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Archive for November, 2016

16novfigurestudies

In these figure studies the line searches its way through the body and along its contours.  Sometimes it gets lost or disoriented and in some passages it appears to be celebrating some assurance.  This is a sensitive, inspiring page because it reflects how the mind works: in and out of certainty.  In art-making the claim that you know what you’re doing is suspect. Images that come only out of know-how are always lifeless and feel unauthentic.  What we mean by “authentic” is hard to analyze, but the recognition is unmistakable.

Drawing by Gaby Edgerton, Aquarellabe on gloss paper, 11” x 17”

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

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16octconfetti

What’s going on here?  Why is this image intriguing?

There are three elements in this image. The most basic one, if you isolate it, is the round form in yellow, which is near-centered, near-symmetrical, vaguely suggesting something with a head. The second element, the black, by weaving in and out of the first, negates its organic illusion.  The black lines branch off and suggest tree-like growth.

The third element is the specks of color that appear to be floating through the pictorial space.  Your mind wants to simplify them and therefore assumes they are all the same size in that space. Since they are actually of three different sizes (on the canvas) you make sense of them by seeing them as floating in three different planes. The smallest specs, for example, are interpreted as being farthest from the viewer and the large specs are on the plane closest to you as you look at the painting.

If the specks were of fifteen different sizes, or sixty two different sizes, your brain would not be able to organize them and you would, therefore, not perceive spacial depth in the painting.

The painting presents a puzzle, but not a puzzle that you solve.  Once you see how you project your expectations into the painting, you haven’t solved anything.  You’ll still be floating in that space.

Karen Gerrard, acrylic on canvas, 40” x 30”

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

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16ribbondrawg

So simple.  A wide, stiffly woven ribbon held up by some poles, the kind you’ll find in packages of blank  CD’s.  The ribbon is meandering through space, making hair-pin curves and casting lovely shadows. In reality it’s merely lovely.  In the drawing (the poles are omitted) the ribbon becomes animated, mysterious and sur-real.

16ribbon1

Here’s another angle. You can draw right now, from this image on your screen.

16ribbon2

We started class with this exercise.

16ribbon1a

Drawing by Maggy Shell, charcoal, ~ 14” x 18”.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

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16oct27

When we put it up on our Is-It-Finished? stand, many in the class gasped.

16oct27shapeThis is a large painting, 48” x 36”.  The primary colors, red, yellow and blue, are allowed to drip and splash, creating a sense of depth, particularly in the red.  In the right half of the painting, there are  patches of gauze. Paint was dragged over them, adding to the illusion of depth. The white edges of the gauze, only intermittently seen, are delicate and mysterious.

On the right, the yellow sweeps upward and threatens to dominate the whole painting, but it is  subdued by the fine lines of the threads which rise and then fall loosely over the yellow.

This painting is an example why modern art has to be experienced in the original.

16oct27flipInterestingly, the left-right flip doesn’t work.  Does it?

Painting by Jan Fleckman, 48”x36”, acrylic on canvas.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.

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