Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Whislter's Mother Gives Truth to Line

August 16, 2011

Been wrestling with color for a couple of years now. I try to do a color study every day, often just pushing different colors around trying to find what works and what doesn't. This has led to some progress and modest success:

I've also worked hard to disccover the strength of black and white work:

Been a fan of James McNeill Whistler from afar. But, that has changed. I'm reading David McCullough's The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, and in it McCullough introduces us to Whistler, the famous artist, with the anecdote about the boy Whistler attending West Point and failing everything but drawing. He was discharged, after three years, for failure in chemistry. "Had silicon been a gas," he loved to say, "I would have been a major general."

Now, how do you NOT like that guy?!

Given that I flunked chemistry twice in high school and almost didn't graduate (had to take a science mail order course from Phoenix Union to "walk" with my fellow MCUHS grads) I have since tried to be a better student and have tried hard to learn what I didn't want to even try to learn in my youth. Now, to leverage what I've learned about black and white, with my recent attempts at mastering color, would ol' Whistler, or his mother, have anything to say about that?

"Ma, line matters more than color, and black is of greatest importance because it is the universal harmonizer, besides you, of course."
—Whistler, to his mother

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