Sidedness in pictures

Aletha Kuschan's Weblog

Thanks perhaps to Betty Edwards’s well known book “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” probably everyone who draws these days knows that visual cognition occurs primarily as an activity of the right cerebral hemisphere.  You don’t even have to have read the book.  Thanks to the title alone, if you just saw the book on the shelf at the art store (and her book is ubiquitously part of today’s artist’s landscape) then you got at least a teaser of its main idea, a neurological hat tip.  Who would have thought that neuroscience would play so prominent a role in contemporary artistic discourse?

Of course, you use both hemispheres of your brain when doing art because drawing or painting are complex tasks.  If you’re right handed (and most artists, like most people, are) then the left hemisphere controls your drawing hand so it’s not as though your left brain just goes on vacation ….

But while both sides of the…

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Casting the Flowers

In anticipation of the coloring book class I will be teaching in July, I am sometimes doing a more linear kind of painting


than I usually do. This particular flower painting will also be a composite. The flowers will have never existed together. The vase is one I’ve never owned, and the first full version of the image is something that I am assembling on a large sheet of paper that will serve as the cartoon for the painting.  Only when that drawing is complete will I even have a clear idea what I’ll be painting. Right now, it’s casting call time.  I search for flowers for the major and minor roles in the picture.

bouquet mine start

Thus I am gathering flowers.  Don’t other flower painters do that?  They perhaps go to the florist, or to their gardens, or out to a field and gather the blooms to arrange in the vase.

flower after old masterMe, I raid art history books for flowers to steal, though I may also toss in a few flowers from life as well … In any case most of my flowers will have bloomed hundreds of years ago.


These are some early candidates. The rehearsals won’t begin for a while.  The flowers haven’t even read their lines. This is just the beginning.