Friday, March 24, 2006

Color Alternatives?

We have color experts in our club. So this is not intended as anything more than discussion material.

What do colors signify? I found a charming collection of notions at

I used the color wheel link from a previous blog to identify two alternative colors. One is a nice, light purple. The other, a blue. For the computer graphics technicians or webmasters among us, I'll include the numbers that define each:

Purple: #cc66ff

Blue: #99ccff

We Didn't Discuss Loneliness

Right after the meeting Tuesday night, the 21st, I posted this originally on my own blog:

One of the members suggested it might serve the group to post it here as well.




At my occasional club for dinner and conversation tonight our speaker tried to show us how we see things in pictures that we ourselves put there. In other words our responses to art include subjective references of which we may not even be aware.

For example, a TV news program puts a bas-relief map of the world behind the anchor personality. Only the western half of North America is visible on the edge, and to our speaker it looks like a skull. This struck a chord with him. When some of us didn’t get it, he said that was the point. Images that some people find totally innocent and harmless can arouse strong feelings in others, not necessarily for reasons that the artist intended. At the extreme, a magazine editor accepts a cartoon as appropriate political speech, which in turn inflames crowds twelve time zones away to murderous frenzy.

“Who killed those victims?” we asked.

“The crowds,” he said. “And the editor, and the cartoonist, and everyone who looked at them, and all the rest of us. We all killed those people.”

I had a hard time with that. We can’t examine behavior by multiple standards. It’s hard enough being responsible for your own actions without after dinner speakers loading everyone else’s deeds onto your plate as well. The blood is on the hands of the mob, and they must face judgment for what they did. That is not blood, only ink on the hands of the cartoonist. He/she and the editor may feel regret, but they need not feel guilt.

The group hung up on this matter of privilege and responsibility. Sadly we ran out of time before we could take up another thread that interested me more. The speaker, himself a painter, lamented that verbal literacy deprives us of a desirable loneliness, as though the two were incompatible. Mind you, he was talking to a dedicated group of professional talkers, so maybe our avoiding that particular subject actually sharpened his point.

“In our culture, the idea of loneliness is treated as a pejorative,” he said. “But it’s not.” And then the group dragged him back into the uproar over malignant misperception.

I thought about it. He had talked a few minutes earlier about how solitude releases creative energy. Being alone, free of electronic interruptions, isolated in a lake shore town with his bamboo brushes — troublesome tools that consume his entire attention — his mind would lay vivid memories like film gels over the scene taking shape on his canvas, until he could no longer tell which source had given him which part of the finished image. This is not possible in a social setting, he said, and went on to declare that all communication by word is inherently social therefore distracting, anti-lonely hence (my inference) anti-creative.

Somebody says something like that, you can either argue with them or just go with it and see where it takes you. The crowd was tossing those infamous cartoons around like a beach ball at a bowl game, so I decided to float and see.

Thought: we experience loneliness two ways — one, painful ostracism; another, welcome liberty. It depends on who we think closed the door, “They” or ourselves. Creativity is possible under either condition. Lord only knows what I’ve imagined when I have felt cut off and devalued by the people around me; I’ll never tell. You can fantasize yourself to death that way. Such loneliness is to be avoided, but the other kind brings birdsong to the heart. Give me an afternoon with sunlight filtered soft through a high, thin overcast, and the prairie in bloom, and film in my camera and time on my hands — I will climb into that camera, clamp on a close-up lens and be alone in there with nothing but childhood’s purest wonder for company. I will lose track of time, place, context and commitments, and play “she-loves-me” on the flowers without touching a single petal. Later, maybe I’ll hang one of those pictures in my office and people will talk about it. But our man this evening was right: the aloneness of creativity is probably a non-verbal experience.

Some novelists describe the act of writing in visual terms. For them it is as though they are watching a play, which they copy down almost stenographically. Go visit Hemmingway’s garret in Key West. You’ll see how, to write there, he invested his loneliness with myriad, visual stimulation and physical isolation.

So many extreme emotions come in pairs: joy-sadness, love-hate. You can arrange such a pair at opposing ends of a continuum, locating all the other, related feelings somewhere between. I would have said that loneliness might be one of those peculiar experiences that occupies both ends of its continuum, the silent ends beyond the talkative middle of ordinary social intercourse. But we didn’t talk about that tonight.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Cedar Falls Supper Club

Cedar Falls Supper Club
There was a bit of discussion about the color of this blog. So since we have a number of people in the club who are artist and a lot of people who have opinions let's give the Blog Master(s) some feedback at to the proper colors for the blog. In order to post to to this post all you need to do is "click" on the Comments below and to the right and input your comments.

Web Color wheel at:

Monday, March 20, 2006

March 21, 2006 Speech

"Seeing Meaning,"

by frje echeverria

"[who] will examine some projected images of things [he has] been looking at lately, and differentiate among superficiality, relating, and

We will meet at 6:00 p.m. at Bourbon Street, 324 Main Street, Cedar Falls.

Cedar Falls Supper Club