Sunday, December 8, 2013

Long Live Pelican Power

Capture and release my ass!
Long Live Pelican Power!
Addictions once established are life long whether we like it or not and stumbling about in used bookstores is an addiction I will live with for the remainder of my life. If there was an Books Collectors Anonymous group, I'd have been forced to attend long ago. I can hear myself now at the meetings: "I've been clean less than a day and must turn in my chip because a few hours ago I flipped through the pages of a book about metal sculptures."

Last night was a prime example because when I made a trek out to the art store to buy a few supplies, I found I couldn't stop myself from making a side trip to one of my reading haunts which was in the vicinity. Finding parking at that particular used book store is a crap shoot. At the wrong hour, its small lot is typically full. Showing up about two hours before closing time is optimal but since I suspected traffic was going to get gnarly on the freeway (which it did), I decided I'd rather take my chances with the parking lot rather than sit in gridlock.

Luck favored me with an open parking space. Once inside the store, I made my way to the art section. Several books looked interesting such as the manual on how to use a pouring technique with water color paints. Considering I haven't used water colors, I decided to bypass the book as it's best to gain a firm understanding of the brush-based fundamentals before trying to use other approaches.

With the art instruction books not yielding anything I decided to take a peek in the photography section because I need to find some in-depth explanations about lighting. While the hunt turned out to be a no-go, an unexpected book caught my eye. Interestingly enough it was about boudoir photography. What use does a long-term lone wolf have for such a tome? No, not that so get your mind out of the gutter. While the photography aspect of the ladies is not something I can directly leverage, I do like the idea of understanding what makes for a sensual pose because when it comes to art, the human figure is something that shows up nearly everywhere, even if only in abstract form.

One thing I'd like to gain from studying a book on boudoir photography is a solid understanding about how suggestive photos are composed especially in regards to a world filled with people who don't fit the form of advertising's portrayal of beauty. Tall or short, plump or skinny, even whole or incomplete, it's about knowing what the underpinnings of aesthetics that attract our eye. In the same vein, knowing what best conveys sensuality implies an ability to do the opposite through evoking revulsion. Simply put, there are times when we want to make viewers experience an emotion at the opposite end of the spectrum of sensuality.

In the grand scheme of things, exploring the art of sensuality and suggestive material is one of the many faces of expression. And isn't art about helping people feel strong emotions like lust, fear, rage or excitement? To do so requires a solid understanding of aesthetics which I pursue relentlessly.