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Gary Peterson Art Blog

Seurat Sunday Afternoon Revisited

by p3t3rson , March 14, 2008—12:00 AM

Topics: Georges Seurat pointillism, cartoon art, maze art puzzles, pen pointillism

"A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" is a frenzy of multi-color paint dabs on canvas that are perceived by the viewer as solid forms of uniform color. Georges Seurat's pointillist masterpiece hangs in The Art Institute of Chicago.

My pen and ink interpretation, shown here, is a line drawing. It's like a roadmap for the eyeball to follow while touring the outstanding features of the formal composition - the angles and curves, light and shade, busts and bustles. The drawing is also a maze. Two small arrows mark the start and endpoint of a single continuous white pathway that meanders through the drawing without crossing any black lines. That feature is a byproduct of my drawing method: I draw without looking at what I'm doing until it's done. The continuity of line is at the expense of hand-eye coordination, but in the end the whole image is more than the sum of its strange details.

Seurat's pixelated beachscape created illusions of color and mass, but my ink trail is designed to take your eye saccading from one point of interest to the next along the visual pathway that describes this familiar congregation of people engaged in their idle pleasantries as they stare into an unseen horizon from where a solar wind seems to blow like a torch, lending a molten quality to this slightly hallucinogenic scenario. It's art and science; it's a philosophy of vision. It's fun.

I'm offering this image as a limited edition screen print. The original pen and ink drawing was auctioned at the Cranbrook Academy of Art.



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