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Polygon
08-25-2007, 11:37 AM
I'm just curious to see what some of you think about the common taboo against using black in painting.

Everywhere I go, you get the attitude that "real painters don't use black". Many painters are proud to not even own a tube. Everyone extolls the virtues of mixed blacks using the other colours. It almost takes on a snob appeal tone in discussions.

I myself rarely use black (except in illustration), partly because my subject matter doesn't often have extreme black, but mostly because I too have been indoctrinated against it over many years.

But when I think about it, my subject matter rarely has the violence of pure quinacridone red in it either, but I still use that in mixing colours.

I find I use Payne's grey a lot for darks, but obviously get a lot of blue tone from that which I then neutralize out, but.... when I think about it this is very roundabout, it's part of painter culture that I do it this way. A smidge of carbon black would get me there faster, and I can then warm or cool the mix as needed. Less work, often more accurate, and neat effects occur that are difficult to achieve without a lot of tinkering with the mixed blacks.

Is it because beginners often overdo it that they're told to just not touch it at all, and that bias stays with people and has become part of painting culture?

I used some carbon black yesterday in mixing some earth tones, and got great results! I'll definitely be using it more, and trying to shake off the internal bias that I've soaked up against using black.

So, I am curious to hear what you colour experts (or other interested folks like me) think about black on the palette, and about the taboo so many hold against using it, owning it, etc. Obviously it's not often of use directly from the tube in a lot of situations, but then neither are that many of the colours I have in my collection of paints.

edgarapoe
08-25-2007, 02:35 PM
I think it was Degas who called black the Queen of Colors.
This bias comes from the cult of the impressionists, who it was mistakenly believed did not use black. There are some sensible reasons to be cautious with black--especially Ivory Black, which can lead to cracking--but absolutely none for removing it from your palette. Imagine Velasquez or Rembrandt or any pre-impressionist master without black.

Einion
08-25-2007, 09:29 PM
Everywhere I go, you get the attitude that "real painters don't use black".
The people who say this deserve to have the counter observation made to them, that one is not a real painter unless you can use black :D But seriously, there's no truth to the statement and plenty of evidence to back that up.

Many painters are proud to not even own a tube.
I think it's delightful when you find out the occasional painter from this camp has a hue of Sepia or Payne's Grey, which has happened in threads once or twice.

Everyone extolls the virtues of mixed blacks using the other colours. It almost takes on a snob appeal tone in discussions.
There's no almost about it, it's quite evident in some people's comments.

What's interesting about this point specifically is that often, very often, they'll not have directly looked at how a mixed dark and a black act in comparative mixtures, or how this supposedly-superior mixed 'black' looks exactly if used pure - if it's noticeably better in appearance than a black pigment then the colour isn't really black, or is it?

I once had this debate with someone who lauded their mixed black as being superior to Mars Black - darker in value - and they were quick to mention that they had compared them directly, only for a later comment to reveal that their mixture (made from two synthetic-organic pigments) dried quite glossy while their Mars Black dried matt.... Any experienced painter can see this coming: when they were, ah, encouraged to gloss varnish the Mars Black and have another looks you shoulda seen the backpedaling :)

I myself rarely use black... mostly because I too have been indoctrinated against it over many years.
I used to be the same. Now I try to make a point of using a black if I know it to be, or it might be, the best option for something; which it can be of course, like your later example where a smidge of Carbon Black would get you to the colour you need faster.

But when I think about it, my subject matter rarely has the violence of pure quinacridone red in it either, but I still use that in mixing colours.
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif

Is it because beginners often overdo it that they're told to just not touch it at all, and that bias stays with people and has become part of painting culture?
I think that's part of it, yes. But that same point could easily be levelled at Phthalo Blues and Greens and other very strong tinters, where you'll generally not find a permanent bias against their use, although you do see this on occasion.

Something like the same thing could be said about the over-use (or inappropriate use) of white and I don't think anybody goes on about how we should drop it from our palettes because "pure white doesn't exist in nature" :rolleyes:

So, I am curious to hear what you colour experts (or other interested folks like me) think about black on the palette, and about the taboo so many hold against using it, owning it, etc.
There are a few prior threads that I know of that touch on the topic and I'm certain there must be others in parts of the site I don't frequent if you want to have a quick hunt.

Einion

perryjohnson
08-26-2007, 01:37 AM
I like Einion's redirection saying that one isn't a real painter unless you can use black. The label on the tube may say black but there are wonderful nuances of color in each black. I have several blacks I'm using now - Perylene Black which goes a little green, Williamsburg's Black Roman Earth, and Graphite Grey.

Yes, there's the supposed Impressionist mantra of "use no black" - but look at Manet; he used black all the time. What we should recognize about the time period of the Impressionists is that they had a phenomenal array of colors available to them when compared to the rather limited palette of let's say Rembrandt or Vermeer. There were new synthetic mineral colors being made as a result of industrial processes. These colors were saturated and lightfast. Their freshness and novelty were perfect for the Impressionists. So back to the point - within the context of a high key, high saturation painting, an overuse of black, a dark low saturation color, will be totally unnatural.

I predict that black is the new blue ... and the new green ... and the new brown ... So wear it out!

Andrew
08-27-2007, 10:22 AM
Haven't you heard that Green is the NEW Black.

Seriously. I rarely use black, but I will never completely remove it from my palette. It is way too vital a pigment to be subject to such generalizations. To some extent, I think Einion is correct, a true measure of a painter is the ability to use black. There is a broad line between good application of black and black abuse. Most of the touters of the "No black" school, are in the abuser catagory. Heck, I have been known to mess up and over use and abuse black. Then I scrape back and start over.

The issue is really a matter of experience. First in seeing values, and identifying dark mixable values versus those that are a spot of black or near black. And secondly, being able to know that black isn't necessarily the best or correct means to darken a specific color. Personally, I think everyone should learn to use black, especially beyond monochromatic work.

Andrew

mr.wiggles
08-27-2007, 11:05 AM
If black was good enough for: Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Velasquez, Vermeer, Manet, Sargent, Zorn, Degas, Franz Kline to name a few, it's good enough for me.

Each to there own, using black is very hard to master though, the level of values in the blacks of a painting by Hals is amazing.

jimb
08-27-2007, 12:52 PM
I don't use black as black, I think I can make much more interesting darks with a mix, but I find black invaluable as a source of wonderful greens.
Mix it with some lemon yellow sometime and see what you get :)

GH-Mongo
08-27-2007, 07:17 PM
I definitely agree with Einion, that so many of the painters who boast about not having to use black are actually using convenience mixtures that contain black pigment in them.

For watercolours (and glazing in acrylics) I usually use a mixture of Phthalocyanine Green (PG7) and Perylene Maroon (PR179) for very dark values; those two pigments combine to form an intense, transparent brownish-black. In acrylics, though, I also use Mars Black (PBk11) whenever I need to mix more opaque dark values.

Jeff Rage
08-27-2007, 11:12 PM
I just bought a pint of Deep Black and a 5 oz tube of Mars Black. I think I'm OK with using Black! :)

Sometimes I use black as the background. Often I use it to darken colors. I'm also working on a black and white painting.

I do abstracts, so my needs might be different from people painting objects that exist in real life.

Polygon
08-28-2007, 08:56 AM
Thanks for all the replies everyone, it's an interesting discussion, I'm getting lots out of hearing the different perspectives.

rghirardi
08-28-2007, 01:31 PM
Don't worry about what 'everyone' says. Just do what you want. If you think it works, then it does. There wouldn't have been 'new' movements in art if those artists who led the movements worried about what 'everyone' said.

Manet wouldn't have gotten anywhere if he worried about what the Academicians felt (earlier). And from there, sprung other 'movements.'

GH-Mongo
08-28-2007, 07:35 PM
It's also worth noting that pretty much all "black" pigments reflect other colours as well. (The only one that doesn't, that I'm aware of, is Spinel Black PBk26.)

illuminous art
08-28-2007, 09:21 PM
I think the bias comes from trying to avoid the beginner's mistake of using black to paint dull, lifeless shadows. People who are just learning will think, oh, shadows are dark, so I'll just paint them with black!

As long as the painter understands what black does, and knows how to use it, I think it's fine. I use black in mixes sometimes. Not for mixing darks, because I get those by mixing complementary colors, but for odd little things like softening a sky.

Avarwen
09-02-2007, 01:08 AM
Black is a good color if used right. My art teacher told me it was the stillest thing he'd ever heard people not using black. Black itself is not to blame for a bad painting the artist is. If used in small amounts and mixed well black can be a vital color. Ignore the art snobs and do your own thing.

Richard Saylor
09-02-2007, 05:30 AM
Any color can be misused. It's absurd to single out black as the main culprit.

Richard

Jim T
09-02-2007, 05:32 AM
Any color can be misused. It's absurd to single out black as the main culprit.

Richard


Ditto! :thumbsup:

LarrySeiler
09-02-2007, 01:37 PM
If a recipe is calling for sugar...and you instead use salt, flour...but you use oatmeal, well...then you will have a far different product and judgment on the recipe thereafter is not fair.

Black is a legitimate recipe or ingredient to a palette strategy for artists whose ends in mind would be served best by black. However, we have to becareful to sum all painters up as being "real" painters...

John Singer Sargent was without question a master painter. He used black quite masterfully with his portraits. He was friends with many of the Impressionists that did not use black. At times painted with some of them.

Sargent also used "China white" with his watercolors which would put him at odds with watercolor purists, and rarely does his name come up among watercolors as being a master, but certainly Singer Sargent's paintings of Venice, rivers, landscapes, sculpture fountains, Arab nomads and so forth are some of the finest watercolors ever produced.

But just as important is THAT working order that one will come upon that will fuel, energy, direct, and develop one's painting direction.

Relatively speaking near any color scheme works so long as the values are right, (something Emile A. Gruppe himself pointed out); and the artist is free to create their own atmosphere within the confines of the canvas that will work itself out in that relative way.

Now having said that...I am often suggesting and making a point against the use of black.

Because...black is salt, when my recipe calls for sugar.

If artists ask me, or ask of anyone an opinion...I believe black is very difficult to pull off, Sargent an exception. Pulling it off means that the painting when completed goes beyond benign realism but also possesses a believable REAL'ness.

My recipe...for my manner of working (subjective...thus need not apply to all artists, all art...) is that many artists work in keeping to a realism that photographs suggest. After all many artists work from photographs.

We get away with it in our culture because moderns have been enculturated or shall we say bombarded since birth with images. Magazine pictures, billboards, television, movies...everywhere. We have come to accept the photo as telling truth...frozen time.

However...if one's recipe is to paint and project the sense of REAL'ness, then one seeks their work to feel as light does witnessing and seeing it directly.

A thru the lens shuttering system of the camera is all geared to favor the light, push shadows to a colorless flat lifeless area. In fact, even photos in art books of our favorite painters lie to us, for they never do justice to the actual work seen in the museum. More so then with nature.

I painted with black on my palette the first 17 years of my artist's career, working instudio. It wasn't until around 1995 when I first ventured to take a makeshift homemade easel outdoors to paint from nature that I observed that black would no longer represent the truth of what I was seeing.

Understand though that would apply only if the relative truth of instudio works was no longer the recipe and direction for me to go.

Outdoors, a shadow was not the lifeless colorless darks of a photograph, but an opportunity for indirect atmospheric light and bounced reflected light to demonstrate their presence. A photograph reference does not reveal such. The only time I really saw totally black, painting outdoors was painting nocturnals with a light on the bill of my ballcap but even then, I saw color in the blacks as part of the equation.

One winter, about 3am...with a moon...about 8 degrees below zero. Eerie greens in the darks. Still not perfectly black.

I have tried using black outdoors introducing color into it...but something about the black pigment killing the color and not looking nor feeling right. In other words, unlike Sargent, I've not learned to use black right.

What I will submit...is that I don't believe 99% of artists have learned to use black right either. It is like the kiss of death. That is...if REAL'ness as a necessary ingredient to support real'ism.

A painting possesses REAL'ness for me if standing before it I can allow myself to fall captive to the painting for just a moment and FEEL as though I could be standing there. I can feel the light, imagine the breeze or winds, and so forth.

Color is one of those things that projects that feeling for me, and for the recipe that projects REAL'ness rightly for ME...I find the use of black causes artist's work to feel more like representing a photograph than it does nature.

It is difficult in the passion of our discussions, wearing our emotions on our sleeves as artists often do...to not well explain one's opinion...just as we do not necessarily read a thing said rightly. I will insist black is not good to have on the palette...but that will be in speaking with vested interest for why my paintings turn out as they do and those paintings of others I most enjoy.

This does not mean I am not capable of seeing the art in the art of those that do use black. They just lack the feeling of convincing REAL'ness for the recipe I incline to. If you love using it...by all means do.

To show I am open minded about this...this past year, I did a few indoor larger waterfall oils and used black. The intent I was after allowed for black in the recipe. The paintings fail to deliver the sense of REAL'ness my other paintings have, but they are yet strong works of art invoking something else in the viewer making them worthwhile; which was an interesting experiment for me. Yet...when I returned to paint outdoors...knowing what I would experience outdoors...I left the black home. ;)

ChristineC
09-03-2007, 10:21 AM
Black was definitely banned with the Impressionist style teacher I studied with a few years ago but now I am studying classic

sfumato1002
09-04-2007, 06:21 AM
LOL! to me black is the most important color in my palette.

Actually I like carbon black from maimeri, it is the blackest black I have found. I think Ivory is somewhat weak. Like comparing weak ultramarine blue to strong and rich PB60 Faience Blue from maimeri also.

Black is the foundation of my painting, it guides me to use rich strong colors through out my work.


the pigment black is everywhere in nature and black also is seen in deep shadows where there is no light been reflected.

Again, without black I would find another proffesion. Thats all I have to say.

sfumato1002
09-04-2007, 06:33 AM
What I will submit...is that I don't believe 99% of artists have learned to use black right either. It is like the kiss of death. That is...if REAL'ness as a necessary ingredient to support real'ism.



Lucky me! Im in that 1% that has learned to paint with black.

sfumato1002
09-04-2007, 06:42 AM
If black was good enough for: Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Velasquez, Vermeer, Manet, Sargent, Zorn, Degas, Franz Kline to name a few, it's good enough for me.



Please don't forget Leonardo Da Vinci. Black was his favorite pigment.

LarrySeiler
09-04-2007, 12:20 PM
Lucky me! Im in that 1% that has learned to paint with black.

yep....lucky you!

I used it most of my professional wildlife art career. I thought I used black well, and won Wisconsin's Wildlife Artist of the Year in 1984 using black. Apparently the judges thought I used it well as well.

Won and placed 23 more times in 33 competitions I entered, using black.

So...if you would have asked me back then during those first 17 years of painting, I probably would have argued for black and said "lucky me!" too.

Now...I look at those past works of mine, and based on what I've been painting outdoors the past twelve years, they just look so lifeless. They have realism, but not REAL'ness. That's my eye now, versus back then.

I guess its relative.

Main thing is...you're happy with its use, so use it happily!!! :thumbsup:

LarrySeiler
09-04-2007, 12:25 PM
Please don't forget Leonardo Da Vinci. Black was his favorite pigment.


that's so true...

and his work, though beautiful, classic and so forth...does not represent nature's light all that well, IMO. They are wonderfully realistic, but lack REAL'ness to me. They do not ring true to life...again, this is subjective. This is the reason art movements did not end with Da Vinci. His work was not the final ex nihilo end to end all ends. Artists that followed developed seeing for themselves and required finding palettes that would service their need of expression.

Certainly a grand thing though, for any artist wishing their work to emulate Da Vinci's!

When I began painting, I painted and copied Rembrandt and Frans Hals works for a good long while. Their work at that time defined life as I wished to see it. Hals alla prima and light is more intune now with how I personally see light than say Rembrandt or Da Vinci...but again...such is subject to change as we grow, isn't it?

all good though...all good,

and I've said my share here...so I'll bow out. Good art is made with black...there is no question. Seems we either grow on with it, or grow on without it...

take care

Artmakr
09-05-2007, 05:54 AM
On Black.

Early impressionist didn't use it, but van gogh did, and degas and picasso to good effect.

Don't use black is more of a guidline than a rule. Especially for beginners, instead of using black we try to use colours to paint the shadows. I used to use black as a last resort, sometimes to great effect, more often, it destroyed the painting.

But lately, I've been using it with a sense of reverence,. Take special care when using black, should be the rule!

Richard Saylor
09-05-2007, 09:49 AM
I use various blacks. In gouache it's very easy to mix a convincing black from three suitable primaries, but it looks the same as a tube black to me. I.e., in highly opaque media, such as gouache or casein, a tube black is somewhat like a convenience color. This is not the case with more sophisticated transparent media such as watercolor, in which pigments may be selected not only for their color but for various other physical properties (flocculation, granulation, etc.). Also, with acrylics (glorified house paint ;) ) it can be difficult to mix convincing blacks, so in this medium I find tube blacks to be very useful.

To me, objections to black seem more philosophical than practical, but that's just me. :angel:

Richard

Einion
09-05-2007, 03:13 PM
Hi Larry, I see what you're saying about the kind of colours/colouring you can get with black that don't ring true to you but I think this is really an argument about the over-use, or misuse, of black rather than a condemnation of its use.

It's like with the artists who weren't aware of having black in their palettes - because it was hiding in something like a Van Dyke Brown Hue or Payne's Grey - the specific uses they put those colours to meant that the small amount of black in their paintings worked fine (certainly well enough not to raise their own anti-black alarm bells!) because of where and how it was used.

I've done side-by-side comparisons using black for some of the things it's naturally suited to. One of the obvious ones is making a green with a yellow or yellow earth compared to a blue + yellow mix with something added to neutralise it and the results are so close in every respect as to make no difference which way you go, although of course you do have to adjust the mixture to compensate.

And in the case of darkening certain colours without making them too dull, black actually works better than any other route, unless you happen to have a dark-valued paint in the same rough hue category. This is especially useful in limited-palette schemes; so for example using Phthalo Blue GS, Cadmium Yellow and Quinacridone Rose and you want a really dark green that requires a given amount of yellow - because the yellow is lightening the mixture as you add it to the blue, you raise the value the more of it that's needed; there's no way around it. There are only two ways available to the painter to get that dark value back if it's desired (if keeping the hue the same is important) and that is mixing in some Quin Rose or some of the black; of the two the mixtures with black are less dull.


Actually I like carbon black from maimeri, it is the blackest black I have found.
Ditto! It's probably my favourite acrylic black of the few I have in terms of how dark it is and also for its covering power & tinting strength, which makes it pretty versatile for something that's technically semitransparent.


To me, objections to black seem more philosophical than practical, but that's just me. :angel:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Aug-2003/3842-thumbsup.gif

Einion

Patrick1
09-05-2007, 04:10 PM
And in the case of darkening certain colours without making them too dull, black actually works better than any other route, unless you happen to have a dark-valued paint in the same rough hue category.
Do you mean it's because adding black will come closer to merely darkening a color, whereas adding the complement will often result in a more greyed appearance?

Einion
09-06-2007, 01:28 PM
Do you mean it's because adding black will come closer to merely darkening a color, whereas adding the complement will often result in a more greyed appearance?
Yep. With a primary triad the blue or red/rose/magenta will always work somewhat as a mixing complement in a mixture involving the other two primaries, regardless of the proportions of the mix, so adding it will immediately move the blend toward grey (and generally very swiftly, as you know). With black on the other hand, although it does of course dull some colours it darkens more quickly, hence the better results.

Einion

LarrySeiler
09-06-2007, 10:20 PM
Hi Larry, I see what you're saying about the kind of colours/colouring you can get with black that don't ring true to you but I think this is really an argument about the over-use, or misuse, of black rather than a condemnation of its use.

I'll agree, and my comments are not so much condemnation, though I am down on the success I supposedly had over time past. The "misuse" to my thinking is demonstrated by those that use it to worse ends than if black had not been used, and to my observation and thus opinion, that probably would define about 80% of those that use it.

That I no longer much appreciate the works of my former career using black, I must be accused and come to agree that I must have not used black well. Not a master of black.

I think it better to not use it, than to use it poorly. Just my opinion...and ya'll know how I define opinions and specifically my own. "Opinions are like armpits, everyone has at least two of them, and most stink!"

I always encourage folks to dismiss my opinions, and I feel better knowing people may do that frequently. ;)



It's like with the artists who weren't aware of having black in their palettes - because it was hiding in something like a Van Dyke Brown Hue or Payne's Grey - the specific uses they put those colours to meant that the small amount of black in their paintings worked fine (certainly well enough not to raise their own anti-black alarm bells!) because of where and how it was used.

Glad you would use those two as examples, perhaps why then I do not care for either one of those pigments! ;)

no condemnation...not on my part, though I'll cast the first stones toward my own past works.

peace

Einion
09-07-2007, 02:30 AM
I think it better to not use it, than to use it poorly.
Good point to make about a lot of other things in painting too :)

Einion

mr.wiggles
09-07-2007, 02:37 AM
Larry you mentioned that Gruppe used a split complimentary palette and mixed grays, does this come from Pissarro? I was just reading about him, and it mentioned he used this kind of palette, what the was stated was he developed what is today called a plein air palette. It sounds the same as what your talking about.
It said that Pissarro would mix green and red to get a gray and he would mix the grays into the colors to
and paint out of the mud so to speak.

Interesting aside his great grand daughter is a painter. Come to think of it so is Matisse's great-granddaughter Sophie.

And do you know the work of Robert Philip?

LorenaStraffi
09-10-2007, 07:21 PM
I'm an airbrusher an I use black. I Use it only in the right way, that it means never too much. It is simply the right color to add to reach some colors.
I was hurt from a friend some time ago about that, are almost 20 years that I'm painting and I ran a very successful airbrush studio and now he tell me that I'm wrong to use that color BECAUSE A new GOOD FRIEND OF HIM TOLD HIM THAT !! no because it is his way to paint or to think :eek:
I personally think that if a painting is beautiful , it doesn't matter if the artist use black or not, for me it is not important, I look at the results..
I understand what LarrySeiler says about black in nature, but I would like to show a piece of art of a friend of mine, Alberto Ponno, he use always black, and, like me, he use only 5 colors, and in this case he used black for the leaves too. Do you think that it is really wrong that painting?.. for me it is only a fantastic painting, very natural . Then taste is taste, I think that beginners ruin their painting because they use too much black, I think that artists use black or not it depend on their taste, for me there is nothing RIGHT, nothing WRONG or ART would be something with limits that is not!!!

Lorena

:wave: http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/10-Sep-2007/57948-giusta_per_PasserottoWEB.jpg

Polygon
09-11-2007, 11:54 AM
Lorena, that painting is an excellent example of colours that are much easier to achieve with a touch of black than without it. I too find black so useful in achieving realistic outdoor colours. (when I use it that is- I'm still getting over the taboo, and have a long way to go in colour mixing at any rate. But avoiding black was definitely slowing me down in my learning.)

sfumato1002
09-12-2007, 12:16 PM
I too find black so useful in achieving realistic outdoor colours.

I think using black makes more realistic paintings because it's presence can be found throughout nature and is also found in many of our foods plants, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. It is also found in animals, in the soil, in the bark of trees, rivers, streams, and seas.

I think black could be nature's most popular pigment because is in almost everything.

And if you try mixing black using pg7 and magenta, you can't really call that black. Its just a dark grey... but not black.

rghirardi
09-14-2007, 09:55 AM
...there is nothing RIGHT, nothing WRONG or ART would be something with limits that is not!!!

Well said!

mr.wiggles
09-16-2007, 10:32 AM
One thing to think about, why use two or more expensive colors to make a cheap one?

Everyone has there own way of dealing with color, but when it comes to blacks they are a series 1 paint which means the cheapest.

If your using complementaries than you are most likely are going to be using Yellows, Blue's and Red's which are the most expensive or pretty close to it.
So if your making grays than your really using expensive paint to make cheap paint as well.
Just a thought.

Enchanted
09-18-2007, 07:49 AM
Any color can be misused. It's absurd to single out black as the main culprit.

Richard

Hey Richard, I know that you know that neither black nor white are colors!

THAT should recharge this thread.
:wave:

GH-Mongo
09-18-2007, 07:21 PM
Any color can be misused. It's absurd to single out black as the main culprit.

Technically black isn't a colour, it's a value.

That's part of the reason many colourists don't believe in using it, claiming it "deadens" colours.

cjorgensen
09-20-2007, 01:26 AM
In my very first oil painting class (at a Michael's craft store), they told us to mix three grays (light, medium, and dark) using black and white. It was so helpful, like training wheels, to get correct values in colors, and not make them too bright. You want a sky? Take some of that light gray, and pop a little blue into it. I know more about painting now, and I try to avoid black so that I lean on learning to mix. But when I get really stumped, whipping up the proper value in gray, and then adding it to the color saves the day. This is just what works for me. I still consider myself a beginner. I only use Cad Yellow, Cad Red Light, Alizeron, and Ultra Blue. (Plus Salt and pepper to taste).

alfaro
09-21-2007, 03:05 AM
black all the way!!!

LarrySeiler
09-21-2007, 08:22 AM
Larry you mentioned that Gruppe used a split complimentary palette and mixed grays, does this come from Pissarro? I was just reading about him, and it mentioned he used this kind of palette, what the was stated was he developed what is today called a plein air palette. It sounds the same as what your talking about.
It said that Pissarro would mix green and red to get a gray and he would mix the grays into the colors to
and paint out of the mud so to speak.

Interesting aside his great grand daughter is a painter. Come to think of it so is Matisse's great-granddaughter Sophie.

And do you know the work of Robert Philip?

mixing the grays into colors is not itself a split-comp palette..it is sharing a common mother color, or what E.Payne calls "pigment soup"
From what I've read, split-comp palette was used by Payne...many of his peers, and Gruppe...also, taught...but it was one palette color strategy not used exclusively. There were about 5-6 various color scheme/concept palettes used common to their day.

artgardon
09-21-2007, 03:23 PM
I LOVE Taboo and I LOVE Black! Crazy people say crazy things!

Payne's Grey is grey - and Black is Black

each colour has value (incl "non-color"...hmm i guess non-color would be transparent or clear then huh ;-) :-p )

iconist
09-23-2007, 02:07 PM
Caveat here: I am a beginner and a student.

My most recent experience explains to me why black should be used with care. I am doing a painting from an old photograph of an Italian town. It is a study in extremes of light and dark, and the picture was taken from within a shaded courtyard looking out into the street.

I chose this picture for an exercise in using one color along with white, black and the color's complement - the last three colors to be used only to mix with the main color.

The reason they tell you not to used black is that black deadens the color mixtures. I found this to be true. The black I mixed with the main color to get the dark of the interior courtyard completely destroyed the luminosity that existed in the darkness that I was trying to capture.

I stopped right there and decided to do the picture over and selected Nita Leland's Bright Earth palette of brown madder, quin gold, and indigo. They way I handled the dark courtyard: I did an under painting of brown madder (gorgeous color!) and then I did successive glazes of indigo (lots of gel, little indigo).

I had it. I had it - the luminosity. And then, guess what? I couldn't leave it alone but had to put just one more glaze of indigo and killed it.

Now I have to go back and do that section over again - otherwise I'd post the two pictures so you can see why black is a bad choice for a mixing color.

Richard Saylor
09-23-2007, 08:34 PM
.....The reason they tell you not to used black is that black deadens the color mixtures. I found this to be true. The black I mixed with the main color to get the dark of the interior courtyard completely destroyed the luminosity that existed in the darkness that I was trying to capture.

I stopped right there and decided to do the picture over and selected Nita Leland's Bright Earth palette of brown madder, quin gold, and indigo. They way I handled the dark courtyard: I did an under painting of brown madder (gorgeous color!) and then I did successive glazes of indigo (lots of gel, little indigo).

I had it. I had it - the luminosity. And then, guess what? I couldn't leave it alone but had to put just one more glaze of indigo and killed it.....Guess what? Indigo contains black (lamp black to be precise). :eek:

If black didn't have a tendency to reduce the chroma of colors with which it is mixed, then it wouldn't be black. (Rhetorical question: Does this fact make it any less useful?) Of course, one can approximate black with a dark grey obtained by mixing complementary colors. However, the effect of mixing complements together is similar to that of adding black: it reduces chroma and darkens values.

By the way, genuine brown madder is highly fugitive, and quinacridone gold is no longer being made.

Richard

stoney
09-23-2007, 11:34 PM
I'm just curious to see what some of you think about the common taboo against using black in painting.

Everywhere I go, you get the attitude that "real painters don't use black". Many painters are proud to not even own a tube. Everyone extolls the virtues of mixed blacks using the other colours. It almost takes on a snob appeal tone in discussions.

A possible comeback is to state that 'real painters don't use tube paints.' Then watch them gape like a caught fish. Your use of their [cough] logic is just as valid as theres. That tactic is a good example of the "not a true scotsman' fallacy.


I myself rarely use black (except in illustration), partly because my subject matter doesn't often have extreme black, but mostly because I too have been indoctrinated against it over many years.

I've heard that quite often-online. I ignore it as I do all sorts of other blather about 'real artists.'

Both my oils and acrylics instructors have black on their pallet. I don't use a lot of it because it isn't needed. Anything which can be used as a tool will be. It's silly, and can be counter productive, to deprive yourself of a tool because someone else is yammering about 'real' this or that. Turn the tactic around at them and enjoy the 'deer in the headlights' look. :)


But when I think about it, my subject matter rarely has the violence of pure quinacridone red in it either, but I still use that in mixing colours.

Exactly. The same goes for many other colours.


I find I use Payne's grey a lot for darks, but obviously get a lot of blue tone from that which I then neutralize out, but.... when I think about it this is very roundabout, it's part of painter culture that I do it this way. A smidge of carbon black would get me there faster, and I can then warm or cool the mix as needed. Less work, often more accurate, and neat effects occur that are difficult to achieve without a lot of tinkering with the mixed blacks.

I don't know of any culture which has escaped from that type of thing. Using blacks, or any other colour, can make one more efficient which is giving yourself a pay raise. Higher efficiency=less time=higher profit.


Is it because beginners often overdo it that they're told to just not touch it at all, and that bias stays with people and has become part of painting culture?

That could be. However, I'm not aware of anything which isn't overdone by beginners [or even more experienced folks from time to time]. Where's the call to eliminate those other things?

Hmmmm... Is it possible the prejudice against the colour black derives from the Bible and its pro-slavery stance? Which could have been based on the story of Ham?


I used some carbon black yesterday in mixing some earth tones, and got great results! I'll definitely be using it more, and trying to shake off the internal bias that I've soaked up against using black.

I'm pretty sure I've got; Mars Black, Lamp Black, and Ivory Black. But that might be spread out through oils and acrylics.



So, I am curious to hear what you colour experts (or other interested folks like me) think about black on the palette, and about the taboo so many hold against using it, owning it, etc. Obviously it's not often of use directly from the tube in a lot of situations, but then neither are that many of the colours I have in my collection of paints.

Exactly! :thumbsup:

Richard Saylor
09-24-2007, 01:38 AM
.....The reason they tell you not to used black is that black deadens the color mixtures. I found this to be true. The black I mixed with the main color to get the dark of the interior courtyard completely destroyed the luminosity that existed in the darkness that I was trying to capture.....Another consideration besides color is transparency. Black pigments are generally opaque. Obviously a glaze done with transparent colors will exhibit the greatest luminosity, and any dull opaque color will reduce luminosity. Some watercolorists restrict their palette to transparent colors in order to maximize luminosity.

Richard

LarrySeiler
09-24-2007, 09:57 AM
Reinforcing once again, I don't have objections to black used...but I submit that many use it as a crutch for darks, or in the comfort of copying photographs...simply painting a shadow black, because that is the information the PHOTO'graph is suggesting.

If the artist has the maturity or experience to know what a photograph is NOT showing...or how to use black so as not to so dominate or destroy color, then I am often more impressed than put off with its use. I used it for so many many years without a conscientious awakening to its use, that I have now avoided it for many years to learn more about what possibilities there are without its use. When I use it now...sparingly, it feels as though I am callling upon it for specific and appreciative reasons.

Before driving home yesterday from the shores of Upper Michigan, I visited the Presque Isle park of Marquette...and carried my paint gear out on some intimidating rock structures to paint this...

9"x12" oil...
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/23-Sep-2007/532-northeastrocks_presqueisle120.jpg

What I want to point out, or attempt to strongly insist upon is that the rocks in shadow, and especially the lower rocks with the bluish hint of sky reflecting upon it would in many copied photos of the same scene be painted black by lesser experrienced painters simply because THAT is what the photo reference would suggest.

I believe black is too convenient, and one reason I often make insistences that black should be avoided is so that painters (especially newer to the art of painting) in making their own darks will begin to see what color is actually in the object's shadows represented and take into consideration reflected light and indirect light (where objects bounce their color and light onto a nearby object/mass...).

I opted, to use black in this one...with blue, viridian added...to add to a few accent marks, and in areas I wanted to read darkest. I don't use black as a rule...but don't want to rule out great artists that knew how to use it right. I am not claiming to be counted upon those "great artists", certainly...no arrogance on my part in that regard I would hope. Truth is, I don't trust myself completely with black, knowing what my dependency was upon it for the first 17 years of painting and how it affected my painting. Sad part was...the host of accolade I was surrounded with thru those years made seeing any different quite difficult. Seems one has to shred oneself of such stuff sometimes, and attempt to paint anew...

I feel like I'm startin' to get it...painting that is. But that too could be wholly wrapped up in the illusion of not knowing what I don't know. Perhaps one day, I'll not be too happy with something I was doing during this chapter of my life. What is that?? Perhaps that is growth... dunno rightly *shrug... :)

Andrew
09-24-2007, 12:19 PM
Honestly, I don't see as truely a bias against black, the hue, but really against the use of black as means to deepen the value of other hues. Black is a wonderful thing on the palette. But nothing will turn a mixture to mud faster than adding black to darken it.

Treating black as a hue, in and of itself, does it justice. You have warm blacks, cool blacks, brown blacks, and blue blacks. It is a pigment with which to be reckoned. It just isn't a reliable pigment choice to use merely to lower the choma and value of other pigments.

Andrew

colourburst
09-24-2007, 09:57 PM
I use black sparingly and tend to mix brown and blue to get a less darker colour. Picasso used black to great effect in his work so it has it's uses. You can also get a dramatic effect between black and other colours such as red and white.

stoney
09-25-2007, 07:13 PM
Generally, when I use black it is mixed with one or two other colours.

Richard Saylor
09-26-2007, 04:13 AM
Honestly, I don't see as truely a bias against black, the hue, but really against the use of black as means to deepen the value of other hues.....Reading other forums, I gather that there really does seem to be a fairly widespread taboo against having black paint on the palette. Black is evil because it is a 'color-killer.' Strangely enough, there is seldom any problem with convenience colors, such as sepia, Payne's grey, and indigo, which often contain lamp black. :evil:

The usual scenario seems to be this. Teacher tells student, 'Thou shalt never use black, the colour-killer.' Student believes teacher is the ultimate authority and propagates the commandment. Thus the sins of the fathers pass from generation to generation.

Actually, black may be a better way to deepen the value of a color than using the mixing complement. Adding green to red may be more of a slippery-slope to muddiness (neutrality) than simply adding black. Of course, the best solution is often simply to use a deeper red.

Richard

LarrySeiler
09-26-2007, 08:23 AM
you may be right about the "seldom" correction with Payne's grey..and so forth, Richard. I know I have had my share of discussions at WC though, discussing the benefits of mixing up your own grays and such, and without black. FWIW

Wish I could agree with you on the last comment. Its not within my own experience in painting ...the first 17 years using black to deepen a color as you say, the later using the complement. That could be my conundrum though, buried in the familiarity of my own experience. Though, I have confidence to believe more outside my experience that affirms a broader opinion...when I see affirmation of it studying the writings/teachings of other painters past and present.

I think even a casual perusal over my blogspot with a simple limited palette going back to the blogspot's beginning (archives) and a few minutes on the wildlife art section of my artist's website...will show a mammoth change in understanding and using color. In no way, all accolade of those early years aside...did I have anywhere NEAR the understanding of color- lost in my tonal and frequent use of black, as I do now.

It was coming into an awakening of other traditional methods of deepening color making FULL use of the colorwheel, its complements and such that made the difference.

Perhaps...and I'll accept the argument, I am an exception and one of few (some might say) that has come to conclude black was a large obstacle blocking my progress as a painter. Without black, I was forced to engage the learning necessary to see the full extent of what color and mixing could lead to.

Having worked things out with color now the good long course of my latter painter's life, I now feel I can afford to play with some extent using a bit of black now and then. It is yet very limited. Usually always instudio.

For some reason...I find greater confidence or liberty to talk myself to experiment with it when not painting outdoors. When I paint outdoors, I am just to persuaded by the light of nature itself against its use.

The painting above, from this past weekend...was perhaps one of the very few I used a bit of black to deepen a few darks, and ONLY (you'll like this) because I had a bit of it left on my palette from having painted an old car painting in studio.

this 5"x 7" oil being one of the small abandoned truck paintings I did-

http://www.larryseiler.com/images/oldford120.jpg


A bit of black paint was there...(because of the truck pieces) and I tend to be frugal with my paint. I made use of it...but was cognizant the whole time to exercise extreme caution and brevity.

This is then my contention...that not enough artists use it with this heavy sense of caution, and while it works to cement their work to a successful end in their chosen genre/style...it then IMHO fails in the genre of realism to FEEL REAL'ness that one feels observing nature directly.

I use it with caution...when I do use it, cognizant of its ease in countering and opposing the very REAL'ness that has drawn me to paint from life outdoors to begin with...

that is the sum of MY experience...but my heart's pulse aesthetically is not definitive of what must be for everyone else. Just paint. Keep painting... and celebrate life...

peace

brownreese
09-26-2007, 10:27 AM
I struggle with using black for my shadows. My colors often turn out muddy. I am about to start a painting where the image is framed by white birch trees in the foreground that are in the shade. I'm trying to think ahead and solve how I will do this without falling into the mud. I was thinking of using black/dark tones in a glaze over the bark that will be painting in "birch light." Any suggestions? I'm a relative newbie. I have only painted 7 paintings in the past 32 years and each one has been like birthing a 20 pound baby.

Here is a link to the photo as well as my 7 paintings.

http://gallery.mac.com/brownreese#100048&view=mosaic&bgcolor=black&sel=6

Thanks!

Patrick1
09-26-2007, 01:33 PM
I am about to start a painting where the image is framed by white birch trees in the foreground that are in the shade. I'm trying to think ahead and solve how I will do this without falling into the mud. I was thinking of using black/dark tones in a glaze over the bark that will be painting in "birch light." Any suggestions?

The nearby darks are very dark - perhaps too dark and colorless? If it were mine, I'd probably lighten these a bit, and inject more color into them. One way would be to use the photo as it is, for the majority of the painting, but to get the colors of the nearby darks, use a slightly lightened version of the photo, maybe with saturation boosted a bit if need be. But without over-doing it - if you lighten the darks too much, you lose the look of strong sunlight and it ends up looking more like an overcast day.

brownreese
09-26-2007, 03:40 PM
Thank you. Your suggestion is an excellent one. I photoshop my source photos so this will be really easy to do especially since the area I want to manipulate isn't blown out so there is a lot of latitude to pull more detail and lighten it up

Hopefully I won't fall into the dark mud when it comes time to mix my colors. for the shadows.

Thanks again,
Stephen

(This was my first post and I am already getting valuable information!)

Richard Saylor
09-26-2007, 07:46 PM
..... I was thinking of using black/dark tones in a glaze over the bark that will be painting in "birch light.".....That would certainly put you in good company. A lot of the old masters routinely used transparent glazes for shadows and opaque colors (often impasto) for highlights.

Richard

stoney
09-27-2007, 12:17 AM
I struggle with using black for my shadows. My colors often turn out muddy. I am about to start a painting where the image is framed by white birch trees in the foreground that are in the shade. I'm trying to think ahead and solve how I will do this without falling into the mud. I was thinking of using black/dark tones in a glaze over the bark that will be painting in "birch light." Any suggestions? I'm a relative newbie. I have only painted 7 paintings in the past 32 years and each one has been like birthing a 20 pound baby.

Here is a link to the photo as well as my 7 paintings.

http://gallery.mac.com/brownreese#100048&view=mosaic&bgcolor=black&sel=6

Thanks!

Very nice. The 'mud' problem might depend on which black you're using with which colours. I can't help with that one, but maybe someone else can.

artgardon
09-27-2007, 12:43 AM
I've been using ivory black the past couple months - i finally decided to break thru the bias myself and just do the thing ur 'not suppose to do' (so they say - maybe some people like to hold out on little secrets ;-)

I started using it and fell back in love with painting - ok i never fell out - but it was definitely a pick me up and added some spice to my art - after having followed the 'never use black' theory.

When I use the ivory black straight from the tube - sometimes i just scrape a nice decent layer with the palette knife and it makes a nice flat black....mmm love it! And then if I wanna spice it up with some sultry depth or just a little umph for spice - then i add anything from alizarin crimson and/or transparent red oxide to a touch of the siennas (burnt &/or raw)... the best thing I have found is put the critic aside and experiment - let ur eyes and and gut instinct tell u if the colour fits. Somehow u just know when it works or doesn't.

And sometimes it takes a few layers of adding additional transparency colours to the black - depends what effect u are going after and what colours u have on hand to accentuate the black with blue accents, brown or hints of red, etc

I say experiment and explore even if in small amounts to get a feel for there interaction. Gosh i love colour - it's so fun to explore how they work together!:p

edited to add: these days when i shade or shadow i use variation of lavenders (usually a magenta and/or alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue *only cuz that's the only blue besides prussian i have on hand - and the power of prussian and depth i save for midnight skies and ocean waters :-)* ) if i had others on hand I'd try them out. For a couple paintings i use paynes grey mixed with titanium white for shadows - but those are my goth/emo guy portraits :-) If I didn't have paynes grey i'd use a touch of black and a touch of blue - to get the payne's grey effect - but i have to say - i love paynes grey - easier than trying to mix that color...i find it very handy!

stoney
09-27-2007, 12:53 AM
edited to add: these days when i shade or shadow i use variation of lavenders (usually a magenta and/or alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue *only cuz that's the only blue besides prussian i have on hand - and the power of prussian and depth i save for midnight skies and ocean waters :-)* ) if i had others on hand I'd try them out. For a couple paintings i use paynes grey mixed with titanium white for shadows - but those are my goth/emo guy portraits :-) If I didn't have paynes grey i'd use a touch of black and a touch of blue - to get the payne's grey effect - but i have to say - i love paynes grey - easier than trying to mix that color...i find it very handy!

Since you mentioned goth and had a few thumbs in your sig, you might find this lady's work of some interest;
http://www.laurielipton.com/

osidianrose
09-29-2007, 07:22 PM
Other than the fact that people don't use black because it has an intendency to flatten colors, it also has a lot to do with modernist culture that made art all about the caucasian/heterosexist/christian/womanizing/man.


I use black in my work if I am going to use it by itself. I hardly ever mix black with other colors.

stoney
09-29-2007, 08:17 PM
Other than the fact that people don't use black because it has an intendency to flatten colors, it also has a lot to do with modernist culture that made art all about the caucasian/heterosexist/christian/womanizing/man.


I use black in my work if I am going to use it by itself. I hardly ever mix black with other colors.

Examples please.

Einion
09-30-2007, 03:10 AM
Other than the fact that people don't use black because it has an intendency to flatten colors, it also has a lot to do with modernist culture that made art all about the caucasian/heterosexist/christian/womanizing/man.
I fail to see anything to suggest that modernist art is all about that; a great deal of modern art is not about representational subject matter just for a start ;)

Note:this thread is about the bias, perceived or real, against the use of black paint in painting, please limit input to this.


Examples please.
If this were Debates I'd be all for the same thing but we don't need to go down that road, thankfully :)

Einion

stoney
09-30-2007, 02:20 PM
I fail to see anything to suggest that modernist art is all about that; a great deal of modern art is not about representational subject matter just for a start ;)

Note:this thread is about the bias, perceived or real, against the use of black paint in painting, please limit input to this.



If this were Debates I'd be all for the same thing but we don't need to go down that road, thankfully :)

Einion

Debate? No debate. I was curious to see examples of what he was describing.

LarrySeiler
10-13-2007, 11:07 AM
Here's a 20"x 24" old 1947 era Ford Truck abandoned that I'm painting...making up the background...

http://www.larryseiler.com/images/endsession2_hwy64ford120.jpg

and here...you see I've added a couple ruffed grouse for amusement...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Oct-2007/532-old47ford_end3rdsession2.jpg

I decided (since this was a studio piece...) to use black a bit more especially for the deep shadows...

However, this reminds me of my old using of black. The darks being near impenetrable...and so heavy.

May have worked really in Rembrandt's day...rooms lit up by old oil lamps and such...and without saying anything in other forums where I've received a good share of kudos on this piece, it really doesn't as is represent how darks present themselves in natural light. Thus...the work I have here possesses some sense of realism to it (albeit painterly) but it is lacking in the potential REAL'ness factor.

As I bring this one to a finishing...playing with more foliage refinements and the truck...I will have to work into the darks beneath the truck...adding hints of seeing into the dark, some cools and so forth and see if I can remedy...

Black gives some definite "punch"...but, with carelessness...if a person is seeking to imitate nature's real feel...it will deliver a fair share of lifelessness as well. It will look real...but not feel real. I foresook black some years back wanting to find a way to have both...

Polygon
10-13-2007, 12:32 PM
Larry, I love the depth that the black-included mixes give under the truck and in the details of it. I find the "realness" (and I know you don't mean "realism" when you use that word), to my eye, is enhanced by it. I think the foreground grasses will benefit from some darkening as well, that you've mentioned you'll be working on.

I hope you post it here again after you do, as I haven't seen this in my wanderings in the other forums.

LarrySeiler
10-13-2007, 01:51 PM
thanks Polygon...

I think the pardigms or sense of REAL'ness will vary from artist to artist, encounter and experience by experience.

I was totally and perfectly comfortable with the look black delivered the first 17 years instudio, and I wouldn't have had the foggiest notion of what someone meant having a problem with black.

I think (speaking for myself) painting outdoors in natural light for 90% of the paintings I've done the past 12 years or so (averaging about 200 paintings per year), that the shift occured for me. I look at a painting, and use the imagery to couple with my experience feeling things aesthetically outdoors. The painting of an artist either marriages well with what I've come to know and understand, or it does not.

Such unfortunately taints just letting paintings be paintings, but I guess everyone will like or not like artwork for very personal reasons.

As an art educator...I can shift my thinking mode and say, well..."here's a painting representing classicism" and consider its merits within the standards of that tradition, and recognize if it is good or not as intended. I could applaude it...nominate it for awards and celebrate its success while at the same time not wish it to be hanging on my own walls. :)

Its more a preference...and I relish and so celebrate the outdoors that where color and light makes but a poor caricature of it...I just have a personal harder time taking it in. I certainly see its merits, can applaud the intent of the artist...and even critique if such has been achieved.

I know what you are saying about the black in this...and it works as a painting and as a piece of art work. I think just finishing up the foliage and truck here and there...the piece would catch the eye of former publishers and reps of mine. Yet...it does not marriage p to what I've come to know of that which FEELS real by my paradigms and experience.

I'm glad we can talk about my own painting this way without fear of it offending someone else. This painting could be better to my own liking or sense of what is right...and, we'll just see how it goes.

thanks

stoney
10-13-2007, 09:56 PM
Here's a 20"x 24" old 1947 era Ford Truck abandoned that I'm painting...making up the background...

http://www.larryseiler.com/images/endsession2_hwy64ford120.jpg

and here...you see I've added a couple ruffed grouse for amusement...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/12-Oct-2007/532-old47ford_end3rdsession2.jpg

I decided (since this was a studio piece...) to use black a bit more especially for the deep shadows...

However, this reminds me of my old using of black. The darks being near impenetrable...and so heavy.

May have worked really in Rembrandt's day...rooms lit up by old oil lamps and such...and without saying anything in other forums where I've received a good share of kudos on this piece, it really doesn't as is represent how darks present themselves in natural light. Thus...the work I have here possesses some sense of realism to it (albeit painterly) but it is lacking in the potential REAL'ness factor.

As I bring this one to a finishing...playing with more foliage refinements and the truck...I will have to work into the darks beneath the truck...adding hints of seeing into the dark, some cools and so forth and see if I can remedy...

Black gives some definite "punch"...but, with carelessness...if a person is seeking to imitate nature's real feel...it will deliver a fair share of lifelessness as well. It will look real...but not feel real. I foresook black some years back wanting to find a way to have both...

Hmmmmm......the hood is partially open. Perhaps a rusty toolbox on the running board? Partially open or not. Such could lead a viewer to study the work looking for clues as to what happened to the owner of the tool box. A little thing to increase the time spent viewing your work.

stoney
10-13-2007, 10:03 PM
thanks Polygon...

I think the pardigms or sense of REAL'ness will vary from artist to artist, encounter and experience by experience.

I was totally and perfectly comfortable with the look black delivered the first 17 years instudio, and I wouldn't have had the foggiest notion of what someone meant having a problem with black.

I think (speaking for myself) painting outdoors in natural light for 90% of the paintings I've done the past 12 years or so (averaging about 200 paintings per year), that the shift occured for me. I look at a painting, and use the imagery to couple with my experience feeling things aesthetically outdoors. The painting of an artist either marriages well with what I've come to know and understand, or it does not.

Such unfortunately taints just letting paintings be paintings, but I guess everyone will like or not like artwork for very personal reasons.

As an art educator...I can shift my thinking mode and say, well..."here's a painting representing classicism" and consider its merits within the standards of that tradition, and recognize if it is good or not as intended. I could applaude it...nominate it for awards and celebrate its success while at the same time not wish it to be hanging on my own walls. :)

Exactly. :D We all wear different 'hats' at different times.


Its more a preference...and I relish and so celebrate the outdoors that where color and light makes but a poor caricature of it...I just have a personal harder time taking it in. I certainly see its merits, can applaud the intent of the artist...and even critique if such has been achieved.

I know what you are saying about the black in this...and it works as a painting and as a piece of art work. I think just finishing up the foliage and truck here and there...the piece would catch the eye of former publishers and reps of mine. Yet...it does not marriage p to what I've come to know of that which FEELS real by my paradigms and experience.

I'm glad we can talk about my own painting this way without fear of it offending someone else. This painting could be better to my own liking or sense of what is right...and, we'll just see how it goes.

thanks

Nicely done.

LarrySeiler
10-14-2007, 01:16 AM
Hmmmmm......the hood is partially open. Perhaps a rusty toolbox on the running board? Partially open or not. Such could lead a viewer to study the work looking for clues as to what happened to the owner of the tool box. A little thing to increase the time spent viewing your work.

Hhhmm....an interesting idea...but, then we'd have to wonder where to start looking for the decayed remains of a lost individual to whom the toolbox belonged to! :D

stoney
10-14-2007, 06:38 PM
Hhhmm....an interesting idea...but, then we'd have to wonder where to start looking for the decayed remains of a lost individual to whom the toolbox belonged to! :D

Not necessarily....as the gent or lady got fed up with the whole thing and stalked off into the sunset. :)

LarrySeiler
10-14-2007, 07:54 PM
been there...my wife really had it with my old truck...but heh, it was my truck! Old...yes. Falling apart...yes, but what...gonna get rid of me then too as I wear out? :D

Esquire
10-14-2007, 11:56 PM
My approach with black is to use it as if it were a very dark blue.

stoney
10-15-2007, 12:57 AM
been there...my wife really had it with my old truck...but heh, it was my truck! Old...yes. Falling apart...yes, but what...gonna get rid of me then too as I wear out? :D

Ya never know..... :evil: ;)

stoney
10-15-2007, 12:58 AM
My approach with black is to use it as if it were a very dark blue.

That or mix red or some other colour with it.

LarrySeiler
10-18-2007, 11:10 PM
I decided that I would do a couple more paintings that have black in the mix...to, well...if anything say I'm open minded I guess. Perhaps I could learn to use it in a limited way, unlike my years ago way.

both...black, yellow ocre, red and white-

The tractor yesterday... 4"x 6"
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/17-Oct-2007/532-oldfordtractorwc.jpg

this little Woodduck today...4"x 6" (this one, a bit of cobalt blue also to set off the irridescent wing primary feathers)

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/18-Oct-2007/532-henwoodiewc.jpg

Pilan
10-19-2007, 10:55 PM
Larry I must say I was rather surprised about you using black, I think they look very good with black.

Now, the real question is what black did you use and why that black.

I would like to know what the difference is in mars, lamp, ivory and just found chromatic black. I have not used anything but mars.

Thanks

P

Pilan
10-19-2007, 11:21 PM
You mean you have not discovered red yet:lol: !!


as always, love your stuff A.

black all the way!!!

LarrySeiler
10-20-2007, 08:07 AM
Well..."P"...I have my reservations and dislike of black...but I've NEVER been afraid of experimenting and encouraging the same.

There is the artist side of me...and then there is the art instructor side...

I was harnessed and used by black for the first 17 years of my painting, and for good reasons after stepping outdoors and seeing shadows not having any, held a healthy fear and disregard.

I think black always has aided and assisted illustration and commercial art needs. Think black is fine for a particular classicism and traditional genres. Its when the artist is seeking to go beyond realism to capturing REAL'ness, that black needs to be seriously reconsidered, for I believe it easily takes over, ruins shadows and color, and chases REAL'ness away. That's just my opinion, and don't feel I need to qualify that. Don't care how good the artist is...(Daniel Greene for example)...too much dark, too much black and as real as it looks, its REAL'ness is compromised and ruined.

I'm playing to see if used sparingly, I can afford to risk using it. I have avoided its use for nearly 12 years. Like an alcoholic toying with the idea that perhaps now after all these years, I can experiment and see if I could handle maybe just one little sip... :eek:

I used Ivory...

My experiments to satiate the "instructor" side has played with a nmber of Edgar Payne's palettes, Emile Gruppes...and so forth. And by their palettes...I mean strategies, like split-complementary, triad, mother color (or pigment soup). For the moment...I thought I would play with Zorn's palette just to see what I might see.

For these, I'm after some subtle neutrals and such that allows color where placed, to sing. Less overall shouting...but singing strong in just the right place.

I'm gearin' up to enter some national competitions, which are by nature more illustrative in my thinking. As such...that makes black fair game. Judges of such are more locked into realism and understand or give little room to REAL'ness...

I'd like to have a measure of both (I'm stubborn) :D

here's another I whipped up late two afternoons ago...only 5"x 4" in size...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Oct-2007/532-redheaddrake.jpg

Pilan
10-20-2007, 12:21 PM
Oh, I really like the way your duck came out. I think the black works wonderfully. Your response was super and not to technical. Then maybe I am just hanging in long enough to learn a few things:lol:

I am not familiar with Zorn's palette. Sounds like a greek god:p

If the lighter values are considered high key what would the darker values in a painting be considered, low keyed? But, then when you look at a painting with black in it that has been a bit overused, it does not look low keyed.

hmmm,

Then, what colors of black lean to the warm tones and which ones lean to cool.

Sometimes, I think black looks as if it is warm not cool. The reason why maybe black seems to kill a painting is because it hits the visual eye first if surrounding it is medium values tones.

What do you think. Maybe you can shed some educational light on my pondering thoughts.


Good luck with your upcoming shows.

P


Well..."P"...I have my reservations and dislike of black...but I've NEVER been afraid of experimenting and encouraging the same.

There is the artist side of me...and then there is the art instructor side...

I was harnessed and used by black for the first 17 years of my painting, and for good reasons after stepping outdoors and seeing shadows not having any, held a healthy fear and disregard.

I think black always has aided and assisted illustration and commercial art needs. Think black is fine for a particular classicism and traditional genres. Its when the artist is seeking to go beyond realism to capturing REAL'ness, that black needs to be seriously reconsidered, for I believe it easily takes over, ruins shadows and color, and chases REAL'ness away. That's just my opinion, and don't feel I need to qualify that. Don't care how good the artist is...(Daniel Greene for example)...too much dark, too much black and as real as it looks, its REAL'ness is compromised and ruined.

I'm playing to see if used sparingly, I can afford to risk using it. I have avoided its use for nearly 12 years. Like an alcoholic toying with the idea that perhaps now after all these years, I can experiment and see if I could handle maybe just one little sip... :eek: :lol: :lol:
I used Ivory...

My experiments to satiate the "instructor" side has played with a nmber of Edgar Payne's palettes, Emile Gruppes...and so forth. And by their palettes...I mean strategies, like split-complementary, triad, mother color (or pigment soup). For the moment...I thought I would play with Zorn's palette just to see what I might see.

For these, I'm after some subtle neutrals and such that allows color where placed, to sing. Less overall shouting...but singing strong in just the right place.

I'm gearin' up to enter some national competitions, which are by nature more illustrative in my thinking. As such...that makes black fair game. Judges of such are more locked into realism and understand or give little room to REAL'ness...

I'd like to have a measure of both (I'm stubborn) :D

here's another I whipped up late two afternoons ago...only 5"x 4" in size...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/19-Oct-2007/532-redheaddrake.jpg

Polygon
10-20-2007, 01:16 PM
I'm gearin' up to enter some national competitions, which are by nature more illustrative in my thinking. As such...that makes black fair game. Judges of such are more locked into realism and understand or give little room to REAL'ness...

Since "REAL'ness" is not a word in common useage, could you define it for us and compare it to "realism"?

I'm looking out into my back yard right now and seeing black everywhere- not stark, but it's out there in the mix for sure. One could paint it using a tube black or not, but it's still out there.

To imply there is no black in nature is like a watercolour painter saying there's no white in nature. It's more of a technical issue than a colour one.

LarrySeiler
10-21-2007, 12:20 AM
I will try and explain Polygon...(and if I succeed, it will be you that will bear the burden of informing watercolorists there is no white...and note, speaking of more recent as well...I rarely use white by itself or without any hint of color in it except in extreme situations of direct glare. Most artists overuse white and it too appears unnatural. Paint from life as a habit/rule...and you will see marvelous influence of color on every plane, every value)

Here are a couple comps of past works of mine, using a split-primary palette & acrylics...which usually requires black to make darks seem dark enough, (acrylics having a more transparent nature) but where black easily gets out of hand. These were also instudio, based from outdoor experiences using photos...but with no experience painting outdoors from direct observation. I'm not saying they are bad paintings, and did earn me a reputation I built a career on...but, as I will attempt to explain, they lack REAL'ness-

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Oct-2007/532-pastcomp1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Oct-2007/532-pastcomp2.jpg

and these that follow, painted after about 10-12 years experience painting outdoors, a limited palette and without black...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Oct-2007/532-nowcomp1.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/20-Oct-2007/532-nowcomp2.jpg

The first two groups/comps are samples of realism...that lack REAL'ness. Illustrative more...which black may well have contributed to. They are my works...so, I am insulting no one saying so. The last two comps are works that possess a quality of light that comes of painting from life and direct observation. Darks were made from the limited palette... no black on the palette.

You are forced to study the darks...learn to sense their cool or warm state, their hint of color present from reflected or indirect light. Even the one winter scene done at 3am under moonlight, used no black pigment on the palette.

I believe one problem with black on the palette for novices or even intermediates, is they may not learn the relationships of color to produce darks and tweak color temperatures to get the full potential possible. You can become dependent...simply rely on the manner of dark you are accustomed to, and relieve yourself of the responsibility to look deeper.

REAL'ness comes down to particular relationships between color choices used, the values...that feels real. You can squint your eyes and that familiar light observing and painting outdoors is present in the work, and you can imagine yourself standing there. You can feel the warmth of the light...imagine the breezes swaying branches or causing leaves to clap. It is not simply a recording of texture on a tree that realistically says, "yep...that's a tree" but it projects a particular quality that you can feel the REAL'ness of it.

Most painters I know that spend a good deal of their time painting outdoors directly from life understand exactly what I'm talking about here...and I am only giving an honest opinion when I look at another artist's work and can assess it lovely as realism goes...but, it lacks the feeling that life feels. The energy that life puts off...and then I'll sum it up as being realistic, but not having REAL'ness.

In fact...from the many lovely works I've seen of artists, I know that one can sacrifice the details of realism...and yet have work that projects wonderful REAL'ness.

I would also say that perhaps 80-90% of the time realism lacks REAL'ness, the art work has relied heavily on black.

Now...I'll end saying this...
if you look outdoors and see black, then by all means be true to yourself and paint it.

I wonder though...how often is your practice of setting up outdoors and painting?

Such determinations cannot come of casual observation. While painting outdoors, you will learn how to look at things differently...and see the play of indirect light and reflected light.

I too see some black in nature...usually after the sun is well down beyond the horizon.

Now...here are three simple mundane objects I painted...postcard sized, a year or so back...

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Oct-2007/532-bluesharpswc.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Oct-2007/532-mediumbottle.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/21-Oct-2007/532-viridian4blog.jpg

no black pigment was used in my palette to produce these darks. Perhaps these darks look black to you? They are not...nor look black to me. I see life in these darks...as a rule I don't see life in black. Sargent might be one of the few exceptions in that his paintings with black seem yet to possess REAL'ness.

Lastly...I'll use a metaphor...

The eye learns to look for a thing when necessity calls for it, but our tendencies lean toward laziness when a thing is not called for, whereby presumption takes over.

An example...imagine you are an adult chaperone over 40 students at a large amusement park outing, like Six Flags. At 4pm...everyone is to meet back at the bus for the long trip home. It turns out everyone arrives at the time set except one kid.

The decision is made that the adults are going to have to go in and look for him...a park with 10,000 other youths.

But...the mind develops filters by ruling out many things. Its a boy...so the mind rules out girls. Tall...so the mind rules out short. Wearing a blue denim ballcap...so the mind rules out hair without a cap, and any color but blue.

You walk around the park like a cyborg unit on Terminator...the eye scanning and glossing over, quickly eliminating what not to see...to hone in on just what to see.

Well...this is what painting can be like. For folks that do not spend a lot of time painting from natural light...do not spend time in many discussions with other painters as well...a painter may not know they should look for particular traits in darks...or color temperature and so forth. A dark might be summed up black.

Well...I hope it is pretty plain by my putting the works together in the samples I did...that there is something notably different in the first couple comps driven by black...and the comps and samples that followed where darks had to be made. Perhaps I might not be able to best explain it, and I have tried...but I hope some can see it...

Light has a nature of its own...and a quality to it...and paint achieves a believability that connects to the feeling of light, or it does not. Paint might achieve a beautiful wonderful aesthetic, and with that I'll finish by saying I am not defining what is art or what is not. There are many masters of many genres and traditions and lovely work for the world to experience. But... if we are talking my concerns as a painter and what I mean by REAL'ness, then I will speak to such. What I am not suggesting is that all paintings have to be painted outdoors, but the artist taking knowledge and experience instudio put to work for him/herself could attempt to paint the painting as though the light had all the genuine qualities of natural light. Therein is the illusion of REAL'ness.

another post where I explain...but line one line in particular-
http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=6377749&postcount=16

"...painterly realism works for different reasons plays on a more interactive necessity of the viewer. The painting done painterly, is incomplete by itself. It requires the narrative of the viewer's imagination to finish it. That is its source of greater power to move the aesthetic soul..."

peace

Pilan
10-21-2007, 03:02 AM
Larry, very well explained. Thank you

LarrySeiler
10-21-2007, 07:55 AM
thanks "P"...and I should add, I try when I critique artist's work and explain the light and how their paintings might be improved (that is, they want my opinion), to explain REAL'ness as often as possible. Perhaps one day, the use of the word will not be so uncommon.

It was not I that came up with the term...but in my stumbling over attempts to explain what I had no word for, another artist chimed in and said, "you are talking about a certain REAL'ness versus just realism." Liked it so much, I've used it since.

Another example of a quality hard to explain that has parallels, are artists that will put great energy into building detail upon detail in say painting a bird. Every vermiculation in feathering, the barbs and vines, every hint of a color's presence...but in so doing may have forgot the MOST important detail of all...and that is softness. Their bird does not appear soft.

So intent were they on capturing detail (relegating realism to mean such in their mind) that they sacrificed softness. It should seem so obvious, should it not...but their bird appears as made of wood and they are proud as all get out on their realism.

You can remove a good degree of literal visible detail (which seems to attack realism in some minds) of the bird, recapture the birds most notable softness, and come upon a REAL'ness for the subject that brings realism to a better more convincing level.

This is allegorical and similar then to light having a particular quality that is more convincing...and yet, it is as difficult to convince artists of it as it is some bird artists that their work is lacking. I try in my limited way...frustrating as I may be to my ownself for the trying. Thanks for the affirmation.

Larry

Polygon
10-21-2007, 11:09 AM
Larry, I think it boils down to a matter of taste. When I look at your first set of paintings, black/dark is perhaps a overused, but when I look at your second, to my eye, it's underused. (and it wouldn't have to be tube black). This is of course only to MY eye, and I should note that I like your paintings very much. Neither set rings completely true in colour to me, and that's as it should be, why should they? They're your interpretation, as they should be.

They're painted in a different style, so it's harder to compare them. I like your more recent ones better but it's not a colour issue, it's a style one.

You might be taking too techinical a slant of defining "realism" in the bird example. I'm not a big fan of realism myself, but if someone is a skilled realist and not just a technician, they could make the bird look both soft and technically accurate. That's where the art comes in.

Larry, it's oooooobvious that there's no stark white in nature (although, to split hairs, I disagree with you on this one too, as I spend a lot of time in the Canadian arctic, and yes, while white blended with all the other bits of the spectrum is still the norm, up there you can get atmospheric conditions where nothing, absolutely nothing is reflecting, and you get... are you sitting down... stark white. Not that I'd necessarily go around making a painting out of it).

When I used the watercolour example, just as I could have used a CMYK example, there is white in the painting. It's the paper. Yes, we paint over it, but as we both know, the white is there and combining with the paint to form the colour. But yes, stark white is overused and often badly used by many painters in rendering their highlights.

And yes, there's very little stark black in nature either, but that's not the point. But if you ever mix 3 primaries together, you are basically adding at least a hint of what black will give you. You might be limiting yourself in how dark it goes, and the nature of the mix means it will lean easily in the direction of one of the primaries much easier than doing so by starting out with black, but you're basically neurtalizing and darkening, and that's what painters who use it use black for.

Pilan
10-21-2007, 12:02 PM
I understand this softness thing. Now to accomplish it takes practice. I especially love the Carel Fabritius painting of the Gold Finch. But I dont think its so much the bird as it is the softness of the shadow of it. It almost looks as well that Fabritius did not make it look soft on purpose.

GoldFinch
http://bertc.com/subone/fabritius.htm

Larry, what do you think of this use of darks on this self portrait?

http://www.mystudios.com/rembrandt/rembrandt-pupils-fabritius.html



thanks "P"...and I should add, I try when I critique artist's work and explain the light and how their paintings might be improved (that is, they want my opinion), to explain REAL'ness as often as possible. Perhaps one day, the use of the word will not be so uncommon.

It was not I that came up with the term...but in my stumbling over attempts to explain what I had no word for, another artist chimed in and said, "you are talking about a certain REAL'ness versus just realism." Liked it so much, I've used it since.

Another example of a quality hard to explain that has parallels, are artists that will put great energy into building detail upon detail in say painting a bird. Every vermiculation in feathering, the barbs and vines, every hint of a color's presence...but in so doing may have forgot the MOST important detail of all...and that is softness. Their bird does not appear soft.

So intent were they on capturing detail (relegating realism to mean such in their mind) that they sacrificed softness. It should seem so obvious, should it not...but their bird appears as made of wood and they are proud as all get out on their realism.

You can remove a good degree of literal visible detail (which seems to attack realism in some minds) of the bird, recapture the birds most notable softness, and come upon a REAL'ness for the subject that brings realism to a better more convincing level.

This is allegorical and similar then to light having a particular quality that is more convincing...and yet, it is as difficult to convince artists of it as it is some bird artists that their work is lacking. I try in my limited way...frustrating as I may be to my ownself for the trying. Thanks for the affirmation.

Larry

LarrySeiler
10-21-2007, 04:45 PM
But if you ever mix 3 primaries together, you are basically adding at least a hint of what black will give you. You might be limiting yourself in how dark it goes, and the nature of the mix means it will lean easily in the direction of one of the primaries much easier than doing so by starting out with black, but you're basically neurtalizing and darkening, and that's what painters who use it use black for.

mixing primaries together gives you hints of other color, which then can play as supportive color, contrast in temperatures and so forth. IT brings the dark alive whereas black is neutral in that regard. Besides...if it takes but a moment to make such a dark, there really isn't much need for black. Problem is...many artists depend so much on black, they understand little of the personality a dark can take on.

Black tends to kill color in my opinion, and perhaps some paintings (such as the Zorn that I've experimented with) are quite lovely with killed color. They lack the naturalness of actual light however...

Some relish in making greens from yellow and black, but nothing about the green made from such looks natural to my eye.

Guess we'll at best have to agree to disagree...and as for the later works being underused...that is part of the secret why the color appears to possess greater REAL'ness, and I'll take that as a compliment. IF I saw black when I was outdoors painting those, I'd convert and be using it. This still yet peeks my curiosity which you have not answered yet, and that was how often do you paint outdoors on location? You do not have to paint outdoors on location of course to have a valid opinion or be an artist, but it would impress me to have such an opinion as you gave that my black is underused, if you yourself painted outdoors quite often. Better if I could see your work from your experiences outdoors. I don't mean asking such to sound crass...but I believe we all can agree as artists, the eye gets educated. I know painters in Hawaii...and I know that if I visited and painted with them, I would have to go thru a certain period of time seeing, observing...trying to mix out unique color relationships and that at the first it would feel foreign to me. Like Van Gogh visiting Arles, and noting the light was very agreeable to him there. Unique.

I know from experiences and exchanges with artists...that greens appear different here under our northern midwest Greatl Lakes region than greens appear down in the southern states or Hawaii.

That being said, I know that in the plein air forum...if painters of some experience were to say I underused black, we would have a discussion which might be cause for me to reflect more on that. Truth is...the majority do not use black. Some do...but the majority do not.

I do not imagine that most artists that paint outdoors frequently observing and learning from encounters with the light directly...to say such. I've not heard such in twelve years by anyone that paints outdoors except where their own work has very obvious great creative directions. Bill Wray comes to mind. Neat work...and not typical. This again brings me back to what I said earlier...that one not subjecting themselves to that which has become quite familiar to others keeps certain particulars distant or out of mind.

Had I remained in studio after 17 years working with black, I no doubt would be unfamiliar with what I am now...and my paintings would not have gone thru the change it did.

As I said...even painting on the streets of Chicago from 11pm until 1am, I did not see black. Not outdoors at 3am with moonlight. I just don't see it...but as you say, that is totally cool because that allows for our interpretations, and I agree. Thing is...I will yet adamantly defend in conversations I am painting what I see, what I experience. Some might think I'm nuts...and apparently you to a degree thought as much when you brought up the watercolor and white thing. But...that's just where the chips will fall.

If my eye begins to see black, I'll use it unapologetically.

I am using some black now for experiments, certain palettes...and I'm pleased with the results. They just don't have the REAL'ness factor to them, but more so than in the old days when I used it. Glad you agree those darks of then were overused...

take care

LarrySeiler
10-21-2007, 04:54 PM
Larry, what do you think of this use of darks on this self portrait?

http://www.mystudios.com/rembrandt/rembrandt-pupils-fabritius.html


Personally...I can look at it as an art instructor, recognize the tale tell signs of past classicism, the baroque influence and so forth and say that within those parameters, this piece would be a very fine painting example.

As it speaking to my eye...there is nothing natural about it.

There is nothing natural about Rembrandts painting, "The Officer" where using his father as a model, had him pose in a rich velvet shoulder garment, hat against a black background...and back in 1979 stopped me in my tracks and had me crying. Back then I was copying Rembrandt to learn rendering and so forth.

It would be natural if we were accustomed to putting spotlights on all our friends stopping by the house, turning off all the lights so the skin beamed with light against a dark background.

It was a good device for the times...

Chiaroscuro...stage lighting...and many modes of glazing for effect worked, but once an artist paints from life often...how one sees and experiences light has a great compelling argument against the contrived and formulaic approach. Sargent's light, much more convincing...

One would have to have an oil lamp near this subject to paint from...

I've not walked into too many outbuildings, barns, sheds with little light illuminating the space only to see a figure bathed with a brownish light.

It has its charm...it is art. Has a degree of realism, but to MY EYE (or perhaps my interpretation ) lacks REAL'ness while adhering to tradition or form.

JamieWG
10-26-2007, 08:54 PM
Polygon, if you use Payne's Gray, you are using black. It is usually a mix with black pigment. You may as well just have the black and use it on your palette as needed.

I initially stopped using black when an art teacher came up to me in class and took away my black paint. Then he went through my colored pencil box and took away all the black and grey pencils. He handed them to me and said, "Just put these away and don't use them. Someday you will thank me for this." It was difficult at first, but I think it only took me a week or so before I thanked him. LOL

I find I just don't need it now. I can mix a dark neutral, but now I think more about which way I want to direct that neutral color. Also, in oils, because of the way I handle my palette and mix my colors, the black was traveling into all my mixes and dirtying my paintings.

I could probably go back and use black now more effectively, but I haven't felt the need. I've become very independent of it. I do use it for monochrome studies from time to time, and they grey shaded pencils too.

Jamie

LarrySeiler
10-26-2007, 11:08 PM
...what Jamie said!!!! :D :thumbsup:

DAK723
10-27-2007, 06:48 PM
Larry, your info and insights are so valuable! I just skimmed this topic, so forgive me if I am repeating what others have said, but I think part of the fascination with art (and artists) is that we all see things differently and interpret them differently as well. I notice that some people have said that when they look at nature they see lots of blacks. I would have to disagree and say that they are not looking closely enough. But who is to say that they aren't right and I am wrong? Or, in all likelihood there is no right or wrong. But I don't see black in nature and I think that is where much of the "don't use black" talk began - with the plein air painters. Black has no atmosphere - no implication of air - that is how I would best describe it. But I do have black and use it sparingly for indoor scenes.

Without getting too deep into philosophy, there are schools of thought that say how we perceive is based not so much on what the eyes see, but how are brains are shaped into seeing by our common culture. In other words, since seeing is actually done in the brain, we, as humans, might see things differently depending on our culture and our time in history. The theory is that (for example) before the impressionists people actually saw landscapes with black and as painters painted them, with black darkened shadows for example. After the impressionists, our brains began to make a switch and we "learned" that shadows are filled with blues and purples. Pretty deep, I know, but food for thought.

Don

LarrySeiler
11-03-2007, 10:14 AM
I notice that some people have said that when they look at nature they see lots of blacks. I would have to disagree and say that they are not looking closely enough. But who is to say that they aren't right and I am wrong? Or, in all likelihood there is no right or wrong.

I am not the painter I was 30 years ago. Not the painter I was 20 years ago, nor 10...

we all grow...and in growing, we learn to see more, note more.

Much of this growth is a thinking process, but often we have to challenge even our own selves. For one, reputation and success...demand for work, agents and the whole buzz has its way of saying loudly what you are doing is working, must be right...and so engaged to produce you aren't likely to allow ideas to divert you from your mission.

Others seem to connect with your work, they are a support line...

After the chapter of success cools, (and it does)...and no one seems to notice your work that much any longer...you have time to toy with the idea more can be learned, you might be able to improve. You try something and discover that for near 20 years you did not even realize what you were doing. That a whole other world indeed exists beyond the limitations you had set for yourself.

Its like blowing up a balloon, letting the air out. The balloon having been filled does not return to its former shape. Is been said, "a mind changed can never return to its former dimension"

I have often wondered...if I could stand in someone else's shoes...and see a red thru their eyes, would it look the same?

Heck...I hear from folks that certain paintings I post here at Wetcanvas are truly good ones, but good chances that most systems are calibrated differently and my paintings would look slightly different on each system. I understand we must operate from what we perceive.

But your question is..."who is to say..."

and I will give a testimony (like a witness) to this...
I have been here at Wetcanvas since less than 1,000 artist members. I've been on staff since. My email box gets plenty of requests to look at another's work...asking what isn't quite right with it. That, and my time on Structured Critiques forum as a moderator...and my time milling around art exhibitions and artists ask me for a critique.

For one...why do I get asked?

I don't know...perhaps some are presuming (what they looked at my work, liked what they saw??? I don't know...) I know something they don't.

So...my telling is a telling of what I have come to know.

Now, I've been an art instructor long before my joining Wetcanvas 8 years ago or somewhere there abouts...and have been accustomed to teaching and working with art students...but its been for me interesting to get feedback that my "telling" has for the majority whose help request I respond to indeed unlocked some mystery, led to some better understanding, or helped at least their one painting to suddenly come to life and feel better, look better.

The presumption one can fall into when often asked, and then often told "thank you...that did it. Its exactly what was needed"....

...is that perhaps there is more commonality in what I'm seeing that is nearer to what others see than I might have thought. That often, it is about coming to learn to see it, and that until challenged...and until the hoopla over our successful work for the moment subsides and we are likely to challenge ourselves once more to grow.

Its funny how that works.

I consider an artist/peer in the wildlife art business who was incredibly successful for years published by Wild Wings...prints of his playing frolicking pups selling the world over.

He would have never thought to consider seeing color, black and such in a different light. Why challenge your notions when things are working, or...why fix what isn't broken?

Thing is...(and I'm speaking of Jim Lamb) when this artist ventured outdoors to paint on location following this long and successful career with his puppy prints, his reaction (according to an article in American Artist magazine) was he stood there with paint in hand looking at nature and felt as if he didn't know anything about painting whatsoever!

A very humiliating feeling, and I know because I experienced the same. Its like you don't want anyone to find out the truth. I thought I was this great painter, but nature has totally revealed who and what I am, and I am found wanting!

But...then begins the need (because you have to prove something to yourself) to not back off and go retreat and hide in your studio, but to commit to coming to understand what it is you do not know. You learn that it is what you do NOT KNOW that prevents you from moving forward.

My prejudice...my Archie Bunker inclination is that artists who argue too much for the use of black do so because they are enjoying their degree of success and don't want to mess up the formula of what's working for them.

That is fine. Hey...there is plenty of room in the world for all kinds of art, and it makes our world more interesting.

But...I will be satisfied if what I share (even if rejected by many), happens to fall upon the eyes of those few who have been hitting their heads against the wall wanting to move on...and consider seeing differently, growing in different directions.

We do not all see the same. Yes thank goodness. However, if it were as simple as just saying such...I could walk away from the many that seem to value my opinion as concerns their work. My experience simply...is that my advice based on my own personal experience and testimony has helped sufficiently enough people that it warrants having come to some prejudice about it.

Lastly...if we are honest and think back to our early beginnings in art, we may well remember that we did not always see a thing until it was pointed out.

I think of my high school students just learning to look and see cool color in the shadows. I will observe one or two students looking at a reference that will say out loud "I just don't see it...I don't see any blues or purples in the shadows"

Fun...is to watch several other students go over...look, and say, "Yeah...I see it...yup, right there!" and point with the end handle of a brush. Others agreeing...and the one standing there with their reference getting a bit frustrated, but believing now...not that it is NOT there, but that perhaps they AREN'T seeing it.

Then, suddenly...such a student will say..."ooooohhh...wwwait a minute...I do kinda see it...yeah, heh...it is there. I do see the purple. Wow! Cool! Okay...that's cool...!"

Now...you might call that a suggestive psychological thing...peer pressure, but the eye does need to be educated to see, and to see rightly.

One last rant metaphor to cement what I'm saying.

I like this one because it demonstrates my point I think...

imagine you are one of several adult chaperones at a Six Flags Great America amusement park, with 40 high school students. All are to be back at the bus by 4pm...and all are, except for one student. A boy.

You have to re-enter the park of 10,000 to 14,000 others inside the park grounds to find this boy.

You hear he was last seen by several possible rides. He is over six feet tall, so you program you mind to ignore people shorter. He is wearing a blue denim ball cap...greatly worn and tattered. So every other kind of hat... or heads with no hat, will be ignored. He has a pull over sweathshirt with Abercrombie across the chest...color is faded blue.

When you walk in the park knowing what to look for...you walk in with a power tool working for you. If you do NOT know what to look for, you are in a world of hurt and trouble.

Imagine having to walk around the park with all its noise yelling, "JEFF... JEFF!"" because you did not know what to look for.

When artists hear that perhaps they have been misusing black. When their notions are challenged to hear that even very good painters were surprised, painters with years of success...to see that their very own notions were slapped back into their faces and then dispensed with...well, they begin to get an idea that something different then ought to be looked for...

If you don't and furthermore you WON'T consider to look for something, content to remain as you are...then good chances are you will remain in the state you are, and won't see it.

There is a saying, "If you always do what you have always done, you will have what you have always had"

How do I know? From dealing with people with their questions, their desire to grow as artists for near 30 years. That is how I would say...

Its not infallible. Its no certification or blache carte to assume I am absolutely right...but, it is enough evidence that I would be a fool to ignore it, and a pretty poor art instructor to not consider how such knowledge has helped others.

No harm standing behind it...either the information helps others or it does not.



Without getting too deep into philosophy, there are schools of thought that say how we perceive is based not so much on what the eyes see, but how are brains are shaped into seeing by our common culture.

One only fools themselves to think you can grow as an artist, manage to understand how to paint well without getting deep into thought, ideas, be forced to accept or reject some...and thus have a philosophy.

It sounds as though one is very sure of themselves, their own man...or man among men to say they don't have time to think thus...but, think they have or their work would show the deficit of it.


In other words, since seeing is actually done in the brain, we, as humans, might see things differently depending on our culture and our time in history. The theory is that (for example) before the impressionists people actually saw landscapes with black and as painters painted them, with black darkened shadows for example. After the impressionists, our brains began to make a switch and we "learned" that shadows are filled with blues and purples. Pretty deep, I know, but food for thought.

Don


That is true...but, do we credit the Impressionists...or should we ask what it was they did that artists before them did not?

It is rather interesting to picture oneself with about a dozen pig bladders filled with paint, mediums...odd easels, and a knowledge of painting that involves verdaccios and grissalles, steps of layering and time for drying and six months to paint entertain the notion of trying to setup outdoors on a location to paint. For one...we come back to the comfort of enjoying success and commissions. The money was there for the taking in the practice of what had become acceptable. You had apprentices to pay, materials...a way of life. Who would risk it...and the Impressionists were a threat.

The invention of a leaded foil tube with a cap that made paint portable, and human convention to come up with portable easels as well that gave opportunity for the painter's eye to witness light first hand and let nature be the teacher.

Philosophy and cultural understanding also notes that the guarded piety of religious faith poo poo'd the idea of exhuberant color and dress, and that darks represented well that one submitted to humility and the quiet the human spirit was to demonstrate possessing.

Setting up outdoors challenged those notions. If God had meant the world to be dark and humility meant guarded hidden beauty, then the natural world would show such. But it is explosive senseless beauty. Beauty that exists whether a human eye sees it or not...but beckons the eye to come and see because indeed it is there.

There were many dynamics at play when the cultures clashed and change was inevitable. Thing is...its not that our brains simply changed IMO because the Impressionists did something with paint uniquely, but that eyes were set free to see without prejudice.

Thus...perhaps the real challenge for any of us as painters is to see without prejudice, and understand that formula offers us two things. It can offer us principle and foundations that are time honored and promise a degree of success, but it can also prevent us from coming to see.

Art...is a history about seeing. About a time when seeing was not understood...slowly became more understood, and is now there to be understood by anyone so desiring. Prejudice provides form...seeing anew is a challenge to be stretched. The two seem to work well together. The familiar and the unknown.

DAK723
11-03-2007, 06:24 PM
Larry, not only are you a very skilled artist, but your posts are always interesting, informative and thought provoking. Although I attended art school, majoring in fine art, I have learned far more about painting in the past few months from following your posts than I have in the over 25 years I have been an artist. You have introduced me to various palette strategies that I had never heard of and I have begun experimenting with them. I just ordered your cd e-book and look forward to getting many more lessons. There is lots of info here on WetCanvas - some contradictory, some just plain wrong - but your stuff is essential. Every newcomer to painting should be paying attention to what you have to say!

Don

stoney
11-03-2007, 08:43 PM
I am not the painter I was 30 years ago. Not the painter I was 20 years ago, nor 10...

we all grow...and in growing, we learn to see more, note more.

Much of this growth is a thinking process, but often we have to challenge even our own selves. For one, reputation and success...demand for work, agents and the whole buzz has its way of saying loudly what you are doing is working, must be right...and so engaged to produce you aren't likely to allow ideas to divert you from your mission.

Others seem to connect with your work, they are a support line...

After the chapter of success cools, (and it does)...and no one seems to notice your work that much any longer...you have time to toy with the idea more can be learned, you might be able to improve. You try something and discover that for near 20 years you did not even realize what you were doing. That a whole other world indeed exists beyond the limitations you had set for yourself.

Its like blowing up a balloon, letting the air out. The balloon having been filled does not return to its former shape. Is been said, "a mind changed can never return to its former dimension"

I have often wondered...if I could stand in someone else's shoes...and see a red thru their eyes, would it look the same?

Heck...I hear from folks that certain paintings I post here at Wetcanvas are truly good ones, but good chances that most systems are calibrated differently and my paintings would look slightly different on each system. I understand we must operate from what we perceive.

But your question is..."who is to say..."

and I will give a testimony (like a witness) to this...
I have been here at Wetcanvas since less than 1,000 artist members. I've been on staff since. My email box gets plenty of requests to look at another's work...asking what isn't quite right with it. That, and my time on Structured Critiques forum as a moderator...and my time milling around art exhibitions and artists ask me for a critique.

For one...why do I get asked?

I don't know...perhaps some are presuming (what they looked at my work, liked what they saw??? I don't know...) I know something they don't.

So...my telling is a telling of what I have come to know.

Now, I've been an art instructor long before my joining Wetcanvas 8 years ago or somewhere there abouts...and have been accustomed to teaching and working with art students...but its been for me interesting to get feedback that my "telling" has for the majority whose help request I respond to indeed unlocked some mystery, led to some better understanding, or helped at least their one painting to suddenly come to life and feel better, look better.

The presumption one can fall into when often asked, and then often told "thank you...that did it. Its exactly what was needed"....

...is that perhaps there is more commonality in what I'm seeing that is nearer to what others see than I might have thought. That often, it is about coming to learn to see it, and that until challenged...and until the hoopla over our successful work for the moment subsides and we are likely to challenge ourselves once more to grow.

Its funny how that works.

I consider an artist/peer in the wildlife art business who was incredibly successful for years published by Wild Wings...prints of his playing frolicking pups selling the world over.

He would have never thought to consider seeing color, black and such in a different light. Why challenge your notions when things are working, or...why fix what isn't broken?

Thing is...(and I'm speaking of Jim Lamb) when this artist ventured outdoors to paint on location following this long and successful career with his puppy prints, his reaction (according to an article in American Artist magazine) was he stood there with paint in hand looking at nature and felt as if he didn't know anything about painting whatsoever!

This isn't the exact article I was thinking about, but it touches on a bit of what I was thinking of;

http://www.apa.org/monitor/feb03/overestimate.html

Volume 34, No. 2 February 2003

Why we overestimate our competence

Social psychologists are examining people's pattern of overlooking their own weaknesses.

BY TORI DeANGELIS
Print version: page 60

We've all seen it: the employee who's convinced she's doing a great job and gets a mediocre performance appraisal, or the student who's sure he's aced an exam and winds up with a D.

The tendency that people have to overrate their abilities fascinates Cornell University social psychologist David Dunning, PhD. "People overestimate themselves," he says, "but more than that, they really seem to believe it. I've been trying to figure out where that certainty of belief comes from."

Dunning is doing that through a series of manipulated studies, mostly with students at Cornell. He's finding that the least competent performers inflate their abilities the most; that the reason for the overinflation seems to be ignorance, not arrogance; and that chronic self-beliefs, however inaccurate, underlie both people's over and underestimations of how well they're doing.
/excerpt

The one I was thinking about was a double blind {iirc} study where a baseline was set up on the students {Volunteers and were rewarded with one credit}.

The results were tabulated and the students were split into three different groups of equal 'mixes.' One group was taught about competence visualization techniques, another had no additional training, and I don't recall about the third one. The group who was taught about competence visualization techniques pulled closer to the goal of accurate self-assessment.



A very humiliating feeling, and I know because I experienced the same. Its like you don't want anyone to find out the truth. I thought I was this great painter, but nature has totally revealed who and what I am, and I am found wanting!

But...then begins the need (because you have to prove something to yourself) to not back off and go retreat and hide in your studio, but to commit to coming to understand what it is you do not know. You learn that it is what you do NOT KNOW that prevents you from moving forward.

Exactly. From your viewpoint you might see a gentle rise bracketed, either side by rock walls, going up a hefty difference. And one might catch a glimpse of something above that, but it all looks like a snap to travel.
{Here you've not the slightest idea you're not seeing all there is}

Continuing on you find the gentle rise hid a series of restricted ridges and valleys. {There's more to this endeavor than had been apparent}

Continuing on through the series of restricted ridges and valleys you come upon a golden vast vista from which you can see all sorts of meandering and interconnecting trails.

Granted, this is a very crude descriptor of things, but I think it gets the point across.



My prejudice...my Archie Bunker inclination is that artists who argue too much for the use of black do so because they are enjoying their degree of success and don't want to mess up the formula of what's working for them.

That is fine. Hey...there is plenty of room in the world for all kinds of art, and it makes our world more interesting.

But...I will be satisfied if what I share rejected by many, happens to fall upon the eyes of those few who have been hitting their heads against the wall wanting to move on...and consider seeing differently, growing in different directions.

We do not all see the same. Yes thank goodness. However, if it were as simple as just saying such...I could walk away from the many that seem to value my opinion as concerns their work. My experience simply...is that my advice based on my own personal experience and testimony has helped sufficiently enough people that it warrants having come to some prejudice about it.

Lastly...if we are honest and think back to our early beginnings in art, we may well remember that we did not always see a thing until it was pointed out.


Yes. I, for one, am still at that point. It takes time.


Thus...perhaps the real challenge for any of us as painters is to see without prejudice, and understand that formula offers us two things. It can offer us principle and foundations that are time honored and promise a degree of success, but it can also prevent us from coming to see.

Art...is a history about seeing. About a time when seeing was not understood...slowly became more understood, and is now there to be understood by anyone so desiring. Prejudice provides form...seeing anew is a challenge to be stretched. The two seem to work well together. The familiar and the unknown.

The unknown. Pearls of great price and/or perils of great price. Spice. :)

LarrySeiler
11-04-2007, 08:14 AM
thanks Don...much appreciated. I received several orders for the book this past week, and they will be gettin' out tomorrow...hope you'll enjoy.

Don't know how to really respond to your last post here...
will just say, much appreciated...

LarrySeiler
11-04-2007, 08:42 AM
interesting article, Stoney...
Where I think little was considered in the article is that western self-confidence has its early roots in the belief of worth and dignity which comes being divinely loved though certainly not earning it...existing as an intention by design of the Creator. Where as Asian philosophy tends toward self-denial, loathing, Karma or the goal of nothingness...

Not to get into any religious thing here...and certainly I think modern westerners culturally and socially are more and more de-rooting themselves of that sense that grandparents and decendents had. That of Manifest Destiny...of a sense of having importance simply because one exists and the Divine deemed it so. That is changing.

It was an interesting article though...to see such a study was done. Makes sense...an intriguing topic for such a study.

take care

Larry

stoney
11-04-2007, 12:24 PM
interesting article, Stoney...
Where I think little was considered in the article is that western self-confidence has its early roots in the belief of worth and dignity which comes being divinely loved though certainly not earning it...existing as an intention by design of the Creator. Where as Asian philosophy tends toward self-denial, loathing, Karma or the goal of nothingness...

I understand your point, but disagree totally. Be that as it may.
It's really too bad I don't remember more about that article-as I'd be able to find it.


Not to get into any religious thing here...and certainly I think modern westerners culturally and socially are more and more de-rooting themselves of that sense that grandparents and decendents had. That of Manifest Destiny...of a sense of having importance simply because one exists and the Divine deemed it so. That is changing.

The MD doctrine was the inspiration for much atrocity and, unfortunately, hasn't yet died the richly deserved death.


It was an interesting article though...to see such a study was done. Makes sense...an intriguing topic for such a study.

take care

Larry

And you. :wave:

LarrySeiler
11-04-2007, 02:26 PM
I agree on the abuse of manifest desitiny...which is where things break down, because selfishness and greed took over
...but, on the idea that mankind had a sense of worth that did not have to be justified in performance or "doing" but simply in the state of "being"...thus human "beings" not human "doings"...in other words, human kind having value for no other reason that a Creator saw fit to create them, called His creation good, on and on. That is what I meant. Poor choice of terms and should not have used Manifest Destiny. A total "senior" moment...which I'm seeing happen more and more! egads... :eek: :lol:

I'm not trying to initiate a religious debate...but simply observing there was in western culture a time where a sense of having value without having to go out and prove oneself was realized and understood. Then came along cultures that thought it better that dependents upon the system, the weak, the nonproducers, the ill and aged were blights and better off eliminated. They weren't doing arguably their fair share...contributing to the social group.

Its come to now a surge for the that which promises immediate sensate gratification and the big "me." Nothing having value if it doesn't involve me...

The other day...I was bemoaning the deaths of some young children, and a senior girl in my high school chided me saying, "so?? What's it to you? You don't know them"

That sense of inherent value as a human "being" is becoming lost. Not even human "doing" really today...but human "ME'ing"

but, I never have problems with my opinions being disagreed with. Mine likely stink like that of many ;)

stoney
11-05-2007, 12:50 PM
I agree on the abuse of manifest desitiny...which is where things break down, because selfishness and greed took over
...but, on the idea that mankind had a sense of worth that did not have to be justified in performance or "doing" but simply in the state of "being"...thus human "beings" not human "doings"...in other words, human kind having value


for just being, is something I agree with.


for no other reason that a Creator saw fit to create them, called His creation good, on and on. That is what I meant. Poor choice of terms and should not have used Manifest Destiny. A total "senior" moment...which I'm seeing happen more and more! egads... :eek: :lol:

No worries. There are times when words simply refuse to come to mind. As for them being 'senior moments[tm], I've been plagued with them since mid-November 1984-and I'm a few years your junior. Scary, huh? {/eyes twinkle}


I'm not trying to initiate a religious debate...but simply observing there was in western culture a time where a sense of having value without having to go out and prove oneself was realized and understood.

When and where was this? Such isn't a trap, or anything other than curiosity as nothing surfaces from memory. [After all these years I still find that irritating] So I ask in hopes of a 'memory jog.'



Then came along cultures that thought it better that dependents upon the system, the weak, the nonproducers, the ill and aged were blights and better off eliminated. They weren't doing arguably their fair share...contributing to the social group.

As I recall, this was generally in cultures where surviving the winter was problematical.


Its come to now a surge for the that which promises immediate sensate gratification and the big "me." Nothing having value if it doesn't involve me...


I don't have a cite, but recently read of a study which was surprised to find empathy for an individual in dire straits, but concern drops swiftly starting at two. Such was, they stated, an unexpected finding.


The other day...I was bemoaning the deaths of some young children, and a senior girl in my high school chided me saying, "so?? What's it to you? You don't know them"

That sense of inherent value as a human "being" is becoming lost. Not even human "doing" really today...but human "ME'ing"

I don't think it was ever there. The classic case of 'us' and 'them.' 'X' is how you can tell one of 'them' versus one of 'us.' Skin colour, town, state, country, religion, sect of religion, and others. Recent studies have shown the focus can be on something as small as whether the pocket protector in a shirt pocket has pens in it, or not! :eek:


but, I never have problems with my opinions being disagreed with. Mine likely stink like that of many ;)

We all are shaped by different experiences. How boring it would be if we all were the same. [/cue "A Wrinkle In Time" by Madeline D'Engle?]

What's interesting, and I don't recall what the specific items were, is you've looked at something from 'fifty different angles' time and time again. Such lines of evidence supports your conclusion. Then along comes another person who has the 'fifty first different angle' which wipes out your conclusion and reverses it.

Fascinating.

LarrySeiler
11-05-2007, 03:32 PM
When and where was this? Such isn't a trap, or anything other than curiosity as nothing surfaces from memory. [After all these years I still find that irritating] So I ask in hopes of a 'memory jog.'

In a much more religious (Christian/Judaeo) time...still exists in some degree in that world, but less visible, understood and known today than even 40-50 years ago. But...was understood during the Reformation age thru the Enlightenment...but quelching began with the Darwin/secularism age.

Judgments on the value of human beings required to being necessary "doings" rather than the dignity of simply being human "beings" was IMO the offspring of darwinism.

Note, I'm not saying there was not corruption in religion prior...as human beings will always propagate their own particular greed and evil intentions. I'm simply talking about a root idea that I have value not because I need to go out and prove myself. We enjoy a sense of fulfillment proving something, but even if I fail...I myself personally do not question my own value, having meaning and purpose when I consider that another Idea larger than my own had a hand in my coming into existence.

I understand this is no longer a popular argument or belief today in our expanding secularism and pluralism. Its yet my unpopular opinion... ;)

This is one reason I can paint and paint...and keep my joy about it regardless if I attain further accolade, if my work sells or not. I have a sense of knowing I'm where I should be, doing what I should do...and have no need of outside evidences to build up my confidence or to justify.

I think many sound so desperate in posts needing to figure out that one thing that will sell...perhaps what, really needing money???? There are ways to earn money..

but..I think need to sell as a sign or to validate worth as an artist, so ingrained/enculturated perhaps that we are or have become "human doings"

again...my opinion..

stoney
11-06-2007, 08:47 PM
In a much more religious (Christian/Judaeo) time...still exists in some degree in that world, but less visible, understood and known today than even 40-50 years ago. But...was understood during the Reformation age thru the Enlightenment...but quelching began with the Darwin/secularism age.

Judgments on the value of human beings required to being necessary "doings" rather than the dignity of simply being human "beings" was IMO the offspring of darwinism.

Ummmm, there's no such thing as Darwinism/Evolutionist. Evolution is a commonly observed fact. The theories seek to explain the observations. Evolution comes into play once life has appeared. Modern medicine and food safety is based on it.

As I recall, the 'worth' of a person was [and in many cases still is] based on class, status, skin colour, sometimes abilities, connections, and either individual or family wealth.

Worthless peasants, drifters, panhandlers, bums. Workers, for example, in the 30's and 40's on strike against the auto company[ies] for something a little better for their families. Thugs were sent in to break heads/bodies, and sometimes maimed and killed with impunity.

Prince Charles {England} nattering about people wanting to 'rise above their station.' Foolish man.

Christianity and the 'worthless sinner' blather. That 200 million dollar Cathedral in Los Angeles which was built one foot larger than St. Patricks Cathedral. To be buried in the vault, or whatever they call it, below costs a cool two million dollars. Two hundred million could have improved the lot of the poor folks living in that area.


Note, I'm not saying there was not corruption in religion prior...as human beings will always propagate their own particular greed and evil intentions.


No argument. FYI, I'm not interested in a debate with anyone. What does interest me is discourse and the examination of just about 'everything under the sun.'


I'm simply talking about a root idea that I have value not because I need to go out and prove myself. We enjoy a sense of fulfillment proving something, but even if I fail...I myself personally do not question my own value,


Is not such 'proving' satisfaction over a job well done? IMO, 'failure' is only that if one quits. Frankly, [generality alert] I pity the person who happens to get 'x' right the first time. In most cases, they would have no idea what went 'right.' That 'right' could have been nothing but timing happenstance.

I know of no way to analyze what went 'right.' I know many ways to analyze where and how the mark was missed.

I'm kind of an 'odd duck.' As an ET, the weirder and wackier the problem(s) the more I liked it. In short, I was getting paid to 'play.' It still boggles my mind. Stone age avionics, space age avionics, and 'Dick Tracey' avionics on the same aircraft. Wild. :D

Those 'circuits' [abilities and knowledge] are long gone, but the stuff I, and others, accomplished can never be taken away.


having meaning and purpose when I consider that another Idea larger than my own had a hand in my coming into existence.

'Meaning' and 'purpose.' I can see how such can be deadly. What if one's 'meaning and purpose' was to, say as a toddler, to distract a person at a key moment [all are then actors in a pointless play hitting their marks and spouting their lines as scripted eons ago]? What of the meaninglessness of that toddlers life? Since his/her 'purpose' was fulfilled what point is there in his/her further existence? And how could you tell what the 'purpose' was?

If I need a 'meaning and purpose' then I so designate it and change it at whim. Frankly, I find the 'meaning and purpose' routines to be meaningless. YMMV, of course.


I understand this is no longer a popular argument or belief today in our expanding secularism and pluralism. Its yet my unpopular opinion... ;)


Secularism? Where? The former USA's brave hope and promise has never been enacted. The country has always been governed by theists, in the main, of the various Christian sects. Of course, the big lies about the former USA's being a 'Christian Nation[tm]', all the Founding Fathers being Christian, and there is no separation of church and state in the Constitution is being eagerly consumed ala 'Jonestown Koolaid.' Christian Ethics, at its best. :\


This is one reason I can paint and paint...and keep my joy about it regardless if I attain further accolade, if my work sells or not. I have a sense of knowing I'm where I should be, doing what I should do...and have no need of outside evidences to build up my confidence or to justify.

Excellent. Self-security. :) Sadly, that appears to be in very short supply.

I'm at the very beginning of exploring this very alien art world. Its challenging and I'm having fun.


I think many sound so desperate in posts needing to figure out that one thing that will sell...perhaps what, really needing money???? There are ways to earn money..

but..I think need to sell as a sign or to validate worth as an artist, so ingrained/enculturated perhaps that we are or have become "human doings"

again...my opinion..

Again, no argument. In general, what is the accepted measure of success? Hefty bank accounts, bling, and much posturing. Seems quite empty to me. Again, YMMV.

People are funny with all sorts of odd quirks-me included. :)

Cheers

LarrySeiler
11-06-2007, 08:59 PM
I'm not going to get into it Stoney...
I understand macroevolution and microevolution...and my shelves are filled with books on the subject...and unless the debate is broken down and spoken in light of those two very separate things, most will be fooled to believe that simply citing the word "evolution" is all one in the same thing.

As I said...I didn't want to get into the debate. I've debated it for nearly 30 years...and bad enough as a public school teacher I am surrounded by it in an evironment that purports to represent the free unabated exploration of ideas, yet exists on the premise of exclusion. How very stink'n convenient...

but, that's enough from me on it...don't wish to play

take care...

Larry

stoney
11-06-2007, 09:02 PM
I'm not going to get into it Stoney...
I understand macroevolution and microevolution...and my shelves are filled with books on the subject...and unless the debate is broken down and spoken in light of those two very separate things, most will be fooled to believe that simply citing the word "evolution" is all one in the same thing.

As I said...I didn't want to get into the debate. I've debated it for nearly 30 years...and bad enough as a public school teacher I am surrounded by it in an evironment that purports to represent exploration of ideas, yet exists on the premise of exclusion. How very stink'n convenient...

but, that's enough from me on it...don't wish to play

take care...

Larry

No worries. As I said, debate doesn't interest me.

Cheers.

stoney
11-07-2007, 01:13 AM
I'm not going to get into it Stoney...
I understand macroevolution and microevolution...and my shelves are filled with books on the subject...and unless the debate is broken down and spoken in light of those two very separate things, most will be fooled to believe that simply citing the word "evolution" is all one in the same thing.

As I said...I didn't want to get into the debate. I've debated it for nearly 30 years...and bad enough as a public school teacher I am surrounded by it in an evironment that purports to represent the free unabated exploration of ideas, yet exists on the premise of exclusion. How very stink'n convenient...

but, that's enough from me on it...don't wish to play

take care...

Larry


Again, I'm not interested in debate.

Again, evolution is commonly seen. It is nothing more than a genetic changes [alle frequencies] through time in a given population. Such is seen with the birth of every baby, the decreasing effectiveness of antibiotics, turn species, and much more.

There's nothing to 'debate' nor is there any 'controversy.' The macro/micro rubbish is cretinist red herrings as is cats turning into dogs, or whatever. I have zero respect for superstitions. Such doesn't apply to people like you, Larry, who hold their religion as a valued private thing.

Tomes like; The Egyptian Book of the Dead, Norse Kavala[sp], Hindii books, The Q'uran, The Bible, Superman comic books, Santa Claus, Creationism/ICR/DI texts/books/tracts are not science books.

Creationism/FSM/Last Tuesdayism/Queen Mauve/other is welcome-provided it withstands scrutiny, provides answers, and is supported by objective supporting evidence.

Creationism under whatever label, is superstition [religion is a nomenclature upgrade] and isn't science. It fails under the slightest glance. Whether that bothers a religious person is irrelevant and immaterial. Any credit claim is as valid as another; i.e. Santa Claus and the Tooth Faerie 'created' the universe.

Religion belongs; in the home, and in churches. It does not belong in the public school system-unless in a comparative religion class.

Christians not only waste millions of dollars trying to inject their superstition into science classrooms-they've made a laughing stock of the citizens of this country in the eyes of the world.

Objective supporting evidence the universe was manufactured is _______?

Objective supporting evidence 'entity' not only exists, but gets 'credit?'

If the premise is "Everything must have a 'Creator'" then 'who' created the 'Creator?' {It's ever regressive 'Creators.' The item eliminates the Christian deity construct from consideration}. If the broken logic drivel about an 'uncaused cause' is indicated then the universe also qualifies.

As I've stated many times before-what a person believes and/or worships is their business. If s/he [they] insist on bringing it into the real world then it is subject to the same examination everything else is. It's that simple.

If my response bothers or enrages you, well, according to Christianity, 'God' scripted my words when it 'created' everything. You know, those Omni characteristics and the Divine Plan? 1 Thess 5:18 applies. In such case, don't blame the victim [me] for what your deity scripted.

Personally, doing either was never my intention. Your comments about "teacher I am surrounded by it in an evironment that purports to represent the free unabated exploration of ideas, yet exists on the premise of exclusion" is the driver. Public schooling, overall, is not for the 'free unabated exploration of ideas.' [Although there may be classes here and there which do just that]. Public schooling is meant to educate the young. The young can be indoctrinated in their parents religion on the family's own time.

Shall we teach about the 'faerie folks at the bottom of the garden' that Arthur Conan Doyle is reported to have believed in? Pyramid Power? Levitation? Astral Plain? Tips of a slice of pie must be eaten last as a guard against bad luck? Other?

Religion isn't education. Religion is nothing more than indoctrination-mostly into bronze age stuff. This isn't the bronze age. This is supposed to be the space age. Religion is mentioned in history classes and such as it does apply-usually based on atrocities and inequities.

What's needed in school are 'moments of science' not 'seance.'

What's very ironic is the 'father of genetics' was the monk Gregor Mendel investigating pea pods.

You're more than welcome to killfile me now. In which case-be well.