Saturday, December 13, 2008

Another Nicholas Roukes Book

Before I delve into the new animation books, I want to mention one other recommended title by Nicholas Roukes. Acrylics Bold and New (Watson Guptill, 1990) is the perfect how-to guide to provide inspiration to someone like me who has no formal art training. The 5-page introduction provides a nice overview of the qualities and characteristics of acrylic paint including: how and when to apply gesso and varnish, the use of acrylic emulsions in collage including two transfer methods, and some tips on hard-edge painting. The bulk of the book consists of 64 experiments. Each experiment is a chapter covering a different composition, concept or technique illustrated by an acrylic painting. Chapters begin with a general how-to and definition of terms followed by a discussion of the painting and the specific application of the technique therein. Of particular interest to me are: Paint With Stencils, Integrate Transfer Images, Use a "Stage Set" Format, Combine Abstract and Figurative Motifs (love the example byRobert Hudson), Hybridize the Subject (ditto by James Marsh), Use Serialized Images, Use Selective Cropping, Compose with a Grid, and Use Geometrical Abstraction. Now that I've learned about visual closure, equivocal visual fields, figure/ground relationships and rhythmic transition I am ready to choose one of my favorite experiments and apply what I have learned. I think I will create a painting based on hybridization, and a collage composed with a grid.

James Marsh and Robert Hudson
James Marsh has a wonderful web site. Don't miss his print show for many clever examples of hybridization. And his fine art slide show features nice abstract designs, some based on dots. Others using flat stones remind me a little of Andy Goldworthy's work! Robert Hudson's work is somewhat elusive on the net, but you can see two of his assemblages on the site of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. You can also browse SAAM by artwork type. Collage yields 597 hits. . . oh boy!

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