Harmonizing Noise and Mayhem

posted in: Painting | 6

Static and hiss can interfere with clear reception of a radio signal. If we want to listen to that signal we attend more closely.  Our attention becomes heightened.  If we dine in a cacophonous room, we focus with more intensity … Continued

Geometry Speaks

posted in: Painting | 11

Picture a room.  Before you are three walls, a floor and a ceiling.   A window, a mirror or an open door are also present.   Remember, a sky can substitute for the ceiling. These are the bones of multitudes of great … Continued

Sky Shapes

posted in: Painting | 10

When Dutch landscape painters designed their skies to unify their compositions they began with geometry.  Using softened arcs, triangles and trailing serpentine forms they built coherent theatrical tableaus.  Earlier in the 16th and 17th centuries El Greco and Venetians like … Continued

Scrambled But Legible

posted in: Painting | 8

When instructing a plein air class I anticipate where students will have a problem and I think I know why.  They will make rivers and lakes appear to be going uphill. They will iconize trees, rocks and other subjects. Trees … Continued

Intervals: Rhyming Patterns

posted in: Painting | 5

We enjoy seeing complex patterns transform.  Our brains evolved to take interest and pleasure in this process whether we find it in paintings or music or math or architecture.  For example, by 1614 Dutch artists like Jacob Pynas (example 1) … Continued

Above, Below, Forward and Back

posted in: Painting | 3

Making a painting in Renaissance Italy or Spain required merging theology with the artist’s vision. Enlightened artists like Da Vinci or El Greco tried to merge their observations of nature, their inclination to experiment, and their innovative designs and with … Continued