Thursday, June 22, 2017

Devising Dazzle Camouflage by Isolating Details 4

Hypothetical dazzle schemes
Above Hypothetical dazzle ship camouflage schemes (2017) devised by Roy R. Behrens by isolating details from four areas of a single painting by a famous artist from the past. Can you name the artist?

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Alfred E. Corebise, Art from the Trenches: America's Uniformed Artists in World War I. College Station: Texas A&M University, 1991, p. 26—

To [American artist and illustrator Ernest] Peixotto's artist eye, the [dazzle-painted] ships that he observed, "brilliantly camouflaged like wasps, queerly striped with black and white, with spots between of yellow, gray-blue, and water-green," or painted with low-visibility colors and "toned like Monet's pictures with spots of pink and green" never failed to fascinate.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Devising Dazzle Camouflage by Isolating Details 3

Hypothetical dazzle schemes
Above Hypothetical dazzle ship camouflage schemes (2017) devised by Roy R. Behrens by isolating details from four areas of a single painting by a famous artist from the past. Can you name the artist?

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Northrup Fry, Fearful Symmetry: A Study of William Blake. University of Toronto Press, 2004—

[In addition to camouflage] Another form of puzzle is provided by the painter who uses darkness as a positive basis and light as a sporadic scattering of it. The Dutch pictures with a candle in the center and the rest of the picture shading off to blackness at the edges are typical of this, and even Rembrandt and Vermeer do the same thing in subtler ways.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Devising Dazzle Camouflage by Isolating Details 2

Hypothetical dazzle schemes
Above Hypothetical dazzle ship camouflage schemes (2017) devised by Roy R. Behrens by isolating details from four areas of a single painting by a famous artist from the past. Can you name the artist?

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A. Newnham, as quoted in H.B. Cott, Adaptive Coloration in Animals. London, Methuen, 1940, p. 330—

I was stretching across to collect a beetle and in withdrawing my hand touched what I took to be the disgusting excrement of a crow. Then to my astonishment I saw it was [not excrement but] a caterpillar half-hanging, half-lying limply down a leaf…[What] struck me was the skill with which the coloring rendered the varying surfaces, the dried section at the top, then the main portion, moist, viscid, soft, and the glistening globule at the end. A skilled artist, working with all the materials at his command, could not have done it better.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Devising Dazzle Camouflage by Isolating Details

Hypothetical dazzle schemes
Above Hypothetical dazzle ship camouflage schemes (2017) devised by Roy R. Behrens by isolating details from four areas of a single painting by a famous artist from the past. Can you name the artist?

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Anon, "Cubism in War" in the New York Tribune, Sunday, September 15, 1918, p. 6—

Baffle painting is the latest development of marine camouflage, the idea being not to make the ship invisible, but to break up all accepted forms of a ship by masses of strong contrasting colors, distorting her appearance so as to destroy her general symmetry and bulk, the result being to keep the U-boats guessing as to whether she is "going or coming." A practical use has been found for cubism, after all.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Cornish Colony Camouflage | National Parks

Cornish Colony Camouflage
In an earlier blog post, we've talked at length about theatrical designer and arts administrator Homer Saint-Gaudens (1880-1958). The son of Augustus Saint-Gaudens (the most famous sculptor of his time) and a distant cousin of Winslow Homer, he was the officer in charge of US army camouflage during World War I. He grew up at his parents' home and studio near Cornish NH, sometimes called the Cornish Colony, which is now part of the National Park System.

As shown above, about two weeks ago, the website of the National Parks Conservation Association featured a blog post by Nicolas Brulliard on the connection to camouflage of the younger Saint-Gaudens, with reference to other Cornish Colony camoufleurs, among them the co-founders of the civilian American Camouflage Corps, sculptor Sherry Edmundson Fry, and muralist Barry Faulkner (who had been Homer Saint-Gaudens' roommate as a freshman at Harvard).

Below is a recent find from the Pictorial Section of the New York Times (Sunday, February 2, 1919). It's a photograph of Homer Saint-Gaudens at the time of his return to the US from Europe.


Homer Saint-Gaudens
For a related but different story about a link between camouflage and the US National Parks, go here for another earlier post.