Question; "Who is the real artist? A person like Pablo Picasso who provides a small maquette for the craftsman to enlarge into a monumental sculpture, or the craftsman who produces the finished piece?"

Answer; Picasso.

Anyone who possesses the creative ability to conceive an idea and the technical ability and volition to give form to that idea is an artist.

All designs created by artist - Curtis R Doll Jr

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Art For a New Time Contest Entry
Statement of Purpose
Metaphysical Symbols
Sciense as Applied to Color in Art and Design
Is Art Abstract or Representational?
An Environmental Art Form

Philosophy on Art & Design

Philosophy on Art & Design

A Philosophy on Art and Design




Is Art Abstract or Representational?




Rembrandt van Rijn began his career painting very realistic and polished portraits and landscapes. By the end of his career, having satisfied his need to show the world his masterly technique and draftsmanship, he began to paint what was in his heart. His last works are quite literally splashes and daubs of paint. While they still maintain a representational quality, they are abstract in nature. What we carry in our hearts, love for example, is beyond any kind of description that any of our five senses can understand or comprehend. Consider the progression of Michelangelo's "David" created in the beginning of his career to the "Rondanini Pieta" sculpted at the end of his career. The "Rondanini Pieta" is said to be unfinished but the proportions of the figures along with their gestures and harmonious attitudes display a gentle depth of feeling that his earlier works lack. Consider some of the many 20th century examples such as Matisse and Picasso who began painting polished representational images early in their careers but then made a gradually increasing transition into the realm of abstract imagery.

Matisse and Picasso studied human anatomy as did Rembrandt and Michelangelo. All four studied perspective. All four studied traditional drafting and painting techniques. All four utilized abstract compositional themes. Rembrandt ended his career as he excelled in the use of heavy texture; Michelangelo excelled in complimentary color contrasts in the Sistine ceiling and in abstract form in the Rondanini Pieta; Matisse was unsurpassed in the use of patterns; Picasso was a genius of many design elements and principles as were all of the truly great masters.

Personally I can enjoy a polished representational work of art if it combines a solid use of abstract design elements and principles which, when applied together make an aesthetically sound composition. However, an abstract image that is devoid of composition is as dry and lifeless as open space.

A few design principles are balance, harmony, divergence, unity, movement, rhythm, pattern, contrast, proportion and emphasis. Many artists have spent their entire lives concentrating on the combination of only one design element and one design principle.

Good design depends upon how one orders the basic design elements. There are five design elements; line, shape, color, value and texture. When working on a flat surface, shape and value work together to create form. On an abstract level, form is the result of the combination and order of one or more of the design elements within the parameters of specific design principles. With the addition of color, the form evokes a stronger "feeling". It is given more substance.

How one orders these design elements within a structured symmetrical or asymmetrical design is dependent upon the personality of the individual artist. Adherence to the development of balance is a traditional, very classical goal. However, for the purpose of evoking certain psychological themes, a strong imbalance can be very effective. You can easily see how an artist could spend an entire lifetime on one design element and one design principle.

Regardless of whether your personal inclination is to paint or draw in a realistic manner or in any one of the many stylized or abstract styles, the simple fact is that all of the great masters recognized the absolute necessity of developing an ever deepening grasp of both naturalistic form along with abstract design elements and principles.




Statement by Daisaku Ikeda


Life is painful. It has thorns, like the stem of a rose. Culture and art are the roses that bloom on the stem. The flower is yourself, your humanity. Art is the liberation of the humanity inside your self. Daisaku Ikeda President, Soka Gakkai International. sgi-usa.org




Metaphysical Symbols


The art you can view at CG Fine Art Prints are in themselves "Metaphysical Symbols". Form and color are combined, united and harmonized to create heart felt impressions of life. They are not meaningless abstractions. The concept of inner radiating light plays an integral role in the development of these images. This light emanates from within a counterpoint of darkness and shadow. In some of these images the light is radiating from without almost hiding the shadow. In others the light is radiating from within the darkness and is almost hidden. The light expresses all the positive forces of nature including growth and expansion, the power of intellect and most important, the power of transcendental love. The darkness elicits the dark forces of nature and of humankind: anger; resentment; hatred; complacency. Ironically, we cannot have one without the other. The darkness increases the beauty of the light just as evil contrasting benevolence enhances the joy one experiences by doing a good deed. It is an eternal paradox.

Stained Glass is an environmental art form. As light floods the interior of a church or synagogue, the inner space is transformed into a mystical source of joy, peace and tranquility. The Stained Glass Designs at CG Stained Glass Design are expressions of a deeply felt inner searching for the eternal.

These works are characterized by a fusion of color, form and texture. My experience with stained glass design has familiarized me with the power of light and the difference between the three primary colors of light, RGB (red, green and blue); the three primaries used in printmaking, CMY (cyan, magenta and yellow); and the three primary pigment colors, RYB (red, yellow and blue), and how they break down into their cool and warm, saturated and unsaturated counterparts.

I believe the future of design will see more substance in terms of a mélange of classical as well as contemporary themes introduced by artists living in the present. We posses an extremely broad history of art that can be drawn upon with the introduction of both small and sometimes very large innovations.

In summation, these works are about light. This is because of my background in stained glass design and working with colored light. Stained glass as an environmental art form transforms the interior of its setting. Experiment 45 evokes an interior realm of existence deep within. There are conflicting elements within each of us. Refined to their most basic common denominator they are positive and negative forces which animate us and make us who we are.





Science as Applied to Color



CurtisGraphics Design Services Studio Philosophy on Art and Design

The use of color as a design element with the effective employment of design principles is worthy of lifetimes of experimentation. Color has a breadth and depth of expressive qualities which make it stand out among the other design elements. The psychological, symbolic and spiritual aspects of color are of great interest. According to Johannes Itten; yellow symbolizes piercing intellect, red is the heaviest of the three primaries which makes it the most earth-bound of the three and blue, because of its receding quality, in other words, its depth is the most spiritual of colors. Green is symbolic of burgeoning Spring and the Resurrection of Christ. White symbolizes purity. Violet is symbolic of royalty.

An orange environment induces hunger. Blackboards were changed to green boards because green is a psychologically neutral color allowing students to become more focused on the subject of study. A soft, muted pink is used in the dormitories of asylums because of its calming effect. Deep cobalt blue is the most spiritual of colors. It is a calming color but to some people, its intensity causes a feeling of agitation. The list goes on and on.

CurtisGraphics Design Services Studio Philosophy on Art and Design
CurtisGraphics Design Services Studio Philosophy on Art and Design

Below there is a color chart in which I have illustrated the intermixture of the three primary pigment colors, RYB (red, yellow and blue), using the three primary print colors CMY, (cyan, magenta and yellow) excluding black, (K). The addition of black, (K), is necessary in the printing process in order to equal out the contrast of value and add depth to the color range. I have excluded blacK from this color chart to illustrate the pure range of color mixtures. In this color chart, I have illustrated the intermixture of the complementary colors on the color wheel. This color chart combines both pigment complementary intermixtures with the compliments used in photolithographic printmaking. It also shows the percentage of intermixtures between each of two complementary colors and the grayscale gradating from 100% black to 100% white. I used this scale of measurement to illustrate that gray remains 50% whether you are analyzing light or pigment or ink. When working with light, black being the absence of light equals 0% and white equals 100% or 255 when working with Photoshop. When working with pigment the reverse is true. Black equals 100% and white equals 0%. Thus, light mixtures are additive and the mixture of pigment is subtractive simply because when you add colored light the result is more luminous but when you add colored pigment the result is always increasingly more muted. An equal mixture of all three primary pigments equals a very dark grey which is almost black while an equal mixture of all three primary colors in light equals a brilliant white light.











CurtisGraphics Design Services Studio Philosophy on Art and Design


When working with pigments, yellow, especially when placed on a dark ground is the most luminous of colors. Because stained glass is actually colored light, RGB, (red, green and blue), its properties are quite different. Cobalt blue is the most luminous color in a stained glass window. Note how the black matrix of the epoxy holding the glass together surrounding the yellow in the window below is easily seen, and how the black matrix surrounding the intense blue is dissolved in its halation.

CurtisGraphics Design Services Studio Philosophy on Art and Design


7 Contrasts of Color as put forth by Johannes Itten



1a). Hue Contrast;

- observed differences designated by name; Cadmium Yellow, Hansa Yellow, Lemon Yellow, Yellow-Orange, Lilly White, Salmon, etc. - Importance of Knowing our Subjective Timbre


2b). Value Contrast or Light to Dark;

- use of White is necessary but minimal use of Black is preferable - Do I lean toward the Dark, the Light or in-between? The Complementary pair of Violet & Yellow is the most intense Value Contrast.


3c). Temperature Contrast or Cool to Warm;

- Blue & Orange is the most intense Temperature Contrast and the pair is also Complimentary. (Picasso used such a palette during his blue period) but this same palette can be used to create an orange period, hypothetically; a predominantly orange painting...


4d). Complementary Contrast;

- Opposites on the color wheel and most intense color contrasts; - All color harmony hinges on this; ex. remove 1 of the 3 primary colors, Red, Blue, and Yellow, ex. (Red) isolated from the opposing complementary combination of remaining 2 primaries, (Blue & Yellow when mixed resulting in green, the complement of Red) and with intermixing of White into all of these color combinations results in a broad range of Color Hues, Values, Cool to Warm, Saturation and of course the Complementary Contrast, indeed, all of the main, applicable color contrasts. The Complements Blue - Orange is the most intense Temperature Contrast, the Complements Violet - Yellow is the most Extreme Value Contrast - the Complements Green - Red are, perhaps, the most intense Contrast in Vibrance.


5e). Saturation Contrast or Intense Color to Muted Color;

- Power and Depth, from the transient and mundane to the sublime - this is the progenitor of fine art - this is what the palette is for - a shadow of this principle/contrast has been achieved by a very few throughout history - no one has ever come close to a complete mastery of this color application of art with the possible exception of Claude Monet and notwithstanding the multitude of unknown masters.


6f). Simultaneous Contrast;

- when colors affect each other simultaneously - Relativity into Action; It is the psychological - physiological tendency within us to perceive 2 adjacent colors, in different regions of the color wheel, in such a way that they appear to become more pronounced, that their specific natures become more enhanced to the extent that a gray that leans toward a cool-blue takes on an increased intensity of blue when a dull, burnt sienna is placed next to it. And the dull burnt sienna takes on an enhanced appearance of being more orange simultaneously. A dull red will make an adjacent dark muted yellow seem lighter, brighter and greener; in turn, the former will appear darker, more intense and more blue-violet.


         6f.b). Successive Contrast;

- Similarly, after viewing a color, esp. a vivid color for an extended period of time; and then when we look away, the afterimage is the opposite in value, temperature, saturation and complement, and the cause is to restore the psychological - physiological balance within our means of perception.


7g). Extension Contrast;

- The playground of color fields, contrasts of proportion, area, space, value, complements, and color intensity optically inducing movement; (causing the eye to bounce around the page), causing the color contrasts to become more pronounced, etc., balancing saturated color with muted color.


The color chart below is an illustration of the intermixture between the three primary light colors and their opposites, (complements). A complement is simply an equal combination of the two primaries left over when one is isolated. On the top left, red has been isolated from the three. On the top right is shown the compliment of red which is an equal intermixture of green and blue. Green and blue produce cyan. When green is isolated, its complement is an equal intermixture of red and blue which produces magenta. And when blue is isolated, its complement is the result of an equal intermixture of red and green which produces yellow. An equal mixture of all three primaries produces white in the center.


CurtisGraphics Design Services Studio Philosophy on Art and Design


The logic behind the use of cyan, magenta and yellow as the three primaries in the photo-lithographic printing process is that they are the compliments or (opposites) of the three primaries in light. Since the one primary color in pigment, (yellow) is substituted for its equivalent primary in light, (green), and since without yellow it is impossible to achieve the full range of color mixtures using ink or pigment, through many years of arduous experimentation the formula of cyan, magenta and yellow was devised.


Printing inks are translucent and lose their chroma when printed on anything but white paper. Because it is also impossible to achieve 100% black and in effect, anything beyond 70% gray, the addition of blacK, (K) has been introduced into the photolithographic printing process. Therefore the four color process of cyan, magenta, yellow and blacK, (CMYK) was developed.


Below are four grayscale charts illustrating the differences between the mixture of RGB, CMY, CMYK and blacK only. The first grayscale was done with blacK only in quantity of ascending order from left to right. The next grayscale was created using equal percentages of RGB color in descending order from left to right. Note how the blacK grayscale is equal in value only to the RGB grayscale. The CMY grayscale below that is pale in comparison and retains some color that leans towards magenta. The CMYK grayscale below that retains some color and the gradation is not in equal steps as are the blacK and RGB grayscales. The three grayscales below that are the same as the three above them except they have been converted from RGB mode to grayscale mode in photoshop.


CurtisGraphics Design Services Studio Philosophy on Art and Design


CurtisGraphics Design Services Studio Philosophy on Art and Design


CurtisGraphics Design Services Studio Philosophy on Art and Design


Statement of Purpose:


My purpose is simply to share with those who are interested, my own personal views on the subject of art and design. While I am acutely aware that my opinions are not, by any means universal, I have had some modicum of hands-on experience with the subject.


It is my primary intention to shed some light on the complexities of artistic composition. Art doesn't just happen. The creation of a painting, sculpture, work in stained glass or print can be excruciatingly painful on mental, emotional and spiritual levels.


CurtisGraphics Design Services Studio Philosophy on Art and Design


I remember some years ago having a frustrating conversation with a sales-person working at a stained glass studio about color. It was this person's fallacious contention that artists were simply born with an ability to put colors together in an harmonious manner. I suggested that it was important for the novice to study the science of color. The response was an indignant refutation of my claim.


CurtisGraphics Design Services Studio Philosophy on Art and Design


CurtisGraphics Design Services Studio Philosophy on Art and Design


M. E. Chevreul was a leading chemist during the 1800s in France and was the greatest living authority on animal fats. His chemical investigations also included research in coloring materials. At the age of 38 in 1824 he was named by King Louis XVIII, Director of Dyes for the Royal Manufactures at the Gobelins in France.


In 1839 his first French Edition of "The Principles of Harmony and Contrast of Colors and Their Applications to the Arts" was published. This "scientific" study of color was studied by Claude Monet and all of the French Impressionists and Post Impressionists. It is safe to assume that the magnificent color palettes of these artists would not have been achieved without Chevreul's publication on color theory.


CurtisGraphics Design Services Studio Philosophy on Art and Design


CurtisGraphics Design Services Studio Philosophy on Art and Design


Although I continue my studies of scientific thought as well as theoretical ideas as they pertain to art, ultimately my primary concern is the expression of the human spirit and how we relate to our God. My personal experience has been that, although my use of color is based on what I have learned through scientific theory, while in the act of creating, my knowledge and understanding of the practical use of color is transcended by my inner longing for an ever-deepening relationship with my Beloved Best Friend who is my God.


All images are copyrighted © 2006 to Curtis R Doll Jr - CurtisGraphics Architectural Glass Art & Design Services - All Rights Reserved




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Is Art Abstract or Representational?

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