LIGHT AND SHADE
to be felt and attempts were made to harmonize our traditional pictorial art with the principles revealed in the work of the Japanese. While certain qualities of this oriental art can enrich, we go to destructive lengths when we make its foundations a basis for our pictorial art. Not until the Occident is willing to dis pense with the tactile quality, to expunge perspective, anatomy, and shadows, to surrender its own idea of a finished work, can it accept that pure abstract beauty composing Japanese and Chinese art, nor will the oriental idea avail us so long as we use oil colors.
A translucent quality is possessed by the oil and when mixed with pigment it has a natural depth which it always maintains. A simple even tone in the back ground, for instance, will retain a mystery, suggestive-ness, receptiveness, and richness in an oil painting not known to any other medium.
The difference between the decorative and pictorial principle is this: In decoration we seek to retain the^" feeling of the surface, whatever the elaboration may be, while in pictorial work an illusion is created on any surface, that we are looking into a space much as we would gaze through a window. The gulf be tween the oriental art based on decoration, and the occidental founded upon the pictorial principle, widens in many ways. For instance, in applying colors Japa nese art is brought into being by an emotional touch