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Welcome to the Art Guild's Archives!

November 4 & 5 - Apple Tree Bazaar at the HOT Fairgrounds

The Art Guild of Central Texas will have a double booth at the Apple Tree Bazaar at the HOT fairgrounds November 4 and 5. The first 12 members to sign up will get two feet of booth width to display their works (table and wall). You may bring more to replace anything sold. Exhibitors may agree to trade one another table space for wall space.

The cost will be $10 per exhibitor (payable Nov 4) plus 10% of all sales.

Call Gloria Meadows (666-2344) to sign up. If you can't reach her, call Bill Franklin (741-0960) or email him (

You need to commit to at least one two-hour period tending the booth. Please list which of the following slots you will be able to serve. You may volunteer to fill more than one. Please come 10 or 15 minutes early to ensure a smooth transfer.

Friday, Nov 4 12-2 (includes setup)
4-6 (includes shutdown)

Saturday, Nov 5 9-11 (includes setup)
3-5 (includes taking the booth down)

Art works must be delivered between 10 and noon Friday and picked up between 4 and 5 Saturday. The physically able would be welcome to come as early as 9 Friday to get the backdrop ready and help hang paintings as they arrive.

If you would like to have a baked potato lunch (with butter, sour cream, cheese and beverage) on Friday, 11 to 12:30, you need to call Paula at 752-0316.  Cost is $2.

The exhibit will be open 1-5:30 Friday and 9-4 Saturday. Since crafts predominate, relatively inexpensive works are more likely to sell, but you never know. Someone coming to look for inexpensive Christmas gifts might just fall in love with your painting.

We also need to provide a door prize, not necessarily an expensive one.  If you have something to volunteer, let either Gloria or Bill know.

November 4 & 5 - Apple Tree Bazaar at the HOT Fairgrounds

The Apple Tree Bazaar is a fund raiser for the Central Texas Senior Ministry.  The Art Guild had a double booth with nine artists displaying their works.  Gloria Meadows, our Exhibits Chair, did especially well with her painted rocks, which she is arranging in the photo at the left.  Most other participants had sales also.  Special thanks are due Linda and Gil Morales, who brought their table and lattice panels so that we had enough room to display things.  Other exhibitors were Jean and Rose Larkie, Judy and Bill Franklin, Nancy Cagle, Charleen Isbell, and Rose Jacobson.  Exhibitors paid $10 plus 10% of sales, which covered the cost of the booth and a door prize, with $37 left over for the treasury.  That was only $2 short of paying for our new banner, which you can see in the photo at the right.


Other Art Guild members who had their own booths include John Vasek (at the right), Sue Young, Pat Blackwell, and Bettye Schwartz (at the left).  Bettye was with the Harrison Center, where she teaches one-stroke painting classes every Thursday.  If you would like to take her classes, which are free, give her a call at 772-6983 to see if she has room when you can come.

November 6 - Bill Franklin: Using the Science of Color Vision to Produce Artistic Illusions  For this meeting only, we will meet at the W-MC Central Library, 1717 Austin Ave.  Usual time: refreshments at 1:30 p.m.

Bill Franklin has had a life-long interest in both art and vision.  He taught high school physics for over 30 years and continues to provide training for physics teachers.  He wrote a book on color and color vision for the American Association of Physics Teachers featuring some color experiments which he found particularly motivating for his students.  His background also includes art courses at the high school and college levels, but it since retiring from teaching that Bill has taken up painting seriously.

On November 6, he will demonstrate a number of ways that our visual systems can be fooled due to the way that the complexities of the system developed.  Extensive scientific experimentation, most of it in the last 50 years, has identified the processing schemes used by our eyes and brains that give rise to these illusions, but many have been discovered and used by artists from the days of cave painting up to the present.  Impressionists are particularly adept at using such illusions to suggest details and motion that are not actually present on the surfaces of their paintings.

All art is illusion.  The artist attempts to place paint on a two-dimensional surface in such a way as give the viewer a sense of a three-dimensional world (real or imaginary.)  An awareness of how illusions operate can enable artists to enhance the effectiveness with which they convey meaning to their viewers.  Besides, it's simply fun to see how you can be mislead by visual cues.

November 6 - Bill Franklin - Using the Science of Vision to Enhance Art

Bill began with an overview of the human visual system, from the retina and its receptors and first step processing cells, along the optic nerve to the Optic Chiasam, where the right and left sides of our field of view are split to send to opposite sides of the brain, to the Thalamus, where the data is converted to signals resembling those of color TV, to the Visual Cortex, where the data is organized, recognized, and separated into B&W and color portions, and finally to the Parietal Lobe for the "Where System" and the Temporal Lobe for the "What System."  The "Where System" uses B&W information to determine location and motion, while the "What System" uses color information to determine color and form.  (To see any of the thumbnail photos better, click on it to enlarge it.)


The next part of the talk dealt with color perception.  Humans have three color receptors, referred to as Red, Green and Blue, although they are all sensitive to broad and overlapping ranges of colors, as shown at the left.  We use the ratio of the responses of these receptors to determine the color of an object.  Color blind people lack one type of receptor, almost always red or green.  If you are red-green color blind you may see 21, rather than 74 in the circle at the right.


It is possible to reproduce almost any color sensation by combining narrow bands of light in the red, green and blue regions of the spectrum.  These "primary" colors of light are used by TV and computer monitors.  Overlapping circles of red, green, and blue light are shown at the left.  Printing is done best with pigments that absorb one of the primary colors of light.  Absorbing the red from white light leaves cyan, absorbing green gives magenta, and absorbing blue gives yellow. These primary pigment colors are used in color printing and paint mixing as shown above on the right.  Due to the limitations of mineral pigments, painters have traditionally used red and blue, rather than magenta and cyan, for primaries, but must also use cobalt violet or an organic pigment to obtain magenta hues.  A color wheel applying to both light and pigments is at the right.


After the break, Bill continued with examples of illusions in art that Margaret Livingstone has explained in terms of vision research in her book Vision and Art.  The Hermann scintillating grid effect shown at the left, is due to the center/surround cells in the retina and the thalamus being much smaller than those in our peripheral vision.


Abrupt changes in brightness are much easier to detect than gradual ones, which allows artists to fool the eye into seeing greater contrasts than are actually on the surface, as illustrated by the Seurat sketch at the left.


Our eyes are drawn to contrasts in brightness or color and to faces.  If there are such areas that draw our attention, we care little that other areas are fuzzy and bland.  The Renoir on the right is an example of this.


Our peripheral vision, though less precise than our central vision, never-the-less provides a lot of form information to our "what system."   Livingstone uses this to explain the enigmatic Mona Lisa smile.  When we direct our center vision to her mouth, we see only the slightest suggestion of a smile, but when we look at her eyes, our peripheral vision see a big smile shape formed by her cheek shadows and her mouth.


Imprecision in the relative positions of objects makes it hard for our "where system" to locate objects, which can give rise to an impression of motion, as in the flags in the Monet painting at the right.

We can only see things sharply by directing our central vision to them.  Since we can't do that everywhere at once, sharpness everywhere gives the impression of lack of motion.  We see that in the Poussin painting at left of strangely static chaos.


Converging lines and smaller shapes give us perspective cues for distance so strong that they overcome our conscious knowledge.  The upper ball on the grid at right seems larger, even though we try to ignore the grid.  It is actually the same size as the lower ball.


The low contrast, fuzziness, and blue tint of haze act as cues for distance also, as shown in this Monet painting of a foggy morning.  Although there are few details, we get a clear sense of looking across a river at a distant city.


Shading gives a sense of shape.  Since light usually comes from above, we interpret an object that is lighter above to be convex, and one that is lighter below to be concave.  Shading is our strongest clue to form in a painting.


Repetitive small shapes can be merged in ways that lead to a three dimensional effect.  Posters of such pictures generated by computers were popular a few years ago.  Monet used the effect in the painting on the left during a period when he was obsessed with trying to "paint air."


Accurate rendition of luminosity (value) gives a strong sense of reality regardless of the colors used.  Dorothy Johnston's zebra at the above right is an excellent example of this.  A B&W image of it is at the left.  Matisse did this earlier, but Dorothy does it better.


On the other hand, different colors with the same luminance, such as the squares in the Mondrian painting on the right, cannot be well located by our "where system," so they seem to jump about.


Parallel lines can give a sense of motion perpendicular to them.  If you click on the Leviant painting at the left to enlarge it and look at the rings, you will probably see such motion.  The Monet at the right may give the effect of flowing water in the same way.


Because the "where system" is color blind, imprecision in applying color to a strong B&W outline doesn't detract from our perception of the objects portrayed.  The Walkowitz painting of Isadora Duncan at the right is an good example.


Small patches of different colors, but nearly equal luminance, blend to give an average color.  This was much used by the pointillists.  The Signac at the left has areas of the castle and the sky which blend this way.


Bill doesn't claim to be good at using these effects.  Knowing how they can be used and actually using them are not the same thing.  However, he hopes with practice to get better at it.  Perhaps you too can make use of them.

November 12-13 - Waco Cultural Arts Festival in Heritage Square

Art Guild members Ellen Foster, Gloria Meadows, Patrick Shade, and Sue Young will share a booth at the festival.  The festival will be open 11 am to midnight Saturday and noon to 7 pm Sunday, but I suspect that the AGCT booth won't stay open until midnight.  In addition to visual art, there is also music and dance.  Free admission.  Stop by and see it.

November 12-13 - Waco Cultural Arts Festival in Heritage Square

Art Guild members Ellen Foster, Gloria Meadows (at left), Patrick Shade, and Sue Young (at right) shared a booth at the festival.  In addition, our member Dorothy Johnston (below right) had a booth, and several other watercolorists shared space in a CTWS booth.  There were many other art exhibitors and quite a few musical and dance groups performing.  Wind was a bit of a problem Saturday, but Sunday was a very nice day, certainly nicer than it would have been on the original October date that was cancelled because of hurricane Rita.




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