Thursday, 20 December 2007


We have chatted in the past about artists who delight in drawing subjects such as hair or folds of cloth  or water, that allow the artist to take liberties with abstract design.

The great George Herriman rarely passed up an opportunity to draw smoke coming from a chimney. He seemed to add smoke to a picture the way a hat designer might place a feather in a lady's chapeau.

For art's sake, every fireplace in Coconino County must have been roaring all summer long.

Look how each example is different-- fluid, intuitive and beautiful.

You can treat each of these little abstract designs as a miniature rorschach test:

I suspect Herriman used the same standard for smoke that fine artist Ellsworth Kelly employed for his abstract drawings at the Museum of Modern Art.   It's just a matter of what "feels right":

For me, the smoke from Krazy Kat's chimney is the superior work.