Imitating Imagination


“Don’t play what’s there.  Play what’s not there.” Miles Davis (from The Painter’s Keys)


Definitions and claimants to the dominion of imagination abound.  Everybody wants to claim imagination.  Has the word lost its meaning?  Who really understands what imagination is all about?  Everywhere you turn someone or something is called “Imagination” from cruise ships to engine companies to everything in-between. If everyone is claiming to be imagination this and imagination that, what has become of the real thing?

The definition from Merriam-Webster for imagination is: “the ability to imagine things not real; the ability to form a picture in your mind of something you have not seen or experienced; the ability to think of new things; something that only exists or happens in your mind.” It seems difficult to put that definition on a cruise ship or an engine company.  Overuse dilutes the intensity of the imagination into something rather tepid, almost boring.  With so many out there hanging the imagination name-tag out, how can real imagination be heard of felt?

All that imagination chatter becomes deafening and stifles the real thing. The imagination bird must be set free from within. That bird has to be able to fly above the chattering crowd, to soar high above it all.  Real imagination is new and different, definitely not part of the crowd.  Real imagination blooms in a dry desert.  It sails on a windless sea.  It belongs to the realm of things not real, not seen before, never experienced. It soars through the places only seen in the mind.  Real imagination belongs to those with the courage to set it free. Real imagination has no name-tag because it has no name.  Everything else is just imitation.




Weekly Photo Challenge–Reflections




Twinkie is reflecting on how to save the world.  Its a tough job to be a Super Dog.  It takes a lot of reflecting.  But then he may also be reflecting upon how many children will soon be showing up for his Halloween candy.  Wordpress Weekly Photo Challenge-Reflections

Colorful Fridays–Basically Black

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“A black cat crossing your path signifies that the cat is going somewhere.”  Groucho Marx

Artists are divided on the use of black in painting.  Many artists prefer to mix black from complementary colors believing this mix to have more depth than actual black from a tube.  Some artists use no black at all.  Rembrandt used black heavily in all of his paintings.  Impressionists used very little.  The most common and widely used black is Ivory Black.  Ivory Black, in some form, has been available to artists for centuries.

The other name for Ivory Black is Bone Black.  Rembrandt referred to the black he used as Bone Black.  Both blacks are one and the same.  This black can also be known in some places as Char Black or Bone Char.  The obvious reason for the name of this black is the source.  It was originally made from burning animal bones to charcoal using the powder residual as pigment.  Early versions were made from the charcoal of ivory, thus the name Ivory Black.  Ivory Black has not been made from burning ivory since the nineteenth century.  The original Ivory Black was almost as expensive as the Ultramarine Blue made from Lapis Lazuli.

Gamblin’s website reports “Ivory Black is a good, all-purpose black,” but cautions that its use in a painting may cause the painting to look grey.  Gamblin also says Ivory Black has good transparency and mild tinting strength.  According to other sources, the use of black will create flatness in a painting.  Ivory Black or any black may not be a good choice where more fullness is wanted in a painting.

To use or not use black in a palette is a personal choice for artists.  The idea of painting anything out of animal bones may be a bit trying on the nerves.  All current sources for Ivory Black say animals used for Ivory Black have died of natural causes.  Maybe that helps!  Still for those wishing to use black without the burned bone thing may prefer to mix their own blacks.  Some say Pthalo green and Alizarin Crimson make a nice black.  As do Viridian and Alizarin.  And these mixes have a greater depth without the flatness of plain black.

Basic black comes in many forms. For depth, use the mixes.  For flat black, go with Ivory Black from the tube.    The choice depends on the artist.  But it is still basically better to stay out of the path of the black cat unless wishing to press your luck.

More Rembrandt, (because you can never have too much!):

note: painting image is a licensed free use image