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Letter #2-5

Dear Artist,

In the last letter we looked at the genius of seeing things in unique and original ways, in this edition we’ll further explore the art element Shape and ask, “Do we need to see a recognizable image to actually feel something?” It seems like the answer is both yes and no, but honestly is more complicated than that. To be successful a piece of art must resonate with the audience some how or some way or there will be no connection. How do we as artists better connect with our audiences? Let’s look at a few successful artists in different genres and ponder the options over the next few letters.


Have you seen Jackson Pollock’s abstract expressionist paintings up close and personal? What did you think? Most of the world sees these as a bit of splatter paint here and there, but not really seeing the beauty of what Pollock has actually created.


Do many miss the rich beauty of Pollock’s work because there is no actual image for the viewer to relate too? Or do the majority of viewers just not have a trained eye to see the layering and texture of the deep paint strokes? What do you think?


Does Shape factor into your answer? Pollock’s use of Shape comes from the physical act of how he applies the paint. I’d like to argue that it’s the way he creates his Shape that appeals to the viewer. The layers of paint are stacked, thick, and intertwining in unique ways that create depth and appeal. The energy put into making these pieces comes through in the end in the Shape produced by the paint on the canvas. Go to the Seattle Art Museum and look at Sea Change HERE.


Jackson Pollock says, “MOST MODERN PAINTERS WORK FROM A DIFFERENT SOURCE. THEY WORK FROM WITHIN.” This is exactly my point, he works from within and the viewer is experiencing his energy.


When Shape comes from within it becomes so much more than just a replica of something. It takes on a life energy of its own and this makes it appealing. When this happens I argue that the viewer doesn’t need to recognize the Shape, but just be drawn to it to actually enjoy it. Do you agree?


Shape is an element that can be used to draw in the audience, but the Shape does not have to recognizable. Let’s keep up the discussion, but until our next letter splatter a little more paint.


Uncle Salvador

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