Welcome to the Cooper studio, Jefferson, Iowa. Let's talk about opinions today. There are certainly enough of those critters running around.
It's my opinion, and is it true? The world wide web is an amazing tool. You can morph your opinion into fact---all you have to do is be persuasive with your words.
Let's go back to where this thought line came from. I just finished reading an article over at one of my favorite websites, EmptyEasel. The guest author about never, ever using black as the background for a website showing paintings. She gives us THE first law. Hey, talks A Law. Therefore, it must be fact, right?
Ahhh, the great worldwideweb can lead us so astray. What's listed as a law, well, maybe it's not really. Step one might just be somebody's good idea. Item A might come from someone's theory rather than proven and tested fact. And yet, there it is, in print. Surely it must all be based on fact, right?
How about an example? From the article under "Law 1" comes this statement:
Your art is center stage, first and last. Nothing should detract, draw attention away from, or usurp your viewer’s focus on your art. Period.
If black is engaging, dominant, holds our attention and draws us in, doesn’t it go without saying that a black background trumps your art?Two awesome websites to look at:
Did you notice how those paintings were trumped by their black back ground? Yeah, I didn't get that so much either. Wait! Could it possibly be that all of our paintings are not quite alike? While a black background might trump some people's paintings, what are the chances that a white background might trump someone else's? Is not uttering a generalization the quickest way to be wrong?
Here's a quick test if you are a FASO artist: go to that great toolbar and look for an icon that is a circle divided into quadrants. If you hover over it, it will say "edit color scheme". Click on it, and then look down a few lines to "click here to select from pre-made color schemes". You'll get several options, and to the right of each is a place to "select this color scheme". I was worried that I would do irreversible damage (like never get it back to normal) for my website, so I made sure I knew which color combo I was already using, and could just click on it to get back to it :) Then I just started clicking on those selects. First I clicked on the option that was close to what the aforementioned guest author said was "law". I used my "preview website" button (fourth from the left) to view the results. Eeeeeeew! Proof positive that what works for one artist doesn't necessarily work for the next. And why would our website designer give us so many wonderful options if there was really ONLY ONE that worked? :)
Varied opinions are good for us to think about, aren't they? They can stretch our imaginations. Just now, I am thinking about clicking back to my toolbar and trying on some new color combos. Who knows? Maybe I'll start a "background color of the month" system for 2011?
But think about it folks. We have to be big kids and make our own decisions. We can read other people's opinions, but remember to stop and look hard enough to determine if they are fact, or really just another well written opinion. Hey, one man's trash is another man's treasure, right?!