Flash Fiction

Tarquinius W. Peterson’s Fantastical Guide to the World of Art

Tarquinius W. Peterson, the renowned creative commentator and art historian, is a university educated and well-read critic of art and accruer of arty pictures and sculptured objets.

T.W.P. 2018

Awarded a government maintenance grant, I studied at the Berkshire College of Art and Design, in Maidenhead, UK. Not too far from Prime Minister Teresa May’s house, but I can’t tell you where that is obv’s. It is regretful the fine educational establishment of BCAD is no longer with us. Glorious college buildings long demolished and replaced with inglorious non-carbon-neutral-copy developer properties. Dull red brick housing with stick-on timber details. An estate of two-hundred pea houses in a freezer compartment, erected around minimum pea turning circles. Mrs May will tell you why they did that I’m sure!

I digress, people.

Aside from that grievous occurrence, in its prime the college schooled a varied repertoire. High profile and industry favoured artists, fashion & interior designers, critics, and researchers, like … like T.W. Peterson.

Tarquinius W. Peterson & Friends, Raymond Road, Maidenhead, Circa 1987

During a four-year study period at the renowned, now defunct (thanks to the PM), school of art, Tarquinius W. Peterson (that’s me) studied loads. Voluminous volumes read on art history, art theory, and art direction. Theorised art on a shoestring, art by numbers and Art Garfunkel. Discussions concerned with art debate and the art establishment (wherein I now take a place, a deserved place earned through toil and dedication).

Countless tomes of literature and art picture books, examined, studied, reexamined and restudied. In the showers of colour reproductions of the great master artist’s work, I found solace. Not in comic art of Jamie Hewlett or Peter Gross, that came later.

My paperback copy of E.H. Gombrich’s (1972: 1982 fourth impression, 13th edition) The Story of Art, a great foundational book covering art from its beginnings to present day. Present day being 1982 mind you, but sufficed for my needs. Plus, Dr Ernst’s title is smart too, a blatant play on words “The Story (of Art)” vs. “History (of Art)“, brilliant, huh!

Harold Osbourne’s (1970: 1981 Book Club Associates edition) “The Oxford Companion to Art“, is snug in my possession. This hardback is a dictionary-slash-encyclopaedic book. Harold didn’t write every individual word, but he was the editor chap. Such an important and prestigious position allowed last dibs on what did or didn’t go in the final published edition. In my book, excuse the pun, that’s tantamount to writing the entries himself.

The companion existed before the Gombrich, printed in 1981, but if I’m honest, I could update both these literary works with flare. My personal savoir faire from early eighties to present day transposed in the manner and eloquence of both aforementioned authors, can solve the trick. (Note to self, get my agent, Vincent, to poke around at Phaidon and OUP, proposal for writing updated versions of the discussed.)

With successful collation of unknown, but researched facts, vast comprehension in art-world-ways, and legit insider dealing, I seek to combine fine literary collections of the world. Such as auction house archives, art dealers’ back catalogues, Blue Peter annuals, art & history museum pamphlets, and completed school discovery quiz sheets.

My aim: to offer a loquacious, flowing blog of art knowledge to the web readers of the world and collective art-spiders thereabouts!

If the watery blue pictures of Hockney’s, or the darker canvases of that Rothko guy, hang on your wall. Or you enjoy those textured frames with curvy twiddles, hand-finished in real gold-leaf. With portraits of royals, or landscapes and scenery in them, a Turner or that policeman fella, Constable, that’s it. Then join with us, me! Join me on a journey through Tarquinius W. Peterson’s Fantastical Guide to the World of Art.

Every week I’ll be introducing you to a new piece of art and giving in-depth analysis. Showing who, what, when, where, why and who, I mean how (I always get those spellings mixed up), how these creations befell formulation and realisation, both in construct and construction.

Join me then, Tarquinius W. Peterson, on my colourful voyage into, umm, colours and reasons … reasons and wherefores of artisticular enjoyment in art and sculptor. Sculptor the 3D branch of art utilising different mediums (and I don’t mean clairvoyants, or, between bigs and smalls). Medium choices are materials or forms used by an artist, composer, or writer, but I’ve no interest in writing, because that’s pencilling articles and not arting pencilicles, right!

It’s a core attribute of an artist to compose successful compositions, or arrange balanced arrangements. Although, when composers compose and arrangers arrange, whilst noting musical notes with pencils on rules pencilled with rulers, is too an art form.

Art, music, and literature are affiliates of “The Arts” (along with dance … and film … oh, and computer games), but only art is art for art’s sake. Getting it “down” on paper or canvas with crayons or paint, or by utilising other artistic ingredients (but not those in the art of cooking) is art (or maybe those too). So, it’s unlikely that I’ll blog music, books or dance in my weekly art-bloggings because they are not the pure form. Unless I want to explore Performance Art, which I may undertake one week, because that’s the crazy blogger T.W. Peterson is, full of surprise!

By now you’re no doubt foaming at the tonsils with thoughts of Tarquinius W. Peterson’s Fantastical Guide to the World of Art, awesome, but wait! In one week I unleash the first edition of the Guide on the public. The reason for delay isn’t that it’s not written yet, nor that I’m organised beyond promotion having written, collated, and backed-up the entire guide somewhere in Russia. Whereupon a computer programme will submit at regular intervals. No! Neither of the above is true. You are in total suspense!

Remember those long awaited fifteen-second countdowns on Netflix between episodes of Breaking Bad or GoT when you binge-watched mid-week, well, it’s a similar proposal. Instead of seconds it will be one whole week, or thereabouts, or less, or to keep you chewing your top lip in anticipation, it will be longer.

Three words spell art, they are:

  • Anticipation
  • Resuscitation
  • Tantalisation

You might not agree in that order, however, T.W.P. knows the order, because other spellings are sticky tar or dirty rat, or rta, and being initials similar to NRA, we don’t want to get sticky or dirty, do we?

We’ll discuss more A.R.T. later.

Don’t know Degas’ Sunflowers from Van Gogh’s? Get aroused with Lucas’s Fried Eggs (no relation), or unclear as to Hirst’s Formaldehydes? Then stop-off at this WordPress. Educate your inner innovative side with artistic enlightenment, guaranteed for every persuasion of art-loving being.

Our first exploration into the art mart is this little beauty …

Nighthawks by Dennis Hopper 1942

Next week, we will explore more of this piece. A right moody canvas painted by American actor Dennis Hopper in 1942. I know, I didn’t realise he painted either, and this artwork is old so he must be knocking on a smidge by now. We’ll ask questions. Who are these people? Why is there no door? This level of detail, and answers, are the usual in-depth and extraordinary knowledge you’ll receive from Mr Peterson’s Guide. Be sure to drop in soon.

Bookmark, or follow me, and let’s get arted!

Tarquinius W. Peterson’s Fantastical Guide to the World of Art, coming soon to a touch screen near you!

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