Let’s do an exercise – go to the cupboard and take out a favorite cup. Sit down with it; study it closely. Set it on a table or hand hold it Bring the eyes close to it. Turn it around and over. Consider why it’s a favorite. The colors. The patterns. The way it fits in the hand. Let the mind wander over it. What about it resonates?
You have just had an experience in art; an entity from the external world that invokes an emotional or subliminal meaning in the internal world.
Some would argue that the cup is less art than it is DESIGN; I would argue that design is simply another form of art. Painting, sculpture, photography, music, acting, writing … design … it’s all different forms of ART.
Art often has a juxtaposition between realism and abstraction; in design that juxtaposition is expressed as form versus function. The cup in the cupboard is there because it performs a function; it has a purpose – if it didn’t, say, if it were part of an ornate tea set, it wouldn’t be in the cupboard it would be displayed on a table or a hutch. It might be the favorite simply because of the way the hand fits it, or the amount of coffee it holds. Might be, but probably not unless it’s the only cup in the cupboard. Something about its form resonates more than anything else there. There is meaning in its status.
Also characteristic of design is that its representation is industrialized. Likely, the cup is not a one of a kind object produced by an artisan – be nice if it were but likely it is not. It might be RARE, but, again, if it were it likely wouldn’t be hiding in a cupboard. Design is one means of differentiating an industrialized product from all the other industrialized products, and as Billy Durant and Harley Earl knew, superior design leads to greater sales. Nowhere are the passions of design more resonate that automotive design.
I wrote in my January 17 post that automotive design was my first love. My nephew Sam has the same bug. I describe in the February 3 post that he’d asked me to create art from a couple photographic captures he’d made; I generally don’t like to work from someone else’s captures, but in this case it appealed to me. In the first place, he’d done several things right with his captures which made it easier for me to work. He hadn’t tried to take a ‘portrait’ of the cars, which is the first thing many artists get wrong when creating automotive art. He picked a particular perspective highlighting a particular element of the design. He also got LOW when he captured the image - that’s another mistake artists and photographers often make. Don’t shoot the car standing up; shoot an automobile like shooting a child – get eye level. Look closely at how he arranged the car a little off kilter in its lane which had the effect of creating multiples lines between the car and the center stripe. That contributed to a much more interesting composition. The addition of the train created two horizontal lines to intersect and break up the diagonals of the stripe and the car. Everything comes together perfectly a little off center. The rule of thirds is expertly in place here, though I suppose my crop of Sam’s original image helped create that. I worked on cropping, exposure and motion blurs, then drew from both my established and newer techniques to effect edging, lighting, and color blending when I applied my artist’s perspective.
A successful collaboration is at hand! I’ve been wanting to become better at automotive art. I’ve learned a great deal myself from working with Sam’s captures, so, an activity I would normally shy away from has been beneficial all around. We’ve got another one in the wings … to be posted later this week.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.