Color Spots In Right Relationship

Anything under the sun is beautiful if you have the vision — it is the seeing of the thing that makes it so. The world is waiting for men with vision — it is not interested in mere pictures. What people subconsciously are interested in is the expression of beauty, something that helps them through the humdrum day, something that shocks them out of themselves and something that makes them believe in the beauty and the glory of human existence. The painter will never achieve this by merely painting pictures. He must show people more — more than they already see, and he must show them with so much human sympathy and understand that they will recognize it as if they themselves had seen the beauty and the glory….

We must teach ourselves to see the beauty of the ugly, to see the beauty of the commonplace. It is so much greater to make much out of little than to make little out of much — better to make a big thing out of a little subject than to make a little thing out of a big one. In every tow the one ugliest spot is the railroad station, and yet there is beauty there for anyone who can see it. Don’t strain for a grad subject — anything is painter’s fodder….

Beauty in art is the delicious notes of color one against the other. It is just as fine as music and it is just the same thing, one tone in relation to another tone. Real sentiment in art comes as it does in music from the way one tone comes against another independently of the literary quality of the subject — the way spots of color come together produces painting.

A great composer could find inspiration for a symphony in a subject as simple as the tinkle of water in a dish pan. So can we find beauty in ordinary places and subjects. The untrained eye does not see beauty in all things — it’s our profession to train ourselves to see it and transmit it…. The layman cares for incident in a picture but the artist cares rather for the beauty of one spot of color coming against another, not a literary beauty. There are just so many tones in music and just so many colors but it’s the beautiful combination that makes a masterpiece.

It is beautifully simple, painting — all we have to do is to get the color notes in their proper relation. The juxtaposition of spots of color is the only way and he who sees that the finest is the greatest man. I want you to learn to see more beautifully, just as if you were studying music and tried to get the finer harmony more and more truly all the time.

Quotation from this, a favorite book since art school. Susanna Coffey introduced it to me in her class.