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Mr. Tracy L. Ford part 23857395945
I tried following the communiques...like a cladistic tree lacking succinct roots, I could not quite grasp the basis for the vituperative attacks against Tracy. Tracy and I have never met, except through USPS and cyberia. He is a man of honour, trust, and sensitivity; he is also not one to disguise his thoughts re: any subject posed to him, and, if there is any one character trait (synapomorphy, apomorphy, etc. etc.) I associate with Tracy when I read his work on restorations, it is consistent striving for the best in himself, his refusal to accept any idea at "face value", his constant dissatisfaction with the "moment". In this, he is akin to the Chinese landscape artists of centuries ago (Li Cheng of the 10th century C.E. comes to mind, as does Guo Xi of the 11th): one looks at their work, devoid of much colour (they believed it to be a distraction), realizing they are presenting an "at once" view of reality, as it we!
re, much as the eye sees everything "at once" with multiple viewing points. Later artists, from Raphael to Greg Paul (some of whose colour work resonantes with the spirit of Annibale Carracci) et al., dazzle with linear perspectives, aerial perspectives, etc., but it is with the "eye" of a portrait camera, a fixed gaze. Even much of Charles R. Knight's work re: dinosaurs has a certain "solid" feel about it, his animals, with feet on the ground, are...I lack the adjective, "ponderous"? Then there are the two Knight restorations which, for me, are echoed in Tracy's best work: the early fighting dryptosaurs (regardless of the five-fingered hands), and the pencil sketch of Ornitholestes. For me, Tracy's sparse, Zen-like restorations compel one to look at the dinosaur figure in toto, with multiple points of focus, as each drawing he presents is the result of long hours of careful thought and comparisons.
All of these thoughts are, granted, my personal re-action to his pro-active art. I find the pettiness of the attacks against Tracy to have no place in an arena such as the Dinosaur List. My feeling is that the individual assailing Tracy wants desparately to be a bright crayon, and, perhaps, has just discovered that "white-out" does not work on a computer screen.
- From: "Aspidel" <firstname.lastname@example.org>