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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Month 3, Equalization

Ideally, in a painting that is Equalization as a visual approach, there is no focal point; That the elements are equal in the pattern and the relationships to the whole (ie line, color, value, shape, texture and patterns). So, within the painting, each element is equalized or uniform. So, for instance, if you use the color red as an element, it must be evenly balanced throughout the whole but the red does not have to be tonally equal; ie you can use a red that is different in its general coloring (ie tint, shade, hue or value).  The shapes must be proportionally the same, but there still is variety in the shape (consistency and balance). The shapes will create pattern; texture is the “feel” of it; you can get to texture with brush strokes or by making the shapes/pattern ever smaller.  Keep in mind that the whole painting or area of the painting you are equalizing, reads as one unit.
Jackson Pollock example of equalization
Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings are a perfect example of equalization. Nancy Switzer is a good example for pattern and paint quality; Nancy gets good movement with gradation of color that creates a movement and supports the pattern; She keeps each shape and each color shift unique.Her paintings almost all incorporate equalization as the visual approach.
Vincent Van Gogh example of equalization (texture) as an element
Equalization can also be used as an element within a painting. Van Gogh’s drawings are an excellent reference for equalization within a section. Each section is defined by its texture (which then creates a pattern). When equalization is used as an element the approach is usually about texture and pattern. Texture will have a feel about it and pattern won’t. Think Eduard Vuillard.  Vuillard was about elaborate patterns that were harmonious and usually very flat (local tone; ie the use of three values: light, medium and dark with no obvious light source – think an overcast day). Pierre Bonnard did lots of pattern through layering of paint which created expressive textures.  Gustav Klimt is another who used pattern as an element and did amazing landscapes using equalization as a visual approach.
Eduard Vuillard example of equalization (patterns) as an element
Gustav Klimt example of equalization as visual approach (whole painting)
Next post I will show what I am doing for my project(s) for this month. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Month 2-Dark/Light Pattern Wrap Up

24x24, oil on board
I picked a simple subject for this last month's project since I would miss half the classes while I was in Europe. I did manage to finish it in time, so my plan did work perfectly. It was a  fun project. And it was successful to the assignment. The reference for this painting was from a 2008 newspaper cover story on, you guessed it, tomatoes!  The trick was that in order to get the painting to work as dark/light pattern, I either had to darken the tomatoes to match the value of the cast shadow, which was dark purple, or lighten the shadow to go with the value of the tomatoes, which is the direction I took. In order for dark/light pattern to work the darks must be tied together in value. In the light value, which is the whole background, I worked on gradation. Starting cooler and darker in the upper right hand corner and moving diagonally across to the lower left got warmer and  lighter.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Recap of Museums Visited - D'Orsay

Another special exhibit was to be had at the D'Orsay Musee while we were in Paris, Impressionism and Fashion. I had read about it beforehand in the Wall Street Journal, and this was the selling point to get my traveling companion to go with me, as she is all about fashion, even in the historical context of this show. Impressionism and Fashion will travel to the Met in NYC from Paris, but many of the clothes will not go as they are too fragile to travel. It was a much more extensive collection of the fashions of the day then I expected, but you could really see how well the clothes were painted. I am eternally grateful that we are not subject to the corsets those women had to wear, or the day dress versus the dress for outings and dinner. But we definitely lack the feminine that the women of that time had in spades. The paintings themselves included many I did not know, but I did not write them down, and no photos allowed. Beautifully handled, that I do remember. A Sargent in particular, Renoir, a few from Manet and a Morisot.
We also did a quick tour of the upper floors. The one painting I had wanted to see was no longer hanging (Gustave Caillebotte, The Floor Scrapers, none of these images come close to the "being there" this painting gives you), but there was a Sorolla that assuaged my disappointment. The reproduction below does not do it justice, but it gives you an idea of the light. The D'Orsay is still one of my all time favorite museums.
Return from Fishing, Joaquin Sorolla y Batista