First, here's to the beginning of a new painting, 2017 No.8...
Now, to the topic of the day...
I am, it seems, hyper-interested in the subtle play of light across three-dimensional forms. Yesterday's drawing is a simple study. In it, I look carefully at value shifts on a form, as light illuminates it. There is light even in the darkest recesses. Light is always perceived. OK, yes, once I did perceive a total absence of light; just once in my entire life! When I was 9 years old my parents took me to Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. The crowd of observers entered a room deep within the earth. The guide warned us: She was going to turn off the lights. The guide said it would the first time in our lives we would experience the absolute absence of light. The lights went out. I remember putting my hand in front of my face. I could not see it. That remains my only experience with total absence. Making a painting, or drawing, is the antithesis of this experience. It is, first and foremost, working with the omnipresence light. It is an artifice. The artist forces the viewer to comprehend the subtleties of light on form. This remembrances of three-dimensional perception occurs on a two-dimensional surface. This is true for all great two dimensional art, including the greatest non-representative and abstract paintings. This is the reason Willem de Kooning's abstractions are great, while Jackson Pollack's paintings are not-so-great. At the bottom of today's post I reproduce paintings by de Kooning and Pollack. To be fair to Jackson Pollack I reproduce one of his best works, which, yes, exhibits a play of light!
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