The previous blog post was about Kevin helping us understand the ins and outs of value (light & dark). Moving on to "shapes"...Kevin Macpherson pretty much exploded our brains as he presented the importance of abstraction in representational painting. His explanation is that irregular, unexpected patterns are pleasing to the human brain, so I found this on the internet:
A leading proponent of this theory is V.S. Ramachandran, director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at UC-San Diego and author of The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Quest for What Makes Us Human. Ramachandran outlined 10 aesthetic principles that interest or delight the neurons in our visual cortex. One of them, peak shift, describes the way “we find deliberate distortions of a stimulus even more exciting than the stimulus itself.”
In an article on peak shift in Psychology Today, Jonah Lehrer describes a study in which subjects could more readily identify famous figures like Richard Nixon by cartoon caricatures than by photographs. The part of the brain recruited for facial recognition, called the fusiform gyrus, excels at interpreting the qualities that distinguish one object from another, to the point where it favors slightly warped representations of reality.
Anything to make our paintings more pleasing to the viewer!
So Kevin demonstrated some of the ways to keep abstraction within the picture plane:
Kevin used a clever technique of dividing the canvas into completely random geometric shapes and lines and encouraged us to use those as we compose our subject matter to paint. This is a bit hard to explain in a blog so you will have to take one of his workshops sometime! I highly recommend it!
(click on photos to read captions)
Hello! My name is Wendy and I am passionate about oil painting! Whether in the studio or out in Mother Nature, I get lost in the experience of capturing on canvas the moment and the feel of what I am painting. I pour my love and energy into every single piece of artwork and I hope it shows! This blog is a place where I can use words to talk about art, painting, life, faith, things that make me laugh, and things that inspire. I love every response, so don't be shy about leaving a comment...