Artists work with line, shape, color and texture. It can be hard to pull those elements apart.
Toni Yuly illustration from Gracias Abejas
Where does shape end and color begin?
When a shape is right it dances.
A shape can be positive or negative (i.e. created by the space around it.)
A well drawn shape gets to the essence of things, eliminating detail.
With compression and distortion a shape can convey movement. Exaggeration makes it more active (and more delightful).
Margaret Chodos-Irvine – detail from Where Lily Isn’t
As it moves toward abstraction a shape is enlivened by what is real.
Salud – here’s to this shapely world!
Posted in Children's Book Critique Group Blog
Tagged Ben Shahn, Bill Traylor, Bjorn Wiinblad, Dick Bruna, Edouard Vuillard, henri matisse, Lois Ehlert, Margaret Chodos-Irvine, Mayumi Oda, Nathalie Parain, shapes, suzy lee, Toni Yuly
Margaret’s post last week made me the think of shadows and reflections. The shadow of the creative leap is the terrifying fall. The reflection of being stubborn is persevering. We struggle to keep the light and dark in balance.
This week I will shadow her post, adding a few light reflections, digressions and pictures.
In her book The Language of the Night Ursula LeGuin wrote an essay about The Shadow, by Hans Christian Andersen. Andersen’s story is about a man who becomes separated from his shadow and then overtaken by it.
Honor Appleton’s 1932 illustration for Andersen’s The Shadow
LeGuin reads the story as an allegory about creativity: creativity comes from acceptance of and cooperation with the dark side of the soul. The shadow is dangerous without the soul, and the soul is weightless and empty without the shadow. The shadow is the guide to the journey of self knowledge and to the collective unconscious.
Edward Gorey is an artist who accessed his dark (and light) side with wit and style. He drew this shadow, and this non-reflecting bicycle.
In this photograph is the shadow a prison or a release from prison?
Suzy Lee made a wonderful wordless picture book called Shadow where the shadows take on a life of their own.
Words as well as pictures can have shadows. The author and critic Gerald Vizenor said that shadows are the silence that inhabit heard stories. Talking about haiku, he said that the dissolved word is replaced with a shadow of the evoked sensation. I end with this haiku by Ichihara Masanao from the Muki Sajiki.