Memory: The Textural Sense

Something happens to me, physically, when certain colors and their corresponding values come together in a composition. This serendipitous meeting, this resulting "textural" dish that is, as Delacroix said art should be, "a feast for the eyes."

Maybe he (Delocroix) experienced colors similarly. Maybe this was at the root of  Arcimboldo's vegetable and fruit heads.

Vertumnus c. 1590 Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Vertumnus c. 1590 Giuseppe Arcimboldo

All the senses work in unison to extrapulate, from what I'm seeing, all of the scene's power. The palette (and the palate) are about tasting as well as seeing, the eyes about tasting also. Memory plays a role in this. The memory of one sense infuses the others with notions--the seeing reminds taste of days before and the palate responds and licks its' lips.

A dog sniffs the air and images come to his mind; I look and textures envelop the palate. Everything is texture; color is texture, line is texture, shape is texture; a composition is like fabric. The physical nature of color is important.

This interworking of the senses as prompted by a work of colors, or a portion of that work, corresponds at some level to something as simple as a line drawn on a sheet of paper being enough to make one's arms weak; it is abstract stimuli. There is material texture and then there is the texture of design, then there is everything else--the abstract of the abstract--direction, gestalt, movement. They all work together to form this sense of texture.


MT McClanahan

An artist and perpetual thinker, MT McClanahan finds inspiration through connecting ideas across a broad range of topics. He especially enjoys philosophy and how art and life interconnect. He is the founder of TPT and his paintings can be seen at

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