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Posts Tagged ‘seeing’

15OctRedBlackYellHoriz
It’s something. But what!
I can explain why you would want to figure out what this represents: 1) there are definite shapes, 2) they’re clearly delineated, 3) they’re centrally placed and 4) there’s even an illusion of a horizon. So, of course, your smart, verbal brain gets to work on this puzzle. As soon as you’ve decided that the yellow square represents a structure, a building, say, you can move to the dip on its right and decide that here you have a valley and then you keep moving to the right and you can see an extended city block and, oh dear, this is not working. It’s just not coherent as a landscape at all. Even if you stick to the landscape-cityscape interpretation, what’s underneath the horizontal black mass just doesn’t compute. I mean, what’s that lavender roundish thing and that blue triangle there and then that blue smudge? Your brain now goes into overdrive and crashes. Wonderful! You’re having an aesthetic experience. You have entered the state of pure seeing. Congratulations.
It’s not easy to make art like this. Takes tremendous concentration.
Painting by Maria Palacios. Acrylic on canvas, 30”x 40”
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IMG_5176
By now you’re probably thinking there must be more to this than looking. You’re tempted to guess what Matisse painting these passages are taken from. But no, it really is about looking.

IMG_5177
If you can’t let go of the guessing game, just keep looking. Stay with it and your mind will turn off the verbal mode and you’ll go visual. Ahhh!

https://artamaze.wordpress.com/2014/12/27/matisse-zoom-two/

https://artamaze.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/matisse-zoom-one/


All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.
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ArleneOct14
When you’re working on a painting you may get to a stage where discouragement sets in. Happens often, actually. You make a sour face as you look at the work; you wave at the latest section you worked on and you say, blecccchhhh; you’re ready to go over the whole thing with purging, purifying white because you see no hope in the mess you made. Let me stay your hand. The mess you made is full of new life and new ideas!
Above is an example.
ArleneOct14Crop1Right. It doesn’t work. Not as is, not as a whole. But there are passages in there that can spur you on to new insights and new directions in your work. Crop! Place strips of paper over your work and isolate passages. It’s all your work, you did all this, you just didn’t see it. By cropping you see what you actually did.
I particularly like the next passage. The yellow/ochre had been scraped away partially to reveal blue ArleneOct14Crop2underpainting, resulting in a rich texture and forceful markmaking, neither of which were appreciated before the passage was isolated. I look at this and imagine it as a big canvas.—————————————-————-
(Arlene Tarpey, acrylic and pastel on paper,~20×16.)
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14MayWhatNumber4
Again, the juxtaposition of chaotic and precise forms, round and rectilinear, irrational and rational, spontaneous and planned, fuzzy and delineated, Dionysian and Apollonian. The whole brain, not left or right, the works.
It’s well worth your time to contemplate what happens in your mind and your emotions when the 4 is superimposed here.

14MayWhatNumber
Btw, this swirling action was put on top of an earlier, abandoned painting in such a way that the early rectilinear shapes were left to show as pentimento, letting a shadow of memory and rationality connect us to yet another layer of time.
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14MaggyGrannyDaughterThe assignment here was to do two drawings from the same subject.  In the first drawing you work to get everything right; you study the shapes, the anatomy.  After you’ve worked up a good sweat over all these details, you exhale and tape a fresh piece of paper on your drawing board.  Now you do the second drawing.  You’ve worked out the hard parts and are thoroughly familiar with what makes this subject interesting to you.  Now you relax and draw for the sheer pleasure of drawing.  You let loose.  Your pencil skates across the paper.  Not that you’re glib or shallow.  On the contrary, you now draw the whole subject.  All at once.  You’re not bogged down by any details.  Been there, done that.  This second drawing will go fast, much faster than the first.  But, paradoxically, even though it does not work out details, your second drawing—the developed drawing–will suggest depth.  The viewer is pulled in and sees more than you spelled out.

14MaggyGrannyDaughterPhotoThis drawing by Maggy Shell is the second stage, the developed drawing, done from a magazine cover. We get this kind of image in the mail all the time and tend to toss it away as junk mail.  Take another look.  Your waste paper basket offers a wealth of inspiring subject matter.

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1306KumiloStillLife1It’s well known that eyewitness accounts don’t carry much weight in a courtroom.  That’s because what you see is affected by your emotional state, your past experience, your desire to see order and on and on all the way to what you had for breakfast that day.  Well, you might say, that’s to be expected 1306ColleenStillLifebecause you’re witnessing a horrible scene, like a murder or a collision.

But what about the ol’ still life, a mess o’ drapery and a heap of pots!  Same caveat.  Five people in a tranquil setting on a lovely  June day will produce five very different takes.  It’s always amazing. Always thrilling.

1306LinneStillLife1306MegStillLife

And a wide view, with much information, perhaps too much…

1306JanetStillLife1…cropped for more tension, compositional cohesion and immediacy.  Notice how with the following, cropped view, you are more drawn into the scene. You feel more alert and you’re more inclined to pay  attention to the placement of lines and shapes, asking yourself “why is it like that?”

1306JanetStillLife1cropped

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13RetinalEnhancedIpad

Recently, while I was browsing among the tablet options in my local tech emporium, the sales person directed me to the new ipad with Retinal Enhancement.  Oh, yeah! The word “retinal” gets my attention.  When you add “enhancement,” I light up, of course.

The immediate response was, wow, total seduction.  Everything is sharp and clear. My enchantment lasted as long as it took you to read that last five-word sentence.

Aw, what happened?

I was hoping to store art works on my tablet and have them at my fingertips when I wanted to refer to an artist in class.  The tablet would be so much more convenient than those heavy art books. Instead I learned what the tablet is really for:  it’s for playing games, not just any games, but those in which the fastest response wins.  Therefore, the outlines on the screen—monsters,  cliffs, buttons of all sorts—should be as sharp as possible.  The sharper, the better.  The games consist of stimulus-response, no subtle considerations.  The advantage goes to the player who functions most like an automaton.  Therefore, if your seeing is retinal, nothing more, you’re it, dude!

Seeing is actually not retinal.  It’s a complicated process that involves your whole mind, which links all sorts of nuances in a web that I don’t claim to understand.  If your seeing stops at the retina, you’re good for target practice and boot camp and we know how sad that is.

In five or six years we’ll probably have studies on how retinal enhancement has affected the brains of players.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/money/review-new-ipad-enhanced-retina-display-screen-worth-upgrade-article-1.1040786

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