——Posted By GC Myers————
I didn’t learn of Arthur Wesley Dow’s art or his teachings until I had been showing for a number of years at the West End. But when I stumbled across his classic text, Composition, I was thrilled to see a lot of the concepts that I had come across after years of trial and error laid out for anyone to see. And a lot of artists have seen this book. It is one of the most influential texts on art, having inspired generations of artists and still doing so today. He is also one of the prime influences on the Arts & Craft Movement of the early 20th century.
In the book, Dow lays out the principle of harmonious design and introduces the Eastern concept of Notan to American artists. Notan, meaning dark-light, is the relationship in a picture between positive and negative space. It creates mood and feeling within even the simplest of compositions and is central to much Eastern art. The book is worth a look if only to learn more about notan.
For anyone interested, the book is available free to read or download online at Google Books. Simply click on the book cover above and it’s there for you .