|Thesis | The World of Teruo Sato |Technique|4-Matiere
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4,  Matière                                                                                  

(1)  Basic Concept

‡@  Initial Remarks

   So far, we have verified how a picture plan is made. We will quickly go over it again. First, the painter, as an artist, possesses a world of his own, and through his peculiar field, he, as a painter, combines here the image.
   World is the basis of an artwork and also the source of creation of all artists. On the other hand, image is the source of an artwork that only painters handle. With a world-view, world can be made continuously; without it, world is made merely accidentally. It is said that artists are those who possess a world-view.
   Then, the painter spatially arranges the object that becomes the theme of the picture as well as the setting, and based on his spatial recognition, composition is established on the drawing surface. Next, he goes on to the quantitative establishment of lines and colors, which is made according to the attributes of each elements, and responding to his world-view and to the theme of the picture that he is about to draw.
   A picture plan is completed when the composition is spatially established and the quantitative attribute of the lines and colors that are used is specified. The genius of the painter, especially his creativity, appears in the process of establishing the compositional space according to his world-view as well as in the process of deciding quantitatively about the attribute of the lines and colors inside it. Roland Barthes posed a question about the creativity of painters, but the existence of its substance is beyond dispute.
   This plan is sometimes made intuitively and clearly, and sometimes formed gradually through trials and errors. However, no matter how this picture plan is made, a picture does not complete without the completion of the plan.
   The painter chooses an image directly or indirectly from the world, which becomes the theme of the picture: this becomes the object whereas a part of the world becomes the setting. As for the combinations of object and setting, there are two methods, "perspective plan" and "projection plan", depending on how third dimension that shows the depth is handled.
   Then, based on the painter's human-view, value that expresses it is established. Since here the human-view works, when the painter's consciousness centers in the value setting, a portrait is made. The curvature of line is established based on his civilization-view and nature-view. If his attention is turned to this attribute, a landscape is made. When his attention turns to both curvatureof line and value of color, the intention is to make an integrated picture.
   A genre picture will be drawn if the human-view expands and/or links to the civilization-view. If no world-view works, a still life picture is drawn. (However, as argued in the work part, this does not apply if the object of still life picture represents a symbol of human being or civilization.)
   World-view affects the decision on the value as well as on the curvature of line. If the painter wishes to strongly exhibit his constructive intention, his attention is directed toward the establishment of line's width and hue. If he wishes to express the physical attribute of a space such as the depth, his attention turns to line density and chroma. In this way, we can clearly see the procedure in which all the attributes of line and color are taken into the picture plan.
   Once the picture plan is made, the actual creation of a picture begins. Here, the medium as a means of expression and the support that fixes it are chosen. The contents of a picture plan such as the establishment of composition, line and color, are inside the painter's mind and cannot be seen, but anyone can perceive a medium. The secret of the artistic picture theory lies in the viewpoint of how a medium, which is a visible material, materializes an invisible picture plan.

‡A Color Surface

   Line and color are the essences of the instrument of picture. They guide the choice and the arrangement of the medium, which is an instrument in itself. Therefore, it is necessary to recognize the implication of the medium that concerns these two.
   A picture being actually drawn by the medium also implies a visible form being expressed on the drawing surface. A form is composed by line and color, and takes shape on the surface. Therefore, form is an integrated concept of line, color and surface. Thus, we define the forms that materialize a picture as "Color Surface".
   A picture is always composed by more than one "Color Surface." A "Color Surface" is a zone plotted out by specific line and color on the drawing surface. Some conditions must be met for a line to create a specific zone on the surface. This specific zone is called "closed surface" and this becomes a component of the "Color Surface." Since a Color Surface cannot be formed if this zone is not created either by straight or curved lines, a form cannot be formed either. Then, the creation of the picture becomes in itself impossible.
   If a "closed surface" is constructed, and if it is filled with a single color, then this can be defined as a single Color Surface. If the colors are different, they form different Color Surfaces. Color Surfaces are like cells that constitute an actual picture.
   The attributes of color can also be expressed by the quality and the quantity of the medium. As a matter of fact, this method of expression is more realistic and rich in its variety. For example, even if the blue color of oil and water that have different mediums is materially the same, the actual color sense is completely different. This difference can be explained in terms of identity of medium. Therefore, we define Color Surface as a zone on the drawing surface arranged with a single medium.

Woman in the Nude Image

  As a matter of fact, for a Color Surface what is important is that it is a zone that is plotted out; the shape of the zone does not matter. For its concept definition, the nature of the line that creates it is completely unrelated. At the end, the concept of Color Surface depends solely on the identity of the medium. If a medium is put on the drawing surface, then this part immediately becomes a Color Surface. Therefore, we may say that Color Surface refers to the medium on the drawing surface. (This is the very reason why a "Decalcomanie," which is an accidental print of medium, and "Dripping," which refers to drops of medium, can create a Color Surface. That is to say, a picture can be made only with it. )
   The identity of the medium is determined by its quality, unit quantity and state. If a surface has a sequence of mediums of the same quality, the same quantity per area, and arranged in the same state, we can define it as an identical Color Surface.
   For example, even if it is painted with the same oil color, if Impasto is used the quantity of medium per area increases in this part, and in this case, naturally, the Color Surface changes, too. Also, even if a paint of the same type and in the same quantity is used, if a different brush is used in a certain part, there the state of the medium changes because the touch changes its expression: this changes, too, the Color Surface. Even if the same oil paint is used but if the colors are red and blue, the quality of pigment differs, then the quality of the medium is obviously different. Therefore, a red and a blue Color Surface are not identical.
   If medium is identical, it means that Matière, too, is identical. That means, Color Surface is the unit that determines a Matière. In other words, Matière can be distinguished for each Color Surface. Then we can see that, identity of the medium means the same thing as identity of Matière.
   Medium and Matière see the same thing from different viewpoints. As argued above, Color Surface refers to medium. Therefore, at the end, we come to see that Color Surface, medium and Matière are the same in their substance.
   Therefore, when we argue about Color Surface below, it is possible to directly replace it with medium or Matière. On discussions that follow, we will proceed without mentioning it each time, unless there is a specific need to do otherwise.

   A picture is constituted by more than one Color Surface, but these can be combined and divided. When they are combined, either a single Color Surface is created or the attributes of the original ones are maintained. We call the former case "The Union of Color Surface" and the latter case "The Fusion of Color Surface".
   The original attribute refers to value, hue and chroma of a color. These being maintained implies that their numerical values change continuously. The attribute of a Color Surface that was united has only one numerical value. We decide to call such a surface specifically as "Simple Color Surface". In a picture, "Simple Color Surface" appears as a plane exposed to a light that is parallel and homogeneous in relation to the drawing surface.
   However, a "Fusing Color Surface" expresses parallel surfaces exposed to a non-homogeneous light, as well as slopes and curved surfaces. Since this determines shapes, it becomes the most important concept in a picture. Then, the combination of Color Surfaces creates the general surface in a picture.

Division of Color Surface

   When a Color Surface is divided, a new one is always created above the original one. That is, there is an overlap of two Color Surfaces. We name this "The Accumulation of Color Surface". When there is a division of Color Surface, the newly created one always touches the original one. In sum, when two Color Surfaces are combined either union or fusion takes place, and when it is divided accumulation necessarily occurs.
    However, when another Color Surface is newly established next to the existing one, it is impossible to distinguish from the division of Color Surface in terms of its outcome. In this case, obviously, accumulation does not take place. We name this the division of Color Surface in appearance. In descriptions that follow, we include this into the original concept of division of Color Surface.
   The act of transforming a Color Surface, by establishing a new one, dividing it or fusing different ones, is correlated to the distinction of picture techniques. In other words, one picture technique corresponds to one act of Color Surface change.
   In an "accumulation" act that divides a Color Surface, the technique that increases the quantity of the medium on the divided Color Surface is called "Impasto;" if a transparent medium is put here, it becomes a "Glacis (the glaze);" if this is an opaque medium, it is called "Velatura". Also, in the combination of Color Surfaces, the typical "fusing" operation is "Gradation". Here, it becomes a "Sfumato" if mainly chroma suffers a continuous change.
   In this way, the changes in Color Surface prescribe the purpose of the picture techniques. Techniques must be understood from its purpose, otherwise we can understand very little about it. Then, since Color Surface is a concept that integrates line and color as the essences of the instrument of the picture, there, the relation with the painter's world-view, the subject as the creative intention as well as the spatial recognition, are expressed. Hence, through the concept of Color Surface, it becomes possible to touch the core of the secret of the picture creation that only artists can do.

\ Written, summarized and translated by Taketoshi Murayama@\                                                             \ Original translation is rewritten by Chigusa Tanzawa \

This text must not be translated into any other languages without author's permission

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