Today's postings

  1. [Baren 35227] Re: composition (ArtSpotiB #
  2. [Baren 35228] Re: composition (Sharri LaPierre)
  3. [Baren 35229] Re: Reduction printing, Comcast Spam (Sharri LaPierre)
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Message 1
From: ArtSpotiB #
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2008 21:56:39 EST
Subject: [Baren 35227] Re: composition
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Joseph Albers, professor extroidinaire, has written several books regarding
the psychology of art.

For example, there is a certain point where, to human eyes, a curve appears
to "become" a circle. Prof. Albers' books talk about eye/mental patterns that
are universal. Another great example is that there are studies where cameras
have been placed very discretely to observe viewer's eye patterns while
regarding paintings. Well composed paintings (and those which are not, I suspect)
bring on specific, reliable patterns of where one's eyes go. I use this type of
information when teaching apprentices how to figure out of a painting is

Great conversations and observations at the Baren. Thanks to all!

Lurker Benny Alba, painter, printmaker
Benny Alba Varo

Underground nuclear testing, defoliation of the rain forests, toxic waste
... Let's put it this way: if the world were a big apartment, we wouldn't
get our deposit back. -John Ross
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Message 2
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2008 20:41:02 -0800
Subject: [Baren 35228] Re: composition
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Barbara, you have indeed taken on a heady subject. In working for my
undergrad degree I had to take one year of composition. Each week
was a different problem: tension, harmony, etc. Some were more
difficult than others. We had three days or so to go to the library,
find an artist that used this form of composition and then come up
with our own version. The next meeting the work went up on the walls
and two hours were spent critiquing. My conclusion over the years
is: Composition is re-learned. As children we have an innate feeling
for a good composition and somehow it is beaten out of us as we go
through the grades and then we get to Art School and whoopee, we get
to learn it all over again. Much of it is cultural - the direction we
read, the lines around us, our learned perception of beauty. A study
was done on a Pacific Island tribe who had only seen raw nature their
entire lives and they could not relate to straight lines - especially
vertical ones since they had never seen them. They were not a part
of their culture.

The reason some of your compositions "work" and others don't "work"
is how you've handled the elements and principles of design, as they
are taught in our Western culture. It is subliminal, but always
there. There are a good many books you can pour through, but I think
you will find they all say pretty much the same thing. As artists we
look for these things, consciously or not, and then if some rule has
been broken we are looking to find out why if it still works. The
non-artist has a different criteria - can they make any sense of this
thing and if not, then it is not good and it is not art. It may or
may not be the same conclusion the artist comes to. Boy, I'll bet
that's a big lot of help :-)

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Cheers ~
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Message 3
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Sun, 2 Mar 2008 20:45:43 -0800
Subject: [Baren 35229] Re: Reduction printing, Comcast Spam
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Whoops, sorry about the second post, but wanted to say that
apparently the problem was within Comcast itself because today the
Digests started coming through as they used to do. I think there must
have been some snafu when they updated their security process.
Anyway, the problem seems to be solved, and apparently has nothing to
do with anything I did, although I did go into Web Mail and re-
authorize the Baren Digest. Maybe or maybe not, that was the key.
Who can understand these !@#$%, yet blessed, machines, anyway?
Not I.

Cheers ~