Wednesday, October 17, 2007

October 17, 2007 Bonus Bonus Bonus Blog
Inspired by our trip down to see Mark McDowell's studio at Cattle Track in Scottsdale, Jason Strykowski ordered several books off Amazon for us to study. The first is God's Man: A Novel In Woodcuts by Lynd Ward, and the second is Graphic Witness: Four Wordless Graphic Novels, featuring woodcut masters, Frans Masereel, Lyn Ward, Giacomo Patri and Laurence Hyde.

Both books have a stark brilliance to them, and supposedly there is a physiological reason for this. According to George Walker, the author of Graphic Witness, "The human eye consists of rods and cones that process the reflected light of our world. These signals are then translated into color and form for processing by our brain. The rods, which are sensitive only to black and white, are the first components activated in a baby's eyes. That's why infants readily respond to high-contrast black-and-white images. We are hardwired to appreciate black-and-white artwork.

"Let's not resist its temptation. I know I can't."
—George A. Walker

I took the books home for lunch today and took a good look. Got very excited and brought two black Essdee scraperboards into the office. I quickly whipped out this mug shot of The Apache Kid. Not a great likeness but there is some truth in there. Gee, I wonder if George has anything to say about that?

"The truth is always easier to take in black and white."
—George A. Walker

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