what Livingstone had to say about Victoria Falls


Smithsonian American Art Museum Wknight94 talk [CC by SA 3.0]

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I’m brave enough to tackle most challenges. You’re invited to send me your favourite photo and put me to the test. You can mail me at and I’ll get back to you.

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Benjamin Casiano on art


 Don’t wait till I’m dead to buy my art.

It’s cheaper today.

                                                                Benjamin Casiano





See what Elizabeth Broun and Picasso had to say about art

I’m brave enough (or crazy enough, depending on your point of view) to tackle most challenges. You’re invited to send me your favourite photo and put me to the test. You can mail me at and I’ll get back to you within a day or so

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