Monday, January 02, 2006


A fresh start in the New Year of my development of painting skills. We have been given an assignment for a Personal Project.

First Year Painting (TERM TWO) - Personal Project
Your next 5 day block in painting will be a personal project based on individual research drawing. This means you taking responsibility for your ideas and developing them through consultation with your tutor. These ideas can be initially explored if you choose to keep a sketchbook in preparation for this second term. It is important that you arrive at the start of the block with a clear indication of what subject matter you wish to explore and develop over the 5 days.

Colin Lawson

So here I am, thinking up a subject matter that makes me thick!

I've come up with the following: HUMATERIAL

... I see, that needs some more explanation from my side.

The Artist's purpose in life is to find the edges between what makes Something differ from Something else.

[Compared to Antropology: what makes Someone differ from Someone else]

A few examples will hopefully clarify what I'm trying to say:

Here is Something; a Poster

Here is Something else; a Photo

Here is Something else still; a Painting

Alps Orchard by Pierre Marcel (

What makes a Poster differ from a Photo and/or a Painting?

Let's compare definitions ( of each Artefact (Latin: 'ars, -tis' = art; 'factum' = the made, the happened):

; An artistic work, often a reproduction of an original painting or photograph, printed on a large sheet of paper. A large, usually printed placard, bill, or announcement, often illustrated, that is posted [PURPOSE:] to advertise or publicize something.

; An image, especially a positive print, recorded by a camera and reproduced on a photosensitive surface.

; A picture or design in paint, made by coating surfaces with paint [PURPOSE:] for a utilitarian or artistic effect.

You will see and understand that there are basic fundamentals that make us differentiate between the above Things.

Taking it one step further, now if we have only one Something (in this case a Painting), but the subject matter shown 'asks' us to decide on what it is: Apple or Tree?

February Apple by Pierre Marcel (

This wondering, this test of our perception, is what I would like to achieve in my subject matter.

The 'edge' I will look for is between HUMAN and MATERIAL, hence HUMATERIAL.

Starting with definitions of each:

; A member of the genus Homo and especially of the species H. sapiens.
Yet a more abstract definition of Human is; Of, relating to, or characteristic of humans. Having the form of a human. Subject to or indicative of the weaknesses, imperfections, and fragility associated with humans. Having or showing those positive aspects of nature and character regarded as distinguishing humans from other animals.

; The substance or substances out of which a thing is or can be made.
Yet a more abstract definition of Material is; Of, relating to, or composed of matter. Of or concerned with the physical as distinct from the intellectual or spiritual.

So there is an overlap where Human becomes Material and vice versa!

A few examples of what I have found in this area so far are shown next:

Female Bather with Raised Arms by Pablo Picasso

This figure of the nude, painted by Picasso in 1929, is one of a series of images of the artist's lover, Marie-Thérèse Walter, at one of their favorite spots on the beach in Normandy. Shown with her arms raised and holding a towel, she stands next to a cabana (located at the far right). Picasso idealizes the woman of his affections by abstracting the figure. Through simple geometry, a limited palette of tans and grays, and a pose based on a ballet position, he has transformed her into a lyrical image that is expressive of ageless, classical beauty.

Dress Rehearsal from The Museum of Bass Artifacts (

Same concept simplified, not intended to offend (!)

There is even a field of expertise of what I am researching here, called anthropomorpism.

Anthropomorphism, a form of personification (applying human or animal qualities to inanimate objects) and similar to prosopopoeia (adopting the persona of another person), is the attribution of human characteristics and qualities to non-human beings, objects, or natural phenomena. (source:

"Anthropomorphism" comes from two Greek words, ανθρωπος (anthrōpos), meaning "human", and μορφη (morphē), meaning "shape" or "form".

Pixar Animation Studios use anthropomorphism in their corporate video as seen below.

Have a sneek preview of this animation.

After all these examples, time has come to discover the distinctive features of what makes a 'human' myself. To find the 'The Secret Code to Art and Design' I have to break them down in pieces to find the relationships. Bear with me in my quest of Ontology, Hierarchy and Discovery next ...

(These will be addressed in tomorrows blog)

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