Just by looking at any part of his surrounding one cannot help but wonder about the meaning of the natural palette before his eyes. Was it not designed for the pure pleasure of one’s soul? Color is a complex part of everyday life and an even more complex part of the artistic experience. It is through color that we convey our deepest, most human, connections through every shade. But are we using color to make things more realistic or is there another hidden intention?
The sad thing is that DuDe and color are not good friends. In his quest for artistic discovery he found the essence of things more important than anything else. Realism was forever lost in the thin black path of a pen. Fortunately for you, DuDess kept developing this way of portraying things in their natural state of appearance. Using her wild observation skills she strives to find hidden reflections and compositions that give objects a special feeling of immersion. There is nothing that color can’t solve when it is handpicked from DuDess’s rainbow of reality.
Unlike the black and white method of drawing where an important part of realism is lost, color has everything covered. Using this magical property it brings to the canvas the appearance of things rather than what they truly are. How something seems to the artist is, arguably, his reality. Importance of color in any work of art is much greater than the simple quest for realism. It is a gateway through the eye of the artist.
Although color is an important tool for mimicking reality, it is often used in a way that gives unrealistic shades or hues to the subject in question in order to show something more than just how it really looks. It was the evolution of our natural survival techniques that gave us color vision and thought us not to eat red mushrooms or touch red fire. These memories and experiences are intertwined with our understanding of color and give each one unique meaning and emotional response. It is in this field of creation that an artist can fully utilize his prowess to evoke a consumers hidden fear, love, wish….
Even though color is an important part of creating realistic art, we often use it to contradict reality and make personal moments stand out. It is in its complexity that color finds a way of overcoming any obstacle an artist may encounter on the white canvas. Just remember to always create your reality and the red color will not burn you.
This week DuDess and DuDe had the pleasure of trying out some new color pencils. You can see the results bellow and a video on the Vimeo page. These were some great tools for warping reality. The full color output with vivid shades and a heavy quality feel make DuDe want to give them 5 stars, although he has no grading system. They were good for light and hard work with a beautiful sharpener residue. Creative powers activate!
This colorful experience was a gift from our friends on AliExpres. You can get your hands on their products via this link.
Why is it so wrong to leave the choice of canvas to the artist? Was it not the painter who first decided to experiment on all surfaces in order to give deeper meaning to his work? Getting a message across can be one of the most difficult things in the artistic process. We try to find a way to better express ourselves but are sometimes left with little to work with. Isn’t it our duty to expose the world to our creations? Even the first humans painted on walls, so what changed?
DuDe has had little experience with graffiti, but is no stranger to carved desks and decorated school bathroom tiles. For him there is always something wrong with the way empty surfaces feel. He has grown to understand the power of texture and materials although the scale always makes a difference. A square inch of paper can be an exciting place with its little wrinkles and glue patterns. An A4 sheet cannot. A white wall can’t either. For DuDe there is always a delicate line between art and everything else art can be mistaken for. Advertising, propaganda, utility, comfort, hard work…. and naturally, vandalism. It is all about the question of it being art in the first place.
It is in our nature to search for different meanings in order to give purpose to things we are attracted to. We will find excuses just to keep them around. When we talk about this, art is no different than anything else. But art, however free and unique, has a few guidelines to stop it from becoming just anything else. One of them is the intention of creating art, or just the intention of creating. Accidental art and pure art, like doodles, exist in the greater scheme of things, but are not our focus. If art was in our mind we can now seek our next factor, privacy.
When an artist creates art there is a certain level of complexity, skill and general appreciation that marks that piece on the public scale of acceptance. There for, not everything we can do should be presented to everyone. In art there is a time when an artist must pick out the cream of his work and failure to do just that shows that he is not ready to step out of his private art world. If you are not ready for the world the world is not ready for you. When you exhibit everything that you do the scales of appreciation are going to tip towards vandalism.
This can also be viewed as a matter of function. If the primary use of a potential canvas is no longer possible than it becomes only a canvas. Because of its now singular function devoted to art it loses all previous value and therefor requires compensation. Objects that are already art by themselves, like good architecture and designer items, will not take their transformation back to canvas well. This comes from our understanding of possession. When things change, they are no longer ours and we feel as though we lost them. To not have something you once did is to not have the world it stood for.
However you look at this, art is not everything and therefore can be differentiated from other forms of expression. Have patience young artist, your art will soon be ready for the world, just try not to destroy other peoples art in the process.
How much time do you spend hovering over a piece of paper with a pen in your hand ready to leave a mark? Does every little white surface seem like it needs to be filled with an abstract tornado? Not everything in our lives is under our strict control. Artists tend to believe that they must be true masters of every stroke, but forget that what makes a great piece is that deep involuntary feeling they sewed into the fabric of creation. If you could let your mind create without limitations, would that doodle be a masterpiece?
DuDe doodles all the time. If he has an object capable of leaving a trace in his hand, he is going to make a subconscious mark. Even as a baby he decorated his house walls with a pale mark of a half-eaten apple. Everything looks better with a little piece of art by its side. It does not have to relate to it in order to make it more desirable. This is why DuDe likes seeing other people doodle. It tells him that there is more to them than a hard flesh shell. It tells him they are free. Free to balance the world on a tip of a pen. They are meeting themselves halfway.
Doodles are not something you plan or something you design. They represent the need to make a dull situation more pleasing to the mind. It is our intellect’s way of creating the ideal scenario for itself. Because of this they are the purest form of art, devoid of any conscious interference that might make them less personal. In a way, they are the only true brushstroke of our inner artist.
Weather you doodle cubes, tornados or faces shows the limit of your mind’s comfort zone. Don’t think of this as a bad thing, because everything you do is outside of this personal boundary. In this way you can consciously aspire to anything while your subconscious thoughts keep your mind at ease. Whether you are an artist or not you still have a great life partner with you to fill all those creative holes you sometimes leave behind.
Some of you might see this as an everlasting fight between brain hemispheres, where the left one is the cruel black and white mathematician that wants to drive straight across the highway, but is constantly being fed wrong directions by his high school dropout rainbow brother with a guitar who wants to experience the beauty of twisting mountain roads. But balance is the thing that makes us all human and our mind’s endeavor to make it so, in any situation, is nothing short of art. Doodles are just a weight placed on the scales of thought to bring us together with ourselves and make each moment whole.
Next time you doodle, don’t think about it. Your mind has your back. It does not mean that you are in a non-creative life scenario. It just means that you can support yourself through any and all life’s challenges.
Have you ever seen a beautiful outline tattoo of an exotic animal and wonder how can it be so simple jet so perfect? You can try to recreate it but it can never be as mesmerizing as the original. Is it the pen you are using, or the paper that’s making your attempt futile? Line is a magical thing that is limited only by an artist’s understanding of the work at hand. It can be thin and wavy, short and straight, or it can look nothing like a line. But what does it take to truly become the master of the first dimension?
Not knowing the importance of this basic element of art, DuDe accidentally developed his own line style in that drawing, drawing, drawing, period. Now, a line style is only acceptable when the whole piece of art is created using the same style and by the same artist. But when you are creating something new, the line should reflect that one specific thing and not the general style. DuDe was lucky he didn’t know anything about lines, so he used many different types in order to achieve artistic perfection. It took some time but the result was stunning. Complete control over the tool from the first dimension. His sketches still have the same lines, but the finished piece always takes something special from the line menu.
The most interesting thing about a line is the duality of its dimensions and the way it contradicts itself. A line is one-dimensional. Length. That’s all there is. Nevertheless it occupies a two-dimensional space of the canvas making it transcend its linear nature in order to give an artist freedom of creation. From the lines point of view, there is only forwards and backwards, but an artist can see its future as well as its past. This allows him to guide his creative tools and own every little spec of that crumbled led.
When we draw a line it is not a perfect mathematical representation made of an infinite number of non-dimensional points. We can see it, which means it has a certain thickness, and is, in fact, not a line, but a surface. The only way an artist can draw a line is by thinking of his creation as a one-dimensional object. The moment in which he stops creating a mark with only one dimension in mind is the moment that mark becomes a surface. It boils down to the way in which we represent true meanings of our artistic subjects. Lines take their shape from an artist’s perception and their character from their will to submit.
Even though there aren’t many things in real life that are represented as lines, their use has a much larger spectrum of meaning, from abstraction to inverse function. We use this basic tool to show almost everything, making it the most important of all primary artistic elements. Like most things, you can train your line, just remember who’s the boss. As long as you are a good guide the line will follow.
Drawing a stickman is easy, everyone can do it. Take that pen, make a circle, a couple of lines and voila! But when does a stickman stop being a stickman? When does he stop representing a man and becomes a bunch of lines and shapes? We do not need a face, or fingers, or feet in order to know what this masterpiece is. This way of thinking, that we all develop at an early age, makes our minds able to understand general truths about the world we live in. Are you seeking these truths, are you an artist?
DuDe used casual abstraction for the most of his life just like any other person. This means that what you see is what you make simpler in order to use it more efficiently, but architecture once again saved the day. Through multi-level design he found out that abstraction is a curtail tool for turning ideas into reality. It was a simple process of cutting up a concept into its most basic forms in order to associate them with real world things, like space and materials. This is usually the way architects do it and it only shows the potential of abstract thinking.
When it comes to visual arts, abstract work is usually created with the most basic items of the artistic spectrum: light, color, shapes… This is the product of decomposing things until they are nothing more than the atomos, basic building blocks. It is up to the artist to determine how far down this rabbit hole he will go in order to show his idea.
Visual abstraction is not the only way of getting closer to the beating heart of the universe. Ideas can also be generalized through language, in our case, written word. When a writer uses your favorite metaphor about life being a river, or a women being a flower, he is not only creating a connection between those two ideas, but also showing that an idea can be represented in a simpler manner. This hierarchy is highly contextual and requires a deep understanding of its subjects in order to let readers piece it back together. Or they can let the readers get lost.
It is always a challenge to find that sweet spot where the level of abstraction accurately represents your idea. Artists today are no longer forced to take abstraction just a few levels deep in order for a spectator to recognize its origins. As long as you are willing to spend more time thinking than working, only the truth of the cosmos is the limit.
Our brains are designed for abstract thinking and some of the most important things that make living today possible, like mathematics, are nothing more than centuries of abstract decomposition. In this way an artist is a scientist’s equal, he sees things no one else does. So next time someone tells you that he can paint that too, just splash some color on a canvas, remind him of the mental work involved and that this art piece was as challenging as that calculus class he failed three times.