Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Whiff of Reality

As noted in “Issues with Shape,” an earlier post, teachers have said that I define or articulate too much, I am too descriptive, I leave no mystery. They urge me to try to define as little as possible. One would think I could do this, given that I was a psychologist and perfectly familiar with Gestalt theory. This theory posits that we are hard-wired to perceive certain shapes and that we will “see” them even if they are not there. For example, what is this?

                                                      *          *
Most people have no trouble seeing this as a triangle, when it fact, it is just three asterisks. We innately try to see shapes, and WE complete the gestalt of the triangle without it being actually completed or articulated. We only need a hint to guess what something is.
I keep trying to paint interesting, nonobjective shapes with soft edges, and then I try to define the subject with as little description as possible, just “a whiff of reality” as Christopher Schink told me. I had some success with “Flamenco!” seen below in the January 18 post.  You can see lost edges throughout this painting, and only the head, arm, hand, hip, and waist are defined. 

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