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Color: Grayscale Collage

January 27, 2010

This is my collage, trying to recreate (freely) the grayscale by using cut-outs from (ideally) one magazine. Am proud to do a Josef Albers assignment, given my obsession with the Bauhaus! Tougher than expected! The middle grays were a real stretch, quite frankly, for me and for everyone in the class.

I have to say, though, that all these exercises might be having the opposite from desired effect on me. Instead of showing me how tough it can be to differentiate between shades of gray (esp in replicating the grayscale in acrylics, not shown here because I am embarrassed with some craft issues (the painter’s tape totally didn’t work–it tore off the paper! I welcome any advice re: this issue) and proving how I have to pay more attention to these different variations, I think I am coming more into a feeling that these grayscales are sort of pointless. (In a positive, questioning way, I assure you!) Sure, it’s interesting and satisfying to see these 8 or 9 or 10 shades of gray between white and black, and it’s always fun to be surprised by how light the middle gray is. (At least, I always am.) But my suspicion is that if everyone has a hard time replicating these shades (and we saw everyone’s acrylic grayscales today)–perhaps these grayscales should actually have five steps. What is the point of training my eye to differentiate between 66% gray and 50% gray, except as a nice party trick? It’s like knowing the extremely rare subjunctive of some esoteric French verb. Sure, it’s fun to know the grammar and see the connections between the subjunctive and the preterite and whatever, but in the end–if the majority of French people end up using the present tense, then hadn’t you better use the present tense too?

Anyways, this is a developing thought I am having, not yet fully fleshed out. Sort of part of my move (is it a move? or have I actually just started here?) towards doing whatever works/intelligent mass design.

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