Beyond Representation

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Untitled
white-on-white, painting, essence of white, white light, sculptural form, subtle variation, pattern, textures, shadows, restricting a painting palette,Regina Five, an artist's plans, preliminary drawing, vertical line, horizontal line, content, representation
description
For many, many years I didn't use what's known as colour. I was Canada's white painter. But I had at one time up to forty different tubes of white on my painting table, so I was seeing colour all the time... -- Ronald Bloore

The Ronald Bloore  paintingWorks of art made with paint on a surface. Often the surface, also called a support, is either a tightly stretched piece of canvas or a panel. How the ground (on which paint is applied) is prepared on the support depends greatly on the type of paint to be used. Paintings are usually intended to be placed in frames, and exhibited on walls, but there have been plenty of exceptions. Also, the act of painting, which may involve a wide range of techniques and materials, along with the artist's other concerns which effect the content of a work. (Artlex.com)  exhibited here is a good representation of his classic white-on-white paintings.  For the better part of his extensive painting career Bloore investigated the essence of the colour white.  His inspiration for this work occurred early on when he studied in Egypt and Greece and observed the bright, white light and the sculptural forms present in those localities.

Bloore

In the white-on-white paintings, Bloore explores the subtle variations that can be achieved by applying different manufactured whites to a painting surface.  Also, by embossing or raising the  surface(an element of art) The outer or topmost boundary or layer of an object. Colours on any surface are determined by how incident rays of light strike it, and how a surface reflects, scatters, and absorbs those rays. The material qualities of a surface, as well as its form and texture further determine how it is seen and felt. (artlex.com) See also texture.  of the painting with white  lineA mark with length and direction(-s). An element of art which refers to the continuous mark made on some surface by a moving point. Types of line include: vertical, horizontal, diagonal, straight or ruled, curved, bent, angular, thin, thick or wide, interrupted (dotted, dashed, broken, etc.), blurred or fuzzy, controlled, freehand, parallel, hatching, meandering, and spiraling. Often it defines a space, and may create an outline or contour, define a silhouette; create patterns, or movement, and the illusion of mass or volume. It may be two-dimensional (as with pencil on paper) three-dimensional (as with wire) or implied (the edge of a shape or form). (Artlex.com)  and shapes, he creates patterns, textures, and shadows.  In some of these works he explores the effects of using a variety of horizontal or vertical lines and symmetry.  In others, he references objects like suns and columns, but for the most part, his works are formal studies of  lineA mark with length and direction(-s). An element of art which refers to the continuous mark made on some surface by a moving point. Types of line include: vertical, horizontal, diagonal, straight or ruled, curved, bent, angular, thin, thick or wide, interrupted (dotted, dashed, broken, etc.), blurred or fuzzy, controlled, freehand, parallel, hatching, meandering, and spiraling. Often it defines a space, and may create an outline or contour, define a silhouette; create patterns, or movement, and the illusion of mass or volume. It may be two-dimensional (as with pencil on paper) three-dimensional (as with wire) or implied (the edge of a shape or form). (Artlex.com)  and pattern, and the  colourProduced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Colour is an element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the colour name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a colour, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a colour. When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colours are divided into groups called primary, secondary and intermediate (or tertiary) colours; analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colours. Colours can be objectively described as saturated, clear, cool, warm, deep, subdued, grayed, tawny, mat, glossy, monochrome, multicolored, particolored, variegated, or polychromed. Some words used to describe colours are more subjective (subject to personal opinion or taste), such as: exciting, sweet, saccharine, brash, garish, ugly, beautiful, cute, fashionable, pretty, and sublime. Sometimes people speak of colours when they are actually refering to pigments, what they are made of (various natural or synthetic substances), their relative permanence, etc. (Artlex.com)  white. By restricting his  paletteA slab of wood, metal, marble, ceramic, plastic, glass, or paper, sometimes with a hole for the thumb, which an artist can hold while painting and on which the artist mixes paint. Anything from ice trays to disposable paper or Styrofoam plates might be used as a palette. A pane of glass with a white piece of paper attached to its underside makes a fine palette. It's especially versatile because the color of the paper back can be made to match a painting's ground, making colors easier to choose. The term "palette" may also refer to the range of colors used in a particular painting or by a particular artist. (artlex.com)  and his  formIn its widest sense, total structure; a synthesis of all the visible aspects of that structure and of the manner in which they are united to create its distinctive character. The form of a work is what enables us to perceive it. Form also refers to an element of art that is three-dimensional (height, width, and depth) and encloses volume. For example, a triangle, which is two-dimensional, is a shape, but a pyramid, which is three-dimensional, is a form. Cubes, spheres, ovoids, pyramids, cone, and cylinders are examples of various forms. Also, all of the elements of a work of art independent of their meaning. Formal elements are primary features which are not a matter of semantic significance — including colour, dimensions, line, mass, medium, scale, shape, space, texture, value; and the principles of design under which they are placed — including balance, contrast, dominance, harmony, movement, proportion, proximity, rhythm, similarity, unity, and variety. (Artlex.com)  to a bare minimum, he is able to examine the complexities of paint and painting, rather than concerning himself with any kind of  contentThe subject matter of a work of art and what it suggests about that subject matter. This includes the ways in which that work of art can be plausibly interpreted.  or representation.  Take a moment to zoom in on the painting shown above to explore the lines, patterns, and textures Bloore has created here.

Bloore carefully plans his works before applying the paint and rarely deviates from his initial plan.  His preliminary drawings often take more time than the actual painting.  Each painting is another step in his quest for the perfect painting, which is, “… always the next one.” (Bloore, 2007)

additional resources Artist or Painter
Duration: 1:49 min
Size: 7752kb
How I Became a Painter
Duration: 2:52 min
Size: 12445kb
Interview with Timothy Long - The Regina Five
Duration: 2:30 min
Size: 16640kb
On the Formation of the Regina Five
Duration: 3:59 min
Size: 16640kb
The Challenge of Colour
Duration: 1:42 min
Size: 7104kb
Win Hedore
Duration: 2:26 min
Size: 10488kb
Things to Think About
Advanced Activity

Discussion

Bloore often draws with his non-dominant hand to break away from the  imageryAn image is a picture, idea, or impression of a person, thing, or idea; or a mental picture of a person, thing, or idea. The word imagery refers to a group or body of related images. (Artlex.com)  that continually surfaces in his work when he uses his dominant right hand.

Experiment with this idea and discuss whether you think this method of working can aid in the production of more creative images.

Online Activity
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Click on the pattern that you think most closely matches the pattern in Bloore's painting above.

Studio Activity

Bloore experiments with a variety of  drawingDepiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Colour and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass. There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself — an independent and finished work of art -- or a preliminary to some other medium or form — although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings. (Artlex.com)  methods in the studio

References

Bowen, Lisa Balfour.  ‘Major Bloore Retro.’  Hamilton Spectator, Sunday, January 26, 1992.

Heath, Terrance.  Ronald Bloore: Not Without Design.  Exhibition catalogue. MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, 1993.

Hume, Christopher.  ‘Art By Numbers.’  Toronto Star, May 26, 1996.

Keyowski, Aimee.  The Crown Life Canadian Collection: A Legacy for Regina.  Exhibition catalogue. MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, 2004.

Kiyooka, Roy.  ‘Five Plus One: Conversations with Ronald Bloore and the Regina Five.’  Border Crossing, Vol. 12, No. 1, Winter 1993, pp. 45-47.

Leclerc, Denise.  The Crisis of Abstraction in Canada: The 1950’s. Exhibition catalogue.  National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, 1992.

Long, Tim.  Fragments from Infinity.  Exhibition catalogue.  MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan, 2007.

Reynolds, Mark.  ‘The Emma Lake Encounters.’  The Beaver, December 2001- January 2002, pp. 8-14.

Simmins, Richard.  Five Painters from Regina.  1961.  Exhibition catalogue.  National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, 1961.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning