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For the Joy of Light

Documenting Robert Singleton's work with the highest quality color images. Paintings from 1964 - 1973 “The Florida Years” to “Screamer Mountain” 1973 -1978 to the remote mountains of West Virginia. This elegantly designed eighty page book details the metamorphic change which took place in Robert’s work. ~~~ Celebrating Robert's 80th year and over five decades of his creativity.

Theanswerisobvious:Thenaturalasopposedtotheengineered. However,whenthetwoarecombined,athirdelementisintroduced.Whenanaturalimage,organic/emotional,isplacedin juxtapositionto anengineered,geometric/intelectualshape,byvirtue oftheirinnatediferencesacontrastiscreated.Each emphasizestheotherbecauseoftheirdiferences.Atensioniscreated,resultingfrom opposites.Yet,theycomplementeachother bymakingthehard-edgedstraightlinemorerigidwhenplacednexttothenatural,waftedline.Thenaturallineappearsmorenatural whenplacednexttothehardedgeofthestraightline.Theintelectcontrastedwiththeemotionalandviceversa. Thissimpleprincipleappliestolife.Byvirtueofourdiferences,wecomplementeachother.Byvirtueofcontrast,wehelpothers toshine.Whenwearediferentfrom eachotherandwestandsidebyside,weeachshinemorethroughcontrast.Weare individuals,notclones.Thereisnojudgmentmadeofoneortheotherbeingbeter,moreimportant.Onedoesnotoutshinethe other.Asaresult,abalanceiscreated,aharmonybetweencontrastingdiferences,creatingawhole.Together,weshinebrighter thanwhenwestandalone. PerhapswhatIhavejustbeendescribingistheideal.Evenwithinthehumanpsyche,manytimes,thereisaconflictbetweenthe intelectandtheemotions.Dependinguponthecircumstances,onewiloverpowertheother,creatingdiscordandconfusionand,at othertimes,tension,one-sidednessandthefeelingofbeingoutofcontrol.Artistsrecognizethisbalanceandtensioninboththe naturalworldandtherealm ofhumanbehavior.Theyalsorecognizethisbalanceandtensionwithinthemselves.Inapainting,there mustbeabalancebetweentensionandcontrastcreatingharmonyinorderforittospeakasawhole. Inordertodefuseanyone-sidednessinthisdiscussion,Iwouldliketooferbriefly,thetwosidesofthephilosophicalcoin,intelect versusemotion. ReneDescartes[1596-1650],theFrenchphilosopherandmathematician,wentupintoacabinonamountaintoptoestablisha prioriknowledge,"Howdoweknowthatweexist?"HecameupwiththeLatinphrase,"Cogitoergosum.""Ithink,therefore,Iam!" Itwasconcludedfrom thisthatalrealknowledge,ortruth,comesfrom theintelect.Thephysicalsensespassinformationonto reasonandtheintelectinterprets. BlaisePascal[1623-1662],theFrenchmathematicianandphilosopher,readDescartesand,inasense,saidnonsense!Forhim, humanswerethesuperiorbeingsofcreationandwhatseparatedthem from therestofcreationwastheirabilitytofeelandbe awareofthat.Passionwastheauthorityoverreason.Wefeltfirst,thenwedevelopedreasontosupportthatpassion. Note:TheabovearemerethumbnailsketchesbyanamateurwhoisindeedbiasedinfavorofPascal.Pascalalsosaid,"Theheart hasreasonsthatReasondoesnotknow."

Intelect:Rigid,governedbyrules,left-brained,calculatedandknowledgeable. Emotion:Free,spontaneous,right-brained,natural,intuitive. Thisunderstandingofthegeometric/intelectandtheorganic/emotionwouldbecomethekeytoalmywork,thehiddencodeto myvisualvocabulary.Asinlife,andonthecanvas,thereisalwaysastruggletomaintainabalancebetweentheemotionsandthe intelect.OncanvasIwouldtrytopushthesetwoelementstotheirextreme.Iconsciouslysoughttheultimatestatementofthe intelectandoftheemotions,alwaysbyputingthetwoincontrastwitheachother. Throughoutmyearlyandmid-paintingyears,IalwaysrememberedthechalengeIputtomystudents,"Couldyoudiscoverathird component,asidefrom theorganicandgeometric?"Theanswertothisriddlehadalwaysbeeninsideofme.Theorganicworldis thenaturalworldofnature.Wehumans,asflesh,arepartofthatworld,transientfrom generationtogeneration,equalyafected bythenaturalworld.Wearegovernedbythelawsofthisnaturalworld.Inthatsense,wearenodiferentfrom anoaktree,subject todiseaseandage,subjecttothechangingseasons,subjecttothenaturalcyclesoflife. Clouds... Inthemid-seventies,throughamysticaloccurence(IcalitmysticalbecauseIhavenootherexplanation)Imadeaconscious decisiontochangethecourseofmywork.“Isoughttheultimatestatementoftheintelectandoftheemotions,alwaysbyputing thetwoinjuxtapositionwitheachother.”(*7)IfeltIhadpaintedmyselfintoacorner,notwantingorknowinghow togoanyfurther withthisdirection.Thiswasthechangingpoint.IhadaskedmyselfwhatIrealywantedtopaint.Therecameananswerfrom out ofnowhere,sosimplethatitstruckacordwithme...“Clouds.” Ididnotdiscardmyphilosophyofpainting.Imerelyaddedanothercomponent.However,cloudshavebecomemytruesignature. Tome,cloudsaretheultimateorganicforms.Butthemagicthatwasaddedtomyworkviathecloudswas,andis,theplayoflight onthecloudsandtheatmosphere.(*8) Inthehuman,thereistheintelect,andalthecomponentsthatmakeupthatintelect;oneofwhichisreasonorfreewil.Withthe humanintelectcomesknowledgeandpower.Wearethesuperiorbeingsofthisplanet.Thatsoundsarogant.Wearearogant becauseofthepowerwehaveoverthenaturalworld,todestroyitortobeitscaretaker. Tothecasualobserver,thehumanessence,asidefrom beingbiological,isintelectwithemotions,oremotionswithintelect. From thisessencecomesthecapacitytocreate.Manhaseternalysoughttheanswertotheriddle,"Arewemorethanbiological fleshwithamindthatcanthinkandreasonandmakechoices?