Friday, May 6, 2011

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DUMB DESIGN IDEAS, THE BEAK

THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF DUMB DESIGN IDEAS
THE BEAK

A selection from the Nevelson Wing collection, featuring another of the landscapes of a forgotten painter from wherever Dutch people live. As all of his paintings seem to bear alarming faults I will choose one at random. Let's say you and I examine this one!

This painting contains the BEAK ERROR! The artist has recorded this lovely summer scene just as he saw it splayed before him. The distant headland or bend in the receding lake shore becomes a thrusting beak shape. How like a sharpened hot dog it appears!

Frantically the tyro artist installed big clouds and vertical trees on one side but he just couldn't counterbalance the thrusting jagged beak. The pitiful collection of his life's work, shows that not occasionally, but every single time he was on the water he painted those beaks! The swells who frequented the better galleries would never have dreamed of buying his work!

It's a shame no one was there to stop our artist friend so long ago, before he had painted dozens if not hundreds of paintings, with large, prominent beak structures amidships. You see, the shapes around a river or a small bay have that same appearance everywhere. They occur nearly every time you are on a body of water, they are ubiquitous. But they invite one to make a giant dagger shape right in the middle of your canvas. And while one or two beakish designs "might" enhance a show, too many would be unsettling, and none would be the ideal.

I have personally painted an enormous number of beaks, particularly in Acadia National Park. I have at once to believe I have control over beakyness and then suddenly I have made another. So whether at your compliance officers lakeshore cottage or tethered to the rocks of a tumultuous sea, do be careful of the beak.

24 comments:

Eden Compton said...

Yikes. I think I've committed this particular sin many times since I'm always on the water! Like this series of posts Stape - Thanks!

willek said...

Well, to me, there is not much you can do with a beak except chop it off with the picture frame, or disguise it with camoflage or an an upthrusting lighthouse, or cover it with a sailboat or fog. Do you have any favorite ploys?

willek said...

What about opposed counterthrusting beaks?

Steve said...

Stape, I'm curious to know if you regard this painting as wicked beaky. The distant shore shares space with the further beak. The near beak is small relative to the cottage and trees. Does size matter? Thanks for these posts.

http://www.adelsongalleries.com/exhibitions/2011-05-11_jacob-collins/works/?work_id=20

John D. Wooldridge said...

Stape, as willek asks, could you provide some insight in ways to defuse the beak bomb? Given the u"beak"uity (sorry couldn't resist) of this structure on waterways, there's no way around painting them in some form or fashion. Would it be so simple as varying the form to something less like that of the sharpened hot dog?

sarahsbooks said...

So if our hapless painter were to, say, lop off the left part of the canvas to eliminate said beakyness, wouldn't the poor painter then be stuck in the previous circle of hell, stripeyness? Please advise.

Bill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill said...

I guess the boat here helps break up the beak some: http://img.artknowledgenews.com/files2011may/Claude-Monet-Monaco.jpg

Plein Air Gal said...

Would varying the shape of the edge help? Say, instead of it sloping downward, make it jagged rocks on the front edge? or put a taller rock or tall tree (or something) near the top edge before it slopes downward?
Guilty as charged! Many times! Beaks R US!

Mary Byrom said...

Acadia National Park is full of beaks! The entire coast line of Maine is full of beaks. Almost every long view on the water has a beak some where. Beaks are invading us! Total invention of the scene is a way out of this constriction. The Acadia NP calendar uses aerial views of "the beaks".

robwood said...

It was when I got to "sharpened hotdog" that I suddenly realized how many of my paintings died by the beak! Well, truth be told many failed due to multiple trauma; being gored by the beak may have just been a coup de grace.

I'm looking forward to any advise on how to immunize our paintings against this scourge. Thanks, Stape, as always you showed me something I had completely overlooked.

Rob

Connie said...

Guilty as charged...I'm a beaker! How about showing us some examples for advoiding this?

Stapleton Kearns said...

Eden;
Thanks' I have learned about beaks the hard way!
.............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

willek;
Perhaps I should do a post on dealing with the beakishness of nature.
..............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Steve;
I don't comment on living artists works, I will see if I can create an example for you of a beak, debeakified.
................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

John;
I will do a post on that.
.........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

sarah;
Yes that happens. but there are solutions to the problem.
...............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Bill;
Even Monet made some weak pictures. It may not have a beak but I think it a poor design none the less.
.............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

PAGal:
Those are some tactics that may hep. But I will return and do a demo on this soon.
..........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Mary;
Acadia is a beak wonderland, I learned to paint them there.
.........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

rob;
Good I am glad I have been useful.
........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Connie;
Will do!
..............Stape

jeff said...

If it was me, I would have made those middle ground trees larger and shifted them over towards the left and played around with this design idea until it made sense as a composition. Maybe even moving so those middle ground trees are taking up two thirds of the design and I would also make them larger.

Or find a better spot to paint...

Alison said...

Thanks Stape for enlightening me on such a painting taboo. "Beaks" will go into my little black book of painting no-nos along with "unfortunate tangents". I will remember to restrain myself any beak compulsions in the future.