Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Essay—Cubes and Tablecloths

I remained cheerful during faculty meetings by practicing writing backwards, upside down, and upside down and backwards, with both hands and the high hope of reaching perfection. I also doodled a checkered cube repeatedly to a point of wretched excess. I enjoyed filling in every other little square, though I was never able to alternate the colors of the checkers with complete success.

Is it possible to checker a cube completely? I think checkers of the same color will invariably meet at four of the cube's twelve edges. (Fig. 1 shows one of these flawed edges.) I've discovered, however, two ways to steer clear of this problem:

You can insert a gusset (fig. 2). This enables the colors to alternate and, as a surprising consequence, suggests a tablecloth providing the opportunity for domestic elaborations. The transformation from cube to cloth is explored in "Tea Time" and "Tea'd Cube".

Or, if you're drawing a picture, you can simply eliminate the checkering problem by lopping off the offending checkers (fig. 3). This surgical method is used in "Blue Checkered Cloth" and "Spot of Sky".

As a way of circumventing a 3-D pattern problem, my
checkered tablecloth stands for an intuitive and comic leap of the imagination. In the final frame of "How to Checker a Cube", I'm looking through the window into my own imagination.
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Monday, April 23, 2007

Essay—Thinking about Bananas

I like bananas for how expressive they are and how easily they morph into other things: a crescent moon, a tornado, a nose, a boomerang, etc. And I like the banana's graceful form. A banana is an arabesque in the round, challenging to draw, though I doubt we ever drew one in art school.

 In Basic Drawing, we rarely drew fruit of any kind, and never a banana. In Life Drawing we drew human beings in every conceivable (and inconceivable) position but never in relation to any other objects, not even clothing, much less bananas.

Our Life Drawing professor once told us, "If you can draw a woman's breast, you can draw anything." It was exactly at that moment that I began thinking about bananas. My very first thought was, "au contraire, if you can draw a banana you can draw anything".

I often want to draw a banana. In my works, sometimes a banana isn't just a banana but a compositional device, a trick, or an icon. Examine the bananas in the following pictures and decide for yourself:

"Banatmosphere", "Through the Window", "Stormy Banana",
"Lunar Drift", "Banana Moon", and "Epiphany".

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