It’s all about subtext. Here “Lord Gratton’s” coveting of his neighbours carnations whilst his wife’s back is turned is a metaphor for John Minton’s suppressed sexuality, masked in trivially polite small talk. Or perhaps he really does covet his neighbours carnations. It depends how you want to read the image.
In Minton’s own words, ‘Every living person has certain feelings about the world around him. It is these feelings, common to all men, which are the raw materials of the artist’s inspiration. This he must ‘translate’, into the structure of an art form, whether music, poetry or painting. The problem of the painter is this ‘translation’; that is, he has to create some arrangement of shape, line and colour which convey the idea or the emotion which moved him to paint this particular picture.’
[Minton, John. “Seven Artists Tell why they Paint”, Picture Post, 12 March 1949. p. 13]
In essence, an inescapable truth of Art is that in every artist’s work there is, to a certain degree, a part of themselves. Whether it be their childhood, sense of humour, their cultural surroundings or political views. Thus, the cultural, political and social climate that the work is made in also has a huge influence on what comes out on the page.
In John Minton’s case, the style and content of his work can be attributed to following factors:
Then, inspired by this piece – a sense of exotic calm/ oasis
I sketched a frozen Lake Minnewanka in Alberta, Canada, in the style of John Minton.
Clearly mine is a bit more heavy handed and slap dash than Minton’s. I could have used finer pen/ brush to get the sharper lines and more detail, like he did, but I didn’t have anything suitable to hand at the time.
The contemporary Artist I chose to compare against was Angela Dalinger.
My pastiche was influence heavily by my middle class Canadian suburban surroundings.
My final artwork can be seen here: