If you look at my little bio blurb (and don’t worry if you didn’t-I am just thrilled you are here!), you will see I give myself a challenge every year dealing with some technical/aesthetic issue.
A couple of years ago with was compete vs. nuture for an artist.
This year it is tone vs. color, which is more important?
file image-not me ;)
(I know, I need to stop with the confrontational stuff, don’t I?) Anyway I think I found the answer to this year’s question is about the same as that other one from a few years back....
not me either, just another ...file image
Neither is more important!
can’t (or perhaps in my case) don’t want to, have one without the other.
They both need each other!
Even if I only work in color or only black and white. I have to
1. consider the value scale and its ability to create illusionary space
2. then and only then consider the emotional impact color (or lack thereof) will have on both the artist and the viewer.
Put another way (because I love my analogies)...
It’s a dead man’s party
(with apologizes to Oingo Bingo)
Tone (value, great scale-however you call it) is like the skeleton of the work, color is the muscle and skin, then the artist’s concept is the clothing and jewelry.
Atlas Exposed file image
In conversation, most of us do not think of the skeleton of the person when we meet and chat with them. Usually we notice the way they are dressed and what they have to say (aka concept). But and here is the important part, if there skeleton, muscles and skin were not in place functioning properly, the clothing and the jewelry would not matter. The dysfunction may overshadow the clothing or jewelry. In other words I think it should go- 1. tone 2. color
NEW JOB, NO TIME TO POST
So that is why this post is just in time! I am filling in for a friend this semester. I am teaching some of her classes at Longwood University. One class is close to my heart, Integrating Art into the General Curriculum, something I have been doing since before my students have been born! The other is a studio class where you can bet I will be thrilling them with the above new revelation of mine.
Well it took a bit a finagling (a very fancy art word there ;) But I was able to make three very functional pochade boxes at the fraction of cost of buying one new! (FYI a pochade is a very small box that carries all necessary painting supplies and is used for on side observational work. It can be on a table, the artist's lap or even on a tripod)
Pochade #1 on its very first trial run while attached to a tripod
Outside storms made inside study necessary. I was able to switch very easily between watercolor and acrylic with this set up.
Last week's art supplies.
Gave my brushes and paints a little break.
The best thing about this Pochade? It was originally an art project done by my son a looooong time ago.
It even has a little inspirational not he wrote in it too! You other mommies, aunts, daddies, teachers etc...know how much this means to me!!!
Note the rare earth magnets on the shelf above and lid below... would not have bought them just for this, I had them from a former exhibit. But they have come in handy many times over. Since these magnets are very strong and easily moved around, I use them to hold the paper in place and even the water container and small palettes from sliding off the work shelf.
Ugly Yet Functional Lid Stop
One of the hardest parts was coming up with the lid stop. I used a fortner bit and made my drill act like a coping saw (probably not the best for long term wear and tear BTW) to make this one adjustable. While it is not the prettiest it is functional and that is what I was going for (which also explains the duct tape hinges...)
Here is another pochade that fits my watercolor palette and paper.
Cuter lid stop that shows clearly shows its function
Clunky Yet Functional Feet
Used scraps to make the feet (again function over aesthetics here) for table top use.
Below are some recent studies I have done in the style of many different artists and movements...
Expressionist Technique - Deurain
Post ImpressionistTechnique - Van Gogh
Palette and Subject - Ver Meer
Subject Matter and Palette - Fairfield Porter
Just Palette - Giotto
While I will probably not be changing my own style drastically, consciously copying these masters in either style, subject matter or palette has really helped me become much more aware of the choices I make as an artist, as well as appreciate their choices much more as well!