|Trace in the Sky © 2012 Katherine Kean |
oil on linen 30 x 40 inches
The artists present seemed to be relieved to hear Erik say that artists intrinsically understand perception without having to know the biology of how our eyes and brains work and that the study of neuroesthetics has validated the artistic approaches used throughout history for conveying expression and meaning.
From the work presented by the group of artists present he chose one from each artist to discuss and offer comments. As he approached a piece Erik would explain how he was seeing.
Often the first thing he noticed was contrast, or lack of contrast, that would draw the eye, as well as what associations an artwork might have for him. It is natural for the brain to look for associations - to look for something that it recognizes or holds meaning.
For the painting above he mentioned that to him, the forms and associations came slowly because the painting is low in contrast overall and without large color differences – almost monochromatic with most of the color falling into one end of the visual spectrum.
He also explained how the blue helps to create a feeling of great distance, that our brains automatically place blue in the background as we are used to seeing it in the sky. He mentioned that what contrast there is coincides with an intersection of form and he felt that created a sense of reassurance. The vagueness and darkness of the outer areas then felt less threatening.
He spoke about how this vagueness adds to the ambiguity or mystery. I'll follow up on that in the next post.