Monthly Archives: November 2010

When Paradigms Collapse

  In Thomas Kuhn’s classic “The Structure of Scientific Revolution,” the author considers our response to the failure of standard paradigms. We try to make the old paradigm work with modifications; we reject the evidence that the old paradigm (insert: … Continue reading

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Elasticity and Motion

This blog begins with me sitting in St. Louis’s International Airport in Missouri. As I sit here and rapidly turn my head I am aware of seeing color, but shapes tend to escape clear outlines. It’s only when I slow … Continue reading

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Discovery Through Novelty

        I previously referred to Picasso’s remark “I don’t seek, I find.” Our readiness to notice anomalies in our field of vision and our lives enhances our experience of the ordinary. We begin to think about things … Continue reading

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Chiaroscuro

Chiaro (clear light) and scuro (dark, from which we get the verb “to obscure”).  Leonardo da Vinci perfected many ideas for transferring visual experience onto a two dimensional surface and Chiaroscuro was one of his finest. Caravaggio, Rembrandt and Turner … Continue reading

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Luminosity Vs. Sparkle

     If you want the eyes to twinkle, the fruit to gleam, the bottle to shine, then follow Rembrandt’s example. Look at the hilt of his cane. It sparkles. Its sparkle follows a formula; any small area of light … Continue reading

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Luminous Skies

Back in the 1920s the Bauhaus artists like Johannes Itten and later followers like Faber Birren tried to quantify a recipe for luminosity. Birren would eventually describe the condition in his book ” Principles of Color” as the result of … Continue reading

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The Principle of Interchange

In the 19th century many scholars studied the Renaissance to learn painters’ secrets, techniques and principles. Notable among them were Sir Charles Eastlake with his book on the “Methods and materials of Painting of the Great Schools and Masters” first … Continue reading

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Cezanne and The Photograph

    Cezanne aspired to reconcile the experience of biological vision with the traditions of art history (that is the historical forms and iconology of  studio painting).  He intended to put that reconciliation on canvas.  He aimed for the compositional unity … Continue reading

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Double Exposure

    In exploring the main hall of NYC’s Metropolitan Museum I try many photo experiments. The hall is a rich reference to antique Greco-Roman architecture and, it hold the ghosts of  art history. I tried double exposing photos  to … Continue reading

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Distorting Linear Perspective

     Flying Down to Raleigh-Durham NC from NYC, I caught this view (see photo) over the Bronx and Manhattan. It coincides well with Leon Bastista Alberti’s  1436 diagram from his book, ” Della Pittura”.   Alberti’s diagram was to instruct … Continue reading

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