Imagine the exalted spirit of early human beings,

seeing their first 'hand prints' on cave walls!

"Hands at the Cuevas de las Manos upon Río Pinturas". 13,000–9,000 BC

Very unlike a curious passive 'reflection' from rippled waters,

this was a 'direct act' - something intentionally executed, and reflecting back :

"Look!! I AM HERE ... and I AM THERE TOO!!"

Their exuberance is still present and conveyed some 11,000 to 15,000 years later.

No descriptive words are needed.


... (as we call them) have been through myriads of twists and turns

since these early stenciled hand prints - even since the 8th century Christian

‘meditative’ icons (left), or the meticulous Renaissance portraits of Hans Holbein (right).


"Madonna and Child" from the Book of Kells, Folio 7v , Late 8th Century   "Lais of Corinth", 1526, Hans Holbein the Younger,

However in many ways, 'the act of creation' is unchanged.

It remains a magical mystical unintelligible dialogue

between the 'creator' and the 'creation'.

The work (of whatever kind) also contains part of the creator ...

as in the multiple hand prints above ...

'LOOK! I am here ... and I am there too!'


Who knows how each creation starts - much less how 'the arts' originally began.

It's often hardest to know when each work is complete.

Most of the time, a work's essence certainly cannot be expressed in words.

It’s internal - somewhere - and empowered by its mere mystery.

Robert Henri compared a seemingly effortless painting to a possible

"battlefield in its making".

Further, no one seems to truly be able to identify what is "fine art" and what is not.

TIME Magazine critic Robert Hughes once cited an unknown

 "mysterious" quality,

and taking 100 years know what survives as

"fine art", or simply as "a reflection of the times".

If... in the end...the creative efforts (at hand) merge, with some degree of success,


and agreement with the exacting principles of Mother Nature,

then there is a new "something" where there had been "nothing".

And that new "something" has the power to enable viewers

to feel "something" they did not feel before.

The question then often arises :

"What did you introduce into our world?"

As the early stenciled hand prints on cave walls,

"fine art" becomes


Hand stencils from cave painting in Gua Tewet, Kalimantan, Indonesia

by way of


... of the passions of


With fingers and toes, two eyes that shine,

And an uncannily fertile and nimble-built mind

Here upon this magical place,

To marvel at Earth's most bountiful grace,

And 'transform' from its vast divergence and wealth

For our joys for living,

pure beauty

and good health."



"From this ancient earth, its skies, seas and sand

Comes all that we know - even made by man's hand.

It is with awe, on this surface, I stand."


from the Forests, the Mountains, the Soil, and Sands!


Notes of Possible Interest :

"Hands at the Cuevas de las Manos upon Río Pinturas"

"Hands at the Cuevas de las Manos upon Río Pinturas"

(Perito Moreno, Santa Cruz Province, Argentina) is a cave and complex of rock-art sites.

It is named for the hundreds of paintings of hands, stenciled in multiple layers on the rock wall.

The art in the cave dates 13,000–9,000 BC,

during the Archaic period of pre-Columbian South America.

Primarily, left hands are shown.

The age of the paintings was calculated from the remains of bone pipes

used for spraying the paint on the wall of the cave to create the artwork.

(Image, Creative Commons)


"Madonna and Child" from the Book of Kells, Folio 7v , Late 8th Century

(transcribed by Celtic monks c 800 AD), currently on display at Library of Trinity College,

Dublin, Ireland. A digitized version of the entire manuscript is also available for online viewing.

This manuscript is considered Ireland's finest national treasure.

(Image, Creative Commons)


"Lais of Corinth", 1526, Hans Holbein the Younger,

(Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland, Public Domain)

It is interesting to compare the paintings of 'Madonna', and 'Lais' -

each of a woman of importance, and each using the same palette :

pigments including red, yellow ochre, green copper pigment (verdigris), indigo,

with accents of purple (the color of royalty);

each with a golden arc around the head.

Yet each artist's intent, and what is communicated, are to a great degree opposite.

The Book of Kells Madonna and Child (left) was intended as 'spiritual',

to be read in terms of the doctrines and mysteries surrounding the Incarnation of Christ.

Holbein's Lias of Corinth (right) refers to more earthly mysteries.

The subject is said to portray the famous Lais of Corinth, a courtesan of ancient Greece

who charged a high price (note the coins on the table) for her 'favors'.

The model for Lais has been identified as Magdalena Offenburg,

who was also Holbein's model for both 'Darmstadt Madonna 'and 'Venus and Amor'.

(Image, Creative Commons)


Robert Hughes (1938 - 2012) was a well known Australian-born art critic, writer,

and producer of television documentaries.

He was described in 1997 by Robert Boynton of The New York Times as

"the most famous art critic in the world".

Hughes earned widespread recognition for his longstanding position as art critic with

TIME magazine, for the television series on modern art, "The Shock of the New"

as well as his two books of the same name.

Hughes' very forthright thoughts and criteria regarding what comprises "fine art"

were repeatedly discussed in both the books, and in the TV series.


"Hand stencils from cave painting in Gua Tewet, Kalimantan, Indonesia",

Photograph, Luc-Henri Fage, 1999, from his book "Borneo, Memory of the Caves".

The caves in Indonesia contain paintings from the Paleolithic period, considered to be

the earliest figurative art in the world, some dated to at least 43,900 years ago.

(Image, Creative Commons)


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It already exists for all 'Human-kind'.

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Christmas, 2022, "Transformations, From The Human Spirit: Fine Art" ; M. Ford Creech Antiques