Monday, February 11, 2008

Tom Phillips: Explicating A Humument (Step 4)

The same basic premise applies for explicating a visual image, especially in your thesis. You are trying to explain how the artist creates meaning. There is the OPTICS method posted below that we began the year with when we wrote on Brueghel. Since there are words in the image, you must also analyze them. Use the same techniques you would for poetry.

On page_ _ _ of Tom Phillips' A Humument, Phillips [active verb] that_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ by [technique and effect]_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.

Guidelines for Posting:
  • Due Monday, February 25th, 2008
  • You should have at least 3 pages worth of writing, Times New Roman, 12pt. font, double-spaced (with extra space between paragraphs) before you post.
  • The Title of your essay should be the page number of Humument Hyperlinked. Kevin Ta.. gave a mini-lesson on how to do this, so I'll just copy his directions:

Kevin Ta 5 said...
Alright, here’s my quick mini lesson on how to hyperlink in comment boxes. Say you want to make a link like
this. All you have to do is type the following into the comment box:

<"a href=">"this"<"/a">

and get rid of the quotation marks. When you publish it, it will look like:


Replace the URL (making sure you have the http:// part) and the “this” and it’s as simple as that. Remember that the Preview button is your friend. Hope that helps.



Kevin Ta 5 said...

Mr. G, you left out a very important part of my directions... You must not use quotes in the syntax, or else you'll get:

<"a href=">"this"<"/a">

instead of:


Just want to clarify it so that no one gets confused.

Mr. G said...

I think I fixed, thanks. Silly me.

Ping L 6 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meaghan S6 said...

Page 210

On page 210 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips suggests that humans are often torn between what they perceive to be reality and what literally is reality, namely between sanity and insanity. Phillips uses streaks of bold, clashing colors and contrasts dark and light imagery within his text to emphasize the different perceptions of reality within the human mind. Darkness represents the craziness, or inability to see the true reality, whereas light symbolizes the true, sane reality.

To begin the page, Phillips first describes his character’s realization that something is not as it seems. He writes that “at the time arranged” he “abandon[s] all.” Though the time was arranged, which indicates some sort of methodical thinking, he still must abandon everything he knows, in this case, his reason. Then, “he at once…drove off to…the dim regions of Bloon,” which is the area where sanity and insanity meet. Dimness implies that this location is the convergence of these two realities because when something is dim, it is neither light nor dark, but an area in between. Thus, Phillips’ character approaches the brink of his sanity. The pathways of pale yellow that highlight the text and connect the words to each other are also indicative of this route because they look like winding roads that connect one end of the image to the other, just as the characters’ road is connecting sanity and insanity.

Phillips’ character continues his path to realization a bit further down the page. He “had found…the loss of all events,” which suggests that he no longer remembers what occurred in his past or his past thoughts, which are both a part of his sanity. The only thing he knows, however is that, “he was…he knew…heavy for ever.” This heavy feeling symbolizes the weight that his torn feelings are pressing down upon him and the fact that these feelings are with him for eternity. The solid black border of the image further exemplifies this feeling because it is the darkest color in the image and because it surrounds all the other colors, it suppresses and entraps the rest of the image, just as the heaviness does to Phillips’ character.

Phillips’ character reaches his final destination toward the middle of the image. As he continues on, he “entered the dirty passage leading to his…condemned cell.” The words used in the imagery of the ‘dirty passage’ create a dank, dark impression of his location, making it seem to be very undesirable and unpleasant. The ‘condemned cell’ is his insanity because he is on the cusp of falling into a different type of reality and he has no power to control what is happening. The black border also represents this cell because it encages the rest of the image and is shaped like a cell, with no curves or bends, just straight lines. The pale yellow pathways could also represent this path. Though they are not dark, the yellow represents hope and a path toward the light, or truth. Therefore, this represents the characters’ path to insanity because it is something he cannot control and is what he is destined to do. Thus, he is continuing on to the truth.

To end the page, Phillips’ character comes to terms with the two realities he faces. He “thought of the lake, the starlight.” These are familiar sights to him, as they are the only things he can remember as he transitions between reality and his insanity. They are both relaxing images in comparison to the dark, dirty pathways. The starlight is similar to the pale yellow color in the image because the light is illuminating his path toward the reality he is about to enter.

Lastly, at the end of the page, Phillips’ character sees “both realities…once.” The ‘once’ may really mean ‘at once’ because of all of the dualities presented in the image. The word ‘once’ is separated from the rest of the text by a long pathway which represents the final step of the path the character takes between his two realities. This final moment of contrast can also be seen in the primary colors in the image. They consist of long stripes of tomato red and grape purple that run the length of the page. The red and purple are indications of a contrast in the image between the different realities because they are both extremes in different types of color; red is part of the ‘warm color’ family, while purple is part of the ‘cool colors.’ Upon first glance, they immediately clash, as they are not typically seen together in nature. This is also indicative of the craziness because it varies from what is natural or normal. Also, red has certain connotations of anger, while purple is more relaxing and tranquil, consequently reflecting this contrast.

Overall, Phillips creates an image of contrast to reflect the convergence of two different realities: sanity and insanity. To a sane person, life is reality. However, an insane person also believes that the way he lives is reality too. Therefore, reality has a different meaning for different people. Phillips’ character’s reality in A Humument is the path toward his pending insanity, as exemplified by contrasting colors and imagery, a fate he cannot alter.

Ricki L5 said...

Page 21

On page 210 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips suggests that music and poetry can be used to create beauty out of an ordinary image or idea. Phillips uses two main colors for this piece: black and a very light tint of grey, which indicates the two factors, music and poetry working in harmony. He also uses patterns with his shapes, suggesting the rhythm of both arts. The most prominent feature, the flower, is the main subject of the piece, as it is surrounded by the numerous patterns.

Before any text, there are numerous vertical black lines that go across the page. Phillips places these lines close together, creating a vague image. The lines can be described as having a repeated or pattern-like quality to the general space they use. The continuous vertical lines imply that the subject of the piece will involve having patterns or rhythm to it. The text then begins at the end of the vertical line pattern, and below it, an array of other shapes take place. Corresponding to the text, the lines could also be the beginning of a story, told by the rhythm and patterns that follow, much like how a poem or song’s rhythm may describe its subject or subjects. Following the text, a series of shapes within one another are vertically placed in a large light grey rectangle. The smaller shapes are all within circles, which may be symbolic for eternity, since a circle has no beginning, nor end. The first circle contains a square that is tilted in a way such that its for corners point North, South, East, and West. The second circle contains a smaller circle, followed by the third which holds an oval, and then the fourth with a square. The fifth one has the same shape as the first, and a seemingly sixth circle looks to have the same qualities as the second. These shapes placed by Phillips suggest that there is a continuous pattern between these shapes. This is another pattern that suggests that the subject of the piece is music and poetry, for both have this quality to them.
The piece seems to end with the image of a flower. The flower has the same color patterning as the rest of the page, yet it is the most beautiful image among the lines and common shapes. It is Page 21’s most prominent feature because of its distinct shape, shadows, and highlights. The flower is surrounded by different shapes and patterns, referring that the piece is the song or poem about the flower. The final text is also in the middle of the flower, signifying its importance.

The colors, shapes, and patterns are not the only features to Phillip’s piece. The text also suggests that music and poetry can describe something ordinary in a distinguished manner. After the initial vertical line pattern, the text begins. The narrator begins by telling the reader information that seems irrelevant to what he or she actually intends to enlighten the reader of. However, the narrator continues by suddenly changing the subject. “I married; and each time I’ve made thirty per cent on what I paid for it. Listen – shall I tell you one little good story?” This matches up with the initial pattern since it is the exposition of a song or poem, much like the image as a whole starts out with the simple vertical lines. The second piece of text is a compile of words from the original text, which are not in order as the first piece is. The first “sentence” says “The allusion Anacreon”. Anacreon refers to the Greek lyric poet who was notable for hiss love songs, drinking songs, and hymns. The use of the lyrical poet in Phillips piece suggests that the main topic revolves around an idea pertaining to a song or poem. The text continues with “To versational lyre called by a euphemism, amatory; and successful experiences were now poured into the Englishman’s ears…” The final piece of text is found in the middle of the flower. “The mere sound of the colour of a flower” suggests that the flower’s physical attribute is described through music. Basically the text states that in reference to Anacreon, his indirect meanings through musical poetry pertaining expressions of love and stories told to the character, perhaps the protagonist, could also be used to describe simple objects to create a beautiful piece of art.

In conclusion, Phillips use of patterns, harmony, and lyrical references are describing how poetry and music illustrate their subjects. Phillips ability to create meaning is clearly shown through his art.

Ping L 6 said...

Page 263

On Page 263 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips demonstrates that adolescents are beneficial to the society. He believes that only the younger generation is going to create a better future. The older generation is not going to understand the ideas of the younger generation; they belong to a different world. This is the reason Phillips believes that our future depends only on the adolescents. Phillips intelligently enhances this belief with text from A Human Document, images with variation in color and shapes that create imagery, and symbols.

The work of art on Page 263 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument is made up mainly of three different colors—green, yellow, and white. By combining these colors, various shades of green—light green, yellow green, green-blue, dark green, jade green, and pine green appear. Green takes up about seventy-five percent of the painting, yellow takes up about fifteen percent, and white takes up about ten percent. Seeing the painting for the first time, one can immediately think about a banana. The pelt of a fresh banana is green and it is not to be eaten until the pelt turns yellow. With this, one is able to realize the significance of the colors Phillips used. Yellow is symbolic of death and maturity while green is symbolic of growth and adolescence. With green covering nearly the whole painting, Phillips shows that the world consists mostly of youngsters who helps the society grows.

Colors play a major role in helping Phillips to develop his idea. In order for yellow to remain yellow, it should not be combined with green. By mixing it with white, it appears nearly the same. By combining it with green, it becomes a different shade of green and is no longer yellow. Similarly, in order for elders to remain “yellow,” they cannot accept any hints or ideas of “green.” Phillips believes that elders can never understand the ideas of youngsters. Therefore, they do not have any roles in improving the society.

The shapes and their placement in the painting have noteworthy implication. After carefully analyzing the painting, one realizes that it looks like a tree. The base of the tree is covered with yellow grass. It is symbolic of the elders; they are the bases in families. The trunk is made up of slabs of green that do not have apparent shapes. It is symbolic of adult who have ideas of both the elders and the youngsters, but who do not have the power to move towards neither direction. The top of the tree is covered with leaves with different shades of green. About one-half up the page of the painting, the leaves move away from the squared rim of the paper. The leaves shape like youngsters who are moving without an apparent direction and without restraint. The leaves are symbolic of youngsters who have different ideas and are free to move around. The “colors” that the liberated youngsters have are able to help them to create a better world. The uncertain movement of the leaves symbolizes the state of the future. The elders positioned themselves at the bottom of the tree. There, their roots are stuck to the ground or the square rim of the paper and it is difficult for them to move up to where the adolescents are. This is the reason the members of the older generation will never understand the members of the younger generation.

Tom Phillips uses words throughout the painting in order to further expresses his principle. The phrase “people part [from] people” implies the separation of youngsters from elders. In the painting, this phrase is placed at the point where the colors—green and yellow—separates. This shows the importance of the placement of images in the painting and the use of colors. Adults move “apart from the [hold] of [the elders]” because they feel that their lives are repeating over and over again. They want to be different and to create something new, something that is not a “habit.” Their paths are “the lonelier parts of the paths” of all the people of different ages because they are alone and that there is no one there to support them. The youngsters listen to their parents and understand their history, they want to move away from who they were and create something innovative. They work “against [the] memory” of repeated labor. These youngsters are those who will help to create a better future because they are going to create something new to their history.

Phillips believes that the younger generation is the only age group who is able to create a difference in the world and that they will improve the future. To him, this belief is like “a text [that is] to [be] trust.” The reason for him to illustrate leaves with assorted shades of green that move out from the squared rim of the paper is to show the unexpected future that the younger generation creates and that it is going to expand from its border. One experiences great emotion by seeing this painting. He or she is able to feel as if he or she is one of those leaves that move around and out of the holds of his or her parents. He or she feels that he or she is able to create something that will forever furnish the world. The most appealing part about this painting is the leaves. Phillips’ illustrating of the way the leaves move out of the squared rim and are not obstructed by any means is motivating. The everlasting color of the leaves in the painting is able to fill one with feelings of anticipation for the future.

Michael R. 6 said...

Page 223 Tom Phillips’ A Humument

On page 223 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips creates a feeling that time is a being and that it never ceases through imagery like the red dot, and by the words that were chosen among the essay. The picture evokes the emotion that time nears the end of a long repetitive journey with the same amount of hours and days every year. The colors of the picture like the glowing red and the muddy brown add to its dreary almost apocalyptic aura. The words solidify the notion that this page may have something to do with the end of the world and the end of time because the words chosen evoke security and then near the end, the words change the tone one of struggle and regret.

The most outstanding feature of the page is the large red circle or dot that steals the eyes away from the rest of the dreary muddy brown. The muddy brown encircles the red giving it an almost solar look, like the sun is looking over a landscape ravaged by time and negligence. Or maybe it is the sun hidden behind clouds after a nuclear holocaust that has just taken place in a major city. There is also a skinny bone white circle that surrounds the crimson brown of the red dot. This bone white circle brings a feeling of hope and sanctity within the dreary picture. It is almost as if something has moved in and taken the place of the sun during a solar eclipse or a lunar eclipse. The muddy brown is created with lines instead of a solid color. These lines symbolize motion and revolutionary movement in the idea that maybe this red dot is the sun and the muddy brown, powdery landscape has lost all of its ability to hold itself together and its nutrients and moisture. The soil blows in the wind recreating a scene eerily similar to the dust bowl of the 1920’s in Middle America. In the lower center of the page there is a concentration of the muddy brown lines that seem to swirl around like they are caught in a storm or a tornado. The muddy brown lines are being blown around. Also, the swirling cloud could be a cloud that has resulted from a nuclear blast. There is a tremendous wave of energy that emanates from the epicenter of a nuclear blast and there is a resemblance. The swirling cloud creates a feeling of chaos and loss that cannot be changed as if it were sweeping across the dead landscape.

In that same area, there are many tombstone grey/black scribbles that add to the cloud and give it that feeling of carrying death within its swirls. The idea of death and suffering is synonymous with the dark colors that were chosen in this picture. They are the same colors of Halloween and of the Mexican Day of the Dead holiday.

The last visual aspect that stands out is a figure in the bottom right hand corner of the picture. Though very faint, it looks like a head with eyes and a gaping mouth and a set of teeth. It resembles a sort of animal, not a human, and may signify a dead organism or something in the soil that died instantly, like in a nuclear blast, with its mouth open or died slowly, like in the dust bowl, from starvation. Or it may be curved lines that the mind wants to see as something that was alive in a picture that seems to bring about so many feelings of death and despair.

There are also words that have been blocked out among the writing that when read different ways convey different meanings and stories. Phillips starts of with, “Time, I can plead for you you still thing”. The use of the word plead creates a scenario where there may be a being pleading with time to slow down or for mercy in a particular part of life. The being may be asking to be spared from something horrible or for salvation. Phillips sets up an ironic paradox by circling “you still thing” because time is never still. It may be the only entity in the universe that is not affected by inertia or gravity or friction. Time moves despite mankind’s plead for it to slow down especially when old age is reached.

The next section starting with “this hour” illustrates time as the unchanging thing that humans see it as. “this hour and these followed by hours of time And yet – and yet – repeating…” Hours followed by hours are a regular occurrence in the universe. Time is measured and once one hour goes down another takes the place “until afterwards,” the day is over. Or this line could also stand to represent the idea that there was an apocalypse that occurred in the picture. Would time still go on if humans weren’t around to count it and measure its hours? Yes, it would because time does not need humans to trudge on. It continues even if all life has ended. “Afterwards days went by on his nerves,” personifies time giving it a masculine form and paints the picture that days are struggling to continue without life or without time because it is “afterwards,” after something or after time itself.

The last section of the writing blocked out by Phillips, “twenty-four hours stretched and stretched,” means that time is stretched to its limit. Time is being stretched to the breaking point or its end in this universe. Twenty-four hours represent the basic unit of measure in time and that is the day. The day seems the longest measurement at times but it also is surprising when so many days go by at such a quick pace.

The words can be read all the way through like they would be in a book and there is the usual rising action and climax and resolution to a story or time’s life. It is personified because of the words chosen by Tom Phillips.

All of the sections fit together to create a piece that creates despair and hopelessness under the sun. The specific colors chosen convey these deathly emotions and thoughts of the ending of the world and the cease of time. Tom Phillips makes a page that seems to warn of the inevitable but only time can tell.

Jessica F. 6 said...

Page 33

On page 33 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips expresses his deep emotions through his artwork and writing by combining them into one piece and exhibits them with distinct displays of colors, sketch marks, shapes, and text. Phillips had many pieces that displayed his feelings but in this piece he tells a story through a few words. The words he circled and highlighted the words by sketching black marks all around them made the piece stand out even before it was maximized on the screen.

Page 33 is a document that has writing set up into paragraphs that are all scratched up in a organized way beginning from the middle and coming out to every corner and side. The scratched up imagery of the piece was a coral- black that ends up disguising the writing surrounded by the words that are circled and boxed in. The other color besides the coal-black was a cherry- red that Phillips used to box in the other words that were imminent to his piece. The next huge color on the page that at times may be neglected through the piece is the general color of the document, which is a pigment of a light salmon- pink, the color may symbolize the color of human flesh or of the color of love, Phillips uses the light color on the bottom to bring the other colors on top of it to stand out because they are the ones that create meaning through his piece. These colors are similar and different alike but the colors are used to express his passion at that moment in time when he was creating the piece and tells a story to the audience through a couple of words.

The first thing that visually seizes your attention when you look at the piece is the several words at the top of the piece that are boxed in with the coal- black and the cherry- red, darkly and precisely highlighted with the two colors. The second thing you notice in the piece is the single lonely word that is circled with a coral- black. The final things that are noticed through viewing page 33 is the organized sketch marks that look like spider webs because there are two very similar and visible sketches that are surrounding both of the phrases in the piece that are highlighted. At one point in the middle of the page the two sketch marks become intertwined. The piece could also be looked at, as if you were looking into a cave and at the end of the cave are the words that Phillips chose to emphasize in his piece. The sketch marks could also be a visual of the reader going into a time warp. The imagery may in fact visually be attempting to literally pull the reader in the words so they can read them and understand what Phillips message is through a couple of phrases. Phillips chooses his colors and imagery wisely in order to have the reader’s attention focused in an organized and understanding way so his message can be insightful to the reader because Phillips physical art guides the reader through his work and into his mind of mixed and insightful emotions.

The visual piece of the Phillips’ page 33 is very important to understanding the page, but not only the colors, text, shapes and sketches create his true meaning the fact that the piece is untitled shows that Phillips wants the audience to come up with their own title and find their own meanings through his work, or it may be because Phillips who is a very talented artist believes that he needs no title to give the piece true meaning, the true meaning is in the art piece.

The font that Phillips used was very small and hard to read, the purpose of the font size and type was to hide the story but emphasize the words in the boxes in circles because those few words tell the story. The font also makes the story seem almost like it has to physically and visually hidden from the world. The words that were emphasized in the piece beginning from where the piece visually caught your eye was at the top where the words were boxed in by two dark colors, coral-black and cherry- red was as follows, “he had when first two necromancers, love.” The first sentence means that “he” as in Phillips had his first two “necromancers” meaning people who do some sort of black magic, Phillips describes them as two people because they are in noun form so Phillips may have had fallen in love with two enchantresses which are two women who are very attractive and uses magic or sorcery to put something or someone under a spell. The next few words are separated by a cherry- red thicker line which meant that Phillips wanted the two sides separated even though they are both physically on the top of the page the phrase says as follows, “coloured it with colors, and filled it with objects of ambition.” Generally the word “coloured” was used in the early 17th century to describe a skin color but Phillips used it to say that he coloured his love for the enchantresses with many colors or with various feelings and emotions. The last part of the sentence Phillips says that he also filled those feelings and emotions that initially are accompanied by nothing less than objects of Phillips commitment. The last word Phillips emphasizes is “softly” which was toward the bottom of the page in the last paragraph, Phillips says that his feelings were being expressed softly as to not harm anything.

The story in the art piece that Phillips created is meaning to say is that he had this positive intention with these two enchantresses and showed his love to them through his subtle feelings and emotions, but demonstrated softly as to not hurt what he had with them. The text, colors, shapes, scratch marks all show that Phillips was creating a guide with his art in order to lead the reader to the true meaning in his work which was his personal story based on those few words. The story could have been originally based on someone else’s life but Phillips made it his own life by emphasizing words and creating meaning in that sense. The words he chose told the reader how Phillips was feeling, he felt like he had put all his determination into two people and it caused him to realize that he was wasting his time and his life.

Angela S5 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian A. 6 said...

On page 118 of Tom Phillips A Humument; Phillips describes a person’s trouble inconspicuously by making is writing vague and abstract, which can lead to multiple interpretations of this page. To start off the page has three essential colors which are: tangerine orange, lime green, and a dotty purple. All of these colors are some what comforting but it is interesting that Phillips chooses these colors because the subject that the characters talk about seem dark and sad. The layout of this image suggests a myriad of possible meanings. However the essential meaning is a person gone made because of a woman any way one can interpret this piece. Phillips even states in his writing “ this man’s trouble {is} very acute, {indeed} acute; a lady mad” I think what he is trying to say is that people get to love sick about something or perhaps this “ lady grew coldness” perhaps she broke his heart . But if one reads all of the writing on the left side of the page it can be interpreted in seven different ways, however they all recollect about the same thing. “118 mort” I feel as if this could be like room 118 mort, perhaps this man is in an asylum or the hospital because of this lady. This can be proven because of the way the rest of the pages is painted, it looks almost like an asylum or hospital wall. The wall almost has a calming effect to it.

When I first looked at this image for the first time, my eyes instantly looked toward the top left corner “ 118 mort” encircled by something that looks like a key hole or a skull. Then I read from left to right like I normally would however I found that I kept dancing around the painting trying to make sense of this piece. I was drawn towards the series of faces on the left side of the page, it looks as if they are having a conversation about this man or perhaps one of these men are in this room. On the top left of the page I believe Toge says “118 mort”. This is the beginning of this piece because Mort replies “Toge” perhaps these two are visiting some one and mort doesn’t want to go in, or perhaps Mort is the one in the room, both character fit in this room and both could be visiting one another.
The page is split into three parts Green, orange and purple, The green is one person’s opinion bout this man and the orange is someone’s opinion about Toge I am not sure if the green part is about Toge. However, another interpretation could be these two people could be friends and they have not seen each other because of a woman, then the green part could clearly be mort, but I think that Phillips did this purposely to make the reader think a multitude of things. If this interpretation is correct then this woman could be very controlling and may forbid him from seeing mort. It is unclear, but that could be the reason the page starts of with “118 mort”. It could be like mort its 1:18 come on man! I was really interested with the faces on the left side and then the green and orange parts because everything these faces say on the left can be the start of a statement for both starts. For example take “Toge” from the left and read the speech bubble in the green part and it would read “ Toge this man’s trouble very acute acute; a lady mad the lady grew coldness.” This could work for every other thing that this comic book strip style of faces on the left side say.

There is no different title to this page, Phillips left A Human Document on there but it is some what erased and looks like it just says Document. This could sum up this page because perhaps Phillips is trying to say that people when they try to explain some things are not human. It is interesting because a Document lasts for ever because its it in writing and figuratively writing lives for ever. So if something is a Human Document perhaps is dies and is a mortal. Are we all living documents, waiting to just die. Before I get too hypothetical, it is interesting that Toge is a main character because Toge is French for a loose robe worn by clergymen, lawyers, teachers etc according to for this title would fit because religious books, a piece of legislation and educational books all last forever.

The piece as a whole is very abstract and ambiguous for the sole reason, to make more people think about what it could mean. Its as if Phillips wants everybody to make their own Human document off of his Humument. However, the problem about this woman and Toge in both the green parts and the fled friend are all up to the reader to make their own conclusions about who is who and what is going down, where they are and what everything means. It’s everybody’s own humument, they just have to make it their own and try to figure out what it means.

Elina R 6 said...


On page 27 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Philips is able to create a tragic love story. The page displays a black and white picture of a man with wording at different locations throughout the picture. The page also displays a frame composed of black and honey brown lines surrounding the picture itself. With his choice of words, the placement of these words, and the existence of the frame, Philip is able to tell the viewer the story of a lonely lover.

When viewing the page from top to bottom, the viewer immediately notices a cut out of words at the top left hand corner. Almost leaving the frame the words “That’s the lover” appear. This small phrase instantly reveals that a relationship is being discussed. The fact that the words are on the complete opposite side from the heat and are almost out of the frame suggests that this relationship has failed. The distance between this phrase and the man in the picture suggests that although the relationship has ended, the man is not willing to let go. He holds these words within the border of his frame or life because he is unable to move on. The fact that the words only have one set of quotation marks indicates that in this relationship only one of the two people cared the most about the other one. In this case, the man must have loved his partner intensely, but unfortunately, his love was not corresponded.

The next set of words that are lower down in the picture reveal the man’s way of coping with his broken heart. The caption reads “The lover, and his companions, of the grape”. This indicates that as a result of the man’s lack of companion he has indulged himself with liquor. The “grape”, which is used to make wine, implies that the man is using alcohol to overcome his frustration. Looking at the picture, this set of words is located on the right side of the man, exactly above his heart. This may imply that the man is not thinking about his actions, but is acting with his heart. His heart has taken control and it does not know how to deal with the man’s misfortune so it leads him to alcohol for comfort. The wet and warm feeling that the alcohol gives him, as a psychoanalytic might say, reminds him of his mother’s womb. By recreating his mother’s womb with in him, with the aid of the alcohol, he may feel the love and comfort that he does not find in his reality.

Right at the center of the picture, Philips places a longer set of words. This is the first set of words that touches the man and actually covers some of his features. “He happened to be taking from his pocket, a small photograph of an ancient English lover” is written across the man’s face, completely covering his eyes. The positioning of the words in the picture implies that the man’s action has caused his blindness. From a psychoanalytic point of view, it seem as if the photo of his partner has reminded the man of his castration. The simple glimpse of his partner’s image reminds him that he can not be with her therefore he is unable to function. Being the first set of words that actually touches him implies that it is only through the use of words that he can actually “touch” his partner. For the viewer, it is ironic that Philip uses that word “photograph” with in the photograph of the man. Perhaps Philips does this to show how like any picture, the man’s partner is nothing more than just a memory.

Towards the bottom of the picture, Philips places three different groups of words that happen to be connected by differently shaped lines. The first set of words says, “a certain part of” and it is located on the left side of the picture, touching the man’s throat. The incomplete statement suggests that the man attempted to slice his throat, but unsuccessfully survived. His attempt to kill himself out of desperation was incomplete. Connected to this statement by a wiggly line are the words “the lover”. The wiggly lines suggest the lost of control and the insanity that led him to attempt suicide. The man’s lover caused this lack of composure. Connected to “the lover” by a straight line is the last set of words that read, “was rigid”. The straight line that is approaching the heart indicates that the man is finally able to stabilize his emotions. The words “was rigid” are placed on the far right side of his heart. These words imply that the man’s heart has turned into a solid rock. He is no longer willing to let the sensibility and hollowness of his heart absorb any emotion that may cause him pain.

One final part, perhaps the part of the picture that is first noticed is the black and honey colored frame that surrounds the black and white picture of the man. The frame is the only element on this page that has warm color, which may evoke a sense of comfort. However, the black lines in the frame give the viewer an illusion that the entire frame is eternally in motion around the picture. This may symbolize the feelings of the man. His emotions that have turned his heart into a hot pot of turmoil that eventually stops when the word “rigid” touches the frame, and the man’s heart consolidates into a rock.

In A Humument, Tom Philips is able tell a story by carefully deciding how he displays all of the different elements within the page. The location and placement of the words reveals a different part of the story allowing the viewer to follow it from top to bottom. The sudden mixture of a warm color with black creates an allusion of movement for the viewer that connects back Philips’ story, the story of a man who will no longer love.

Doris T5 said...
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Doris T5 said...

page 305

On page 305 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips creates an image of what remains when love and desire is gone. Phillips uses vibrant colors that stand out on the page. Each color creates an emotion of the main character, Toge. The colors range from dark to light. The dark colors symbolizing death and sadness. The light colors display a sense of healing, life and wisdom. Phillips also uses words to show the emotion displayed on the page.

Phillips starts the page by mentioning the state of the main character, Toge. In the portrait a figure resembling person is sitting by himself on a chair in what seems to be an empty room. He writes “only toge alone”. This is emphasized in the picture of the person sitting in the chair in an empty room.

Towards the middle of the page Phillips writes about the characters loneliness. He writes “loneliness is throb of my watch.” to describe his loneliness. The main character feels alone and empty but this brings Toge excitement and other emotions. His heart is beating faster. This is displayed in the color of the room. The vibrant colors provide the page with a sense of excitement. The canary yellow creates light and brings life into the room even though the character is red. The yellow provides the shriveled figure with life and a sense of moving forward as well as healing from the loneliness. The word “throb” is essentially related to the heart and the color of the figure sitting in the chair is similar to the color of a heart, red. The blood red could have a whole array of meanings like death, love, blood and passion. In this case it symbolizes love. This leads to believe that Toge was alone because he lost his love.

The next few words from the middle part of the page say “long shriveled aspiration”. In the literal sense the passage means that his loneliness is a helpless or useless desire. As he aims for what he wants, which is to get rid of his loneliness, Toge realizes that there is no use, the chance has withered away. In the painting this is created by making the figure of the man seem distorted and withered. The figure is shriveled and seems to almost be gone. Phillips also places the figure of the man sitting on the chair in front of what seems to be an open window. The open window symbolizes the “aspirations” that Toge wants to acquire. By placing the man in front of the window shows that he longs for something that he used to have or wants to have.

The last words of Phillips Humument create a sense that Toge maybe alone but he still has some things that he treasures. Phillip writes “my viola” as the first thing that he has been left with. The viola provides Toge with music and the emotion that he creates when using the viola. The instrument provides him with healing that he needs because he is alone. Then Phillips writes “the other thing your image I cannot get rid of it” as Toge’s second thing that he is left with. Even though he doesn’t have his actual love with him, he can still see what his love looks like. He has kept that image within him forever even though now he is lonely.

Overall, in this art piece Phillips displays an emotion that seems to be lasting. His loneliness is not forever as Phillips mentions that Toge has two things left. Phillips creates this through his painting. The vibrant colors bring life into the words. The colors of red and yellow help to make the words real. Red symbolizes the “throb” that he feels and yellow is the “aspiration” that he has lost. Phillips A Humument of page 305 is emotional but yet very exciting.

Rodney B5 said...

Page 18

On page 18 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips suggests that art is the balance which keeps humans in the real world and not in the dream world. He uses reflections of the writing in order to portray the different sides to reality. The clear side being reality and the unclear, background of the painting, representing the dream world in which is uncertain to people. Also, the colors which are used are many shades of yellow and orange in which seem to transcend and become darker as one looks deeper in the painting.

What one’s eyes are drawn to first in the painting is the orange steak which begins from the top right and continues down to the bottom left. This is one of the darkest parks of the painting and it is also the part of the painting in which the writing is on. The writing follows the steak from top to bottom and for the most part stays within the orange streak. One’s attention then begins to slip into the background of the picture. What is seen is more writing which varies from being in different positions, even being upside down. Most of what is written is not easily readable because they seem to be darkened and smudged but some parts can be distinguished to be the same writing that follows the orange streak.

The background imagines, which are darker, are opposites of the imagines which seem to be closer to the viewer of the painting. The background is dark and hard to distinguish. The imagines that seem to be in the front are brighter and easier to look at. The darker yellow versus the brighter yellow are contrasting colors which represent two different sides to art, the world, and people’s minds. The darker colors show the uncertainty people retain in their thoughts and the brighter colors represent what people know and feel comfortable with.

People tend to be scared of what they are uncertain about. They like to know everything that is going on around them. Knowing one’s surrounding helps them feel comfortable with where they are and what they are doing. The background of this painting is created in order to keep the viewer away. The painting in a sense helps keep the viewers from venturing off into the dream world that is created. The viewer instead stays in between the boundaries created by the orange streak which is the brighter part of the painting. This is where the words lay. This is where the viewer gains more knowledge of what is going on and therefore is more comfortable.

The writing begins on the top right of the orange streak. “Venture on a piece of sleep I am going to shut the door, art…” The door represents two sides of reality and the dream world. Sleep is mentioned and while one sleeps they dream. Possibilities are endless in the dream world. Whether it’s literal or not, uncertainty is not widely accepted. Art on the other side shows the reality of the world. Feeling comfortable with oneself and one’s surrounding is ideal. But sometimes other items draw us to what is unknown. “As an art curiosity art surprise begins to rest in sleepy gold initials…” The curiosity may bring people closer to the unknown. But of course fear can outweigh it, causing people to retreat. Art with its “gold initials” show its value. Being a part of everyday life and helping people have a balance has created it into a valuable necessity, affecting many people. “thus toge that gentleman in the passage of time was, indeed, the English- the English.” Now, toge, the main character is mentioned along with time. Time could be seen as bad, good, or possibly neither. Here, time represents how one can spend all their life in the dream world and not in reality. Living in the dream world is not what people may want. Though it may seem good being able to live in a dream surrounding, reality does not disappear. The affect of reality can be damaging if not handled properly, thus the dream world having a bad affect on anybody. But art, or the bright colors in the painting, help maintain people in reality so one does not end up in a world in which they believe is true but is actually a dream.

The painting overall is created in a way that darkness is kept in the background and brightness is brought foreword. Darkness is unwanted so it is kept as far away as possible. The bright colors shine with great affect, drawing viewers closer to it. As the viewers are drawn to the bright colors, they go away from the dark colors. The paintings goal is achieved by fear for the unknown. Being comfortable is what people like to feel and it is what the bright colors bring them and it is what keeps them in reality.

Wendy C.5 said...


On page 100 of A Humument, the restructured version of A Human Document created by Tom Phillips, Phillips suggests the thoughts in the mind though it might be scattered are connected in a way similar to a puzzle. Each piece is needed to build the significance of the poem and create the idea. Thoughts that could be totally different can all relate giving the reason of how his art and his choice of words integrate into each other. The subject of the poem seems to relate to the idea of thought and words. Also, the interpretation of the poem depends on the people and how they view it.

The poem was created by pieces of words from the original text. Phillips added his artistic talents to portray his poem in his art that accompany it. In the poem, it has only black and its original paper color of cream or the lightest yellow. He uses the style of pen and ink to create his art. Phillips made the background for his poem as jigsaw puzzle pieces which all fit perfectly together though it did not produce an image all together. In each of the puzzle pieces, each of the design varies and not one is next to the same design. The background of the jigsaw puzzle appears more visible because of the alternating design without the need of any colors different than the paper and ink. The alternating use of crosshatching, hatching, stippling, scumbling, scribbling and other random design were used to eliminate the words from the original text that are not needed in his words and in a way give some meaning to the poem.

The words that remain from the actual text were one or two word phrases integrated into the art only differentiated from the cross-out words by a white border around the words and having the design bend around the border. The words “Vienna” and “Hampstead” are the names of a city in Austria and a suburb in London, England. The other words were mostly composed of nouns and adjective. Few of the words were verb that could be interpreted as an adjective. It is more like a thought process with no concentration in a single subject or is not definite enough to interpret.

Art and poem are normally separate entities, but Phillips integrates both works to show the true meaning behind his work and support his idea. The first few words “Vienna, pause, a person, Hampstead, anybody” implies of it as thoughts. The use of the word “pause” in this context is not similar to a normal action but more of action of hesitating in thought. Also the words, “a person” and “anybody” sound more like confused thought because Vienna and Hampstead are not human. After that Phillips start showing random words. “Courage” meaning bravery, but also the every brave action also comes along with thought as either the view of other people or the resolution of planned action of becoming courageous. “Words” and “intonation” connect even though it is randomly said like a chain of thought. It connects to the Phillips’ writing style the design of the background and to each other. Phillips writing style uses the “words” of the author of A Human Document in a certain pattern, similar to “intonation” which is a pattern changes in a sentence. It is similar to the jigsaw design pattern that changes as in the view of those reading the words to the poem. “Intonation” is a change in pattern and can use in human speech and human speech is based off of “words”. As the poem go along, it states “struck plaintive dignity, criticisms, judgment.” It describes “words” in the poem and also idea of thought. “Dignity, criticism, judgment, sorrow they are all created from random thought. The thought of what is pride, morale values, sadness, and superiority. It all based out of thought from peoples point of view. “Luncheon” is a meeting of people and in meetings thoughts and words are passed along each other. Each person gathered brings pieces to a solution of a thing in mind. Similar to the puzzles as like pieces brought together to reveal something. The words of “abruptness” and “reoccurred” contradict each other like an internal conflict if it is based on thoughts. “Sigh” represents the “reoccurred” as tedious while “inexperience” represents the “abruptness” as unknown. “Reasons shared” goes back to the “luncheon” bringing together the pieces of thought. “Knife”, in some way, represents sharpness. “Surprise, sincerity, and doubt” are all emotions attached to thoughts.

Thoughts are pieces of puzzle created by words. They are pieces that are defined by each person in their own way. With the use of the artwork and poem, Phillips gives the idea that thoughts are like puzzles. The puzzle pieces that vary in patterns represent how different things can connect and also show as thoughts of human minds. The poem might be untitled because it is a puzzle in which each person interprets it in their own way and giving no definite answer of what it is exactly about.

Katie S6 said...
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Katie S6 said...

Page 179

On page 179 of Tom Phillip’s, A Humument, Phillip suggests that when two lovers come together it’s only a natural way of life to explore one other, body and mind and to succumb to those feelings of passion. Phillip uses circular shapes to represent the biology aspects of these passionate feelings but also his words help move the story together and keep this idea fresh in the viewers mind. The tale he sets up for the viewer is that this is a painting between two lovers, past lovers who come with good and bad feelings towards each other. When these are brought together their story of letting go and growing onto one another is nothing but a way of life and Phillip highly states this.

Phillip starts with the word “gent” at the very top of the page. He uses a man’s point of view through the entire painting which is effective because it’s a mans take on love and also how he reacts to heated feelings. One of the first things noticeable in the painting is the deep red and white circular figures in the middle of the piece. This gives off the idea of sexual feelings because it symbolizes the sperm which is apart of all men. “Her arm on his knee explored,” Phillip uses his words to convey the idea of a sexual nature when lovers reunite, or are just together. The dark red uses in between the off white symbolizes the idea of love and how these actions of passion should be shared only when there is love and nothing else. At the time though the red could symbolize the opposite of that, the red means heat and passion, mostly sin in the eyes of the white, God.

Phillip places this large awkward circle in the middle of the painting with the words, “former lovers” in between. This represents the characters in the artwork. However it also states, “started in horror” which is ironic. Horror would never be used to describe lovers, but then again former lovers do come with pasts. Perhaps Phillips tries to explain this to the audience, for us to understand how the story starts. These lovers are in horror because they should not be feeling this way, this moment of wanting to rekindle all that was once before, but even then we can only hold ourselves back for so long until we just let go. The circle represents a women’s egg, which connects to a man’s sperm in this idea of a sexual nature throughout the entire artwork.

The colors purple and green are hard to understand and connect to the idea that the artwork represents. Since these colors are the background to the painting, perhaps Phillips uses them to symbolize the past relationship shared between the two lovers that are the main focus in the foreground. The idea of green can symbolize envy and jealousy but also growth and life which connects to the lovers because perhaps their past was filled with lots of negativity but now is replaced with the foreground idea of creating life and growing an attachment with one another and share this moment. The color purple requires more intense thought however. Red and blue are used to create purple, so connecting this like green Phillip uses the individual colors to create meaning for the background. The color red represents this idea of love, hence former lovers but also the color blue represents this peacefulness which is shown in the painting. When green, blue, and red come together they clash with one other but come together into a typical relationship shared between two people.

The color white is also highly symbolic to the painting. Brought up towards of the beginning, white was noted to be symbolic towards God. However Phillip expands his beliefs beyond that. Phillip uses white to surround the deep red and the purple circle in the middle of the foreground because all of the lover’s intentions are pure. Perhaps the lovers have finally come to the conclusion that they cannot let past mistakes ruin the moment they are about to share. Though they are in the midst of a sinful encounter they love one other which is nothing but pure and real. Phillip uses white to even out the darker shades throughout the painting, even out the bad with the good.

Overall Phillips point is that love leads to new things, whether it’s plain and pure or heated and sinful, love is just love. New lovers create moments that they will always remember even if they break apart in the end and seen in Phillips pg. 179 former lovers can do the same. Take what they know in the past and learn from it to create a better future. Phillip’s painting can be taken in either as a sexual reference or a reference to growing and becoming more then what one thought beforehand. Phillips is able to create this playing off the ideas of colors, shapes, and the symbols they represent to human beings. In this case the lovers are more then just egg Sand sperm, they are more human then ever which is shown throughout the artwork.

Alexander A.6 said...
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Shuyi G 6 said...
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Kristin D. 5 said...

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On page 210 of Tom Phillips' A Humument, Phillips suggests that music and visual images enhance the emotional experience by the choice and placement of words and punctuation. The words chosen educe feelings of loneliness and hopelessness. The word choice gives open access to the emotions that Philips is trying to express in the image. Philips uses solid and distorted colors and patterns. He uses straight lines to detail the solid empty room in order to make it a definite reality. For the red orange silhouette of a person Philips outlines with a wavy line to emphasize on the instability of the person�s state of mind.

The first thing that stands out is the red orange colored distorted image of a person. It stands out because it is a dark solid color in the painted against a pastel purple and yellow wall. The image is one dimensional in a three dimensional room and the character is sitting on a white chair isolated from everything. There is nothing around the chair or in the room and gives a feeling of emptiness or displacement. The person is staring out a window as if they are thinking, waiting, or longing for something and the isolation suggests that the character wants to be alone to figure things out or is depressed. The fact that the person sitting in the chair is a red orange color symbolizes feelings of pain. The character is hurt emotionally and is sitting in the chair. The chair is white and may symbolize a feeling of cleanliness because white is a symbol of purity or sanitation and by sitting in the chair and thinking over emotions the character anticipates on alleviating feelings of pain and hurt. Until the thoughts are lost in the fuzz of the floor and the character is bombarded with feelings of being alone.

The walls are complement colors of yellow and purple and help bring out the brightness in each other and making the room have an uplifting positive feeling but the empty red orange shape of a person contradicts the feelings that the colors of the room try to bring out. The bright colors may represent the opportunities and happiness that is present and around but the character is in a separate world where there is no happiness to be found. The color of the wall and the color of the figure in the chair represent a struggle to get over these sad emotions and be happy. The figure is looking out the window but it is not bright outside it is dark. The sky is midnight blue and the grass is forest green. The word that is placed on top of the dark grass is the word �shriveled�. Grass is a symbol of rebirth and growth. The shriveled grass can be looked at as an image of the death of youth, happiness, wealth, or wellbeing. The dead grass could also be looked at as an end to a road where there is no longer rebirth and new beginnings.

The floor of the room is the only portion of the image that is not a solid color. The floor of the room has a fuzzy texture and is made up of a bunch of words that are scrambled up and is a combination of the colors red, orange, black and brown. These colors are symbolic of the season of autumn which is a season of death because in autumn the trees die out and prepare for the cold loneliness of winter. Also a floor should be something that is stable but since the floor is the only part of the image that is a mixture of distorted colors it symbolizes instability and may also suggest insecurities.
The words are placed in bubbles around the image that are similar to thought bubbles. The words chosen help build ideas about the person in the image. It is almost as if the words have been taken from the characters actual thoughts. The first bubble at the top of the image says �only toge� and it drags into a bubble that says �alone.� It seems as though the thought began to say something about being together but before finishing the word �together� the drag indicates a new thought or a realization of being alone. Things are no longer together for the person in the picture but the person feels alone. The next bubble says �loneliness is the throb of my watch, long shriveled aspiration,� it suggests that the character in the picture grows lonely as he watches for something out the window for so long that his desire for it is getting old. �Shriveled Aspiration� is a dead desire because when something is shriveled it has been too long and started to die. The thing that the person is waiting for can be a lost love or maybe just a purpose to live in life.

The last bubble of text says �I have something left, two things left.� and that indicates that something has been lost which is why the character is so and lonely. �First � my viola the other thing your image I cannot get rid of it.� This furthers the feeling of loneliness and lost of everything in life. It evokes feeling of despair but the words in this bubble gives off the idea that there is two things that this person still has and it is the viola and an image. The viola is a representation of music and the image is a representation of a memory which cannot be forgotten. Music may cure, heal, clean, purify, or be used as a form of expression. Music can also help recall memory, reduce stress, and lessen depression.

In this picture the character feels that after everything is lost all that can be done is to sit around and be hopeless. In this image music is not healing the emptiness that the character feels but making the emotional experience stronger and the memory of the lost more vivid and hard to forget. Therefore the music and the images that are in memory deepen the pain and make the outpour of emotions harder to bear because once something is a memory it can not be erased or forgotten.

Shuyi G 6 said...


On page 9 of Tom Phillips' A Humument, Phillips suggests that people in the society often live by systematically following the stages of life. He uses symbols such as color, lines, pictures and captions to point out this belief. The “pictures” Phillips uses are “interesting” because they are on the edges of the page. Touching the edges of the page, the pictures represent the three separated stages of life. These are the stage of marriage, stage of pursuing success and the stage of weakening. Each stage is in “different colour”, such as “brown”, “purple” and “red with white spots on it”. Phillips values the stages as the principles of life that he puts them in “my [his] boudoir”. The word “boudoir” has a meaning of a secret room; Phillips’ implies that he inscribes the principles of life – the three stages- in his “secret room” of his body, his heart. Phillips believes that the stages predict the happenings in people’s life.

Looking at Page 9, one would notice the black rectangle in the middle of the page at first. Its color, light black is the coolest color in the whole page. Also, the rectangle contains shapes that are in its contrary color- white, which makes the rectangle more obvious. Secondly, one would notice the picture that’s in red and white, because it’s next to the rectangle and red is the warmest color of the page. Plus, red is contrary to the color green, which is the color of the background. Immediately, one would set their eyes on the background, because its light green attracts eyes after seeing the red on the previous piece. The background also has many thin lines drawn on it. Phillips creates this sense of messiness to catches attentions. Speaking of attention, the background is crucial because it occupies most areas of the page. Next, two pictures that are on the right hand side would most likely catch one’s attention at the same time. Both “purple” and “brown” in the pictures are warm colors while the details drawn in them are equally complicated.

In the black rectangle, the color light black symbolizes the ignorant and empty minds that the youth have. Black can be related to the black hole, it gives a feeling of empty and nonexistence. The youth are too young that they have no experiences, therefore have no places or existences in the competitive adult world. However, the word “Come, toge” which means “come, together” calls on the union of youth to rebel their vulgar status in the world. The youth would “turn inside” into the problem; develop ideas in solving it and apply actions at last. Together, they would achieve the goal to leap out of the “light black rectangle” with “surprise”.

Marriage would be the first “surprise” that the youth encounter; it is the first stage in their life since they matures or get out of the “rectangle”. As on the first picture of the upper right hand corner, a man is stretching his hands. It makes sense that he is hoping to hug some one, who is mostly likely to be his spouse. Phillips implies that people would usually find the ones they love to hug or marry in life. In the picture, the man seems to be naked. Normally, one would be naked only to the other one he marries, because he loves and believes her. Phillips implies here that people often reveals their true selves to the one they love, and married, because they believe their lovers would understand. No matter how malice the true selves are, they are not shameful reveal the ugly faces to their spouses. Such as the man in the picture who has a strange body structure, his chest and stomach are concave instead of convex. However, he stretches out his hands instead of using them to cover his ugliness. The man is brave to show his defects, and believing in the acceptance and understandings of his lover. At last, the color of the picture “brown” hides special meanings behind the picture. Phillips attempts to emphasize the importance of marriage and forming a family by applying “brown”. “Brown” is a color that would appear every time when any three different colors mixed together. Phillips assigns each of the any three different colors a representation in a family: one color can be the mother, one can be the father and the last one can be the children. The mix of these three types of people perfectly forms elemental family, which is being symbolized by the color “brown”.

The second stage would be the stage when people pursue their successes. The color “purple” on the second picture of the right side, gives a feeling of mystery. The mysterious feeling from “purple” symbolizes the conspiracy in the world while people compete to achieve success. People in the society often trick and compete with each other. In the picture, there is a big gear in the right hand corner and two chains are connected to it. The function of a gear is to work continuously in completing its job. The gear here is symbolizing people who work toward success. People often have to work manually in order to get pay. Sometimes, they even have to push themselves to the peak. Not only requiring to work like the gear, people also have to favor others in the society in order to achieve. As in the picture, the gear connects itself with the chains, symbolizing that one has to please and interact with others. Ultimately, people would succeed when they “fulfill her [their] book” with “dedication”. Here, the “book” symbolizes the lives of people that people has to dedicate in their lives. They might have to give up, comply, but most importantly, they have exhaust themselves to the point that they “shall lie”, or stop. The word “lie” has a similar pronunciation with the word “die” which leads to the third stage of people’s lives.

The third stage would be the stage of weakening. Since the picture in the bottom left of the page is away from all other pictures and captions it symbolizes the ultimate ending of people – death. In the picture, there are white circular spots painted on the background which is in the color red. The white circular spots indeed symbolize the white blood cells in one’s body, while the background color “red” symbolizes the blood that contains the cells. Unfortunately after carefully seeing the picture, one would realizes that there are only white blood cells here. The blood actually lacks of red blood cells. Through this realization, one would quickly think of the incurable disease leukemia, and then would spontaneously think of death. Phillips, through the blood and blood cell symbols, reveals the hidden fact that people often die from diseases in the society.

At last, the background has the color light green. Green should a color that represents peace. However, the green on the background is only light green. Phillips implies that the peace is being taken off while people deceive and trick each other. The background also has many different curly lines on it. The lines actually represent the unique paths of people, while the curliness of them represents the intricacy of paths. Despite the many ways the lines would curl, the lines eventually connect to the three pictures, which mean the three stages of life. By linking the connections, Phillips attempts to tell people’s inevitable encounters to the three stages.

Concluding Page 9 of A Humument, it is a complicated page in which Phillips uses many little symbols to hide his beliefs behind the text and pictures. Phillip has his unique way of expressing the belief that people live their lives by following three main stages, the marriage stage, pursuing stage, and the weakening stage. Nevertheless, Phillips believes that people have to first mature or gain experiences on the world in order to get through these three stages. He suggests his ideas by neatly employing symbols that are mostly pictures and text.

Kristin D. 5 said...

-sorry I fail html.


Matthew S. 6 said...

Page 200

On page 200 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips portrays his feelings through his artwork and rich detail in color, shades, and texts. even the most unique occurrence can be shadowed by other perceptions around similar to it. Phillips uses streaks of bold dots, colors and contrasts dark and light imagery which shows the different perceptions of reality within the human mind. The light imagery is where everything seems holy and beautiful with the opera lady singing and her hand reaching out to the sky, where as the dark imagery seems mysterious and cloudy with a shadow of a person in the background.

To start, the texts are defined with bold black borders as well as the painting itself. The painting cuts such as a puzzle with missing pieces and there is especially the biggest cut in the middle of the painting where it also resembles the biggest font of text which is a name, “Irma”, which I believe to be the woman who is singing in the opera and reaching her hand out. The text boxes itself are also in the shape of puzzle pieces connecting to each other to make one full sentence. Phillips does this to express a feeling of being incomplete and wanting more such as the hand reaching out or the puzzle pieces being separated rather than being together. “In the street studying sound”, represents the noises around the world or from both the light and dark imagery and how its loud everywhere. “The opera”, is the noises from the light imagery, the beautiful sound from the opera with its soothing music from the lady. “..had yet no heavy salmon-coloured tone;”, represents how the dark imagery is clashing with the light imagery making everything sound the same and the beautiful sound from the opera lady isn’t getting through due to the noises around the whole world and how the dark imagery balances with the light imagery. The text explains how the world is balanced with good and evil no matter how beautiful the good is or how ugly the evil is.

Phillips uses many distinct colors to resemble the good and evil. For the dark imagery he uses olive green, a very disgusting evil type of green such as the swamp. Then he gradually shades it in to turn from olive green to complete blackness. In addition, he makes the shadow of a character all sketchy as if it were fading to portray how sneaky it is and hard to find. The dark imagery blends in with the light imagery in the middle where from the dark colors comes light colors. The light imagery has yellow which is the one of the brightest color of them all along with light blue and a tint of orange. The opera lady’s hand which is reaching to the sky has the orange tint around it as if I were a glow along with the light blue lining which goes around her whole arm and then around her body. The dots around the whole background make the drawing seem blurry and makes everything seems as if its fading away, almost like the image is being created by the vibrations from the sound. Then there is the buildings at the bottom of the picture which represents the street that Phillips was talking about, or the world. It is a shadow showing how with both the good and evil side combine everything is blank due to everything evening up. A positive one and a negative one added together is zero, just like good and evil.

The texts and colors together form the message that Philips is trying to express. His abstract meaning of good and evil is represented so well with his indirect meanings through the opera lady‘s beautiful singing to the darkness of shadows and mystery, perhaps the protagonist, could also be used to describe simple objects to create a beautiful piece of art. People find happiness from hearing the voice of opera and go to the opera to be soothed and feel peace and serenity. The shadows from the outside is scary and make you wonder what is going wrong or make you stress about everything around you. The night and its mysteries and darkness makes you almost incapable to perceive what is going on around you. On the other hand, with the light and daytime, you are able to comprehend everything around you and with the sun helps sooth you with heat and happiness.

In conclusion, Phillips uses his great art expressions and abstract meaning to portray his message. He uses great blends of colors, imagery of light and darkness, rich detail on objects such as the shadow, opera lady, and buildings, and great fading effect with the way he does his painting with dots. Phillip’s emotions and message is perfectly portrayed through his art.

Shaun N 5 said...
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Anonymous said...

Page 207

On page 207 of Tom Phillips' A Humument, Phillips suggests that a single object, scene, or image have different meanings depending on the perspective of the viewer by using smaller images to form another image when looked up from afar. When first viewing the picture, the image gives off a dark mood. Although Phillips uses only two colors, creamy yellow and black, he actually uses the combination of them to create the mood and the overview image. The man, who is made up of black blotches, is outlined with the use of the creamy yellow. It appears that the creamy yellow was the original color and the black was to create the actual image. Interestingly, Phillips uses the colors so well that it appears to be the opposite: the yellow is the outline that draws the images onto the black region. With the use of the colors, black has creamy yellow holes as blotches to the majority black areas. At the top of the image, the black dominates the yellow unlike the bottom where it is the opposite. When looked at closely, all the black and yellow are dots that in are a diagonal direction headed towards the bottom left corner of the picture.

When first viewing the page as a thumbnail, the most apparent feature is the man that takes up most of the space in the image. He appears to be sitting down on a chair with his hand touching his chin. Although he may be the main focus, he is only a minor detail compared to the other features. Positioned lower of the main is a creamy yellow stripe that divides the body of the man. Although it is a yellow stripe, there are many black dots that are neatly aligned in three or four rows. The next most dominant image is located at the top right, which appears to be a dark corner. The dots stream from this area, which makes it more interesting since that corner is the darkest blotch. The neatly aligned black dots cascade from the gathered dark cloud. Then to the top left is an organized distribution of the two colored dots. The yellow and the black are constantly being alternated in straight lines. A little further off are two images that appear to be a yellow F and a yellow C. Ironically, there are no interruptions of black within them. Strangely, the actual words are not as obvious as the other parts of the image. Because there are only four words, “As for the photograph,” and are written in black, they do not stand forward as much. The words are not meant to be the main focus, but rather a statement as to what the image is supposed to be. It hints that the image is merely an old photograph: an image of the past. Next, the bottom of the photograph materializes to be a patch of yellow unlike the top. As the image progresses in a downward direction, the yellow dots dominate the black. The black dots are actually still present, but the sizes of them decrease. The black dots, the basis of the picture, make up more than just the image of the man, but also other images depending on how closely observed it is.

Page 207 is untitled, but the image does not seem to need one. Because the image is actually a photograph, the focus is the memory that cannot be described in a few words. Even the few words on the picture do not describe the memory, but simply states it as a photograph. The main point of the image is not to focus on the words, but instead on the image.

The actual meaning of the picture depends on the perspective and how closely observed it is. At first glance, the image is only that of the man. Then when peering in a closer distance, Phillips creates a certain organized way to create the image. With the use of the dots, it represents that the little details can make up the big picture. When looked at far away, the image is different from looked at close up. Phillips’s use of the two colors presents the idea that beauty can be seen in other point of views. Although there are only two colors, they create art that can be seen in range perspectives.

With the image on page 207, Phillips emphasizes that perspective is the key idea of understanding something. Viewers interpret in their own way based on what they see. Although at first, the only image seen is the man but there are other details that help make create it.

Quan T 6 said...

Period 6


Page 170 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument features “a feeling of [the] future” behind the background of a clear blue sky. The sky is vast and limitless, indicating that the destination of the future, like the sky, is also limitless. The “future” lies on clear neutral sky in between two different clouds: a cloud of pristine white and a cloud of dim gray. Phillip’s strategic placement of colors creates a masterpiece reflecting the two contrasting futures which can result in the world: a bright and hopeful future under the clarity of heavenly white clouds or a dim and gloomy future under clouds of pale gray.

This piece contains no title. The absence of a title allows the viewer to interpret the piece to their own life and understanding. Freedom from ownership marks a beautiful quality of the sky. Unlike land, the sky cannot be divided, named, nor conquered. It remains connected as one sky. The ethereal state of the sky prevents mankind from claiming ownership of the sky. The sky is free to float above the land because it is forever beyond the grasp of humans regardless of how high they reach. People can only gaze at the wonders of the sky. They can never control the sky and alter it to their will.

Like sky, the “future” is also incapable of being controlled by humans. It can only be influenced in one of two directions: a positive or negative future. The “future” lies on a sky blue background in between influences of a light and dark cloud. This cool blue color depicts a calm and tranquil setting, allowing each cloud to influence the “future”.

The grey cloud resides to the left of the clear blue sky. These murky clouds represent negative influence. The pale grayness represents grief and sorrow. It depicts a feeling of detachment and isolation. These faint gray clouds cover about half of the piece suggesting that there is more negative influence compared to positive influence. At the moment of this piece, there is higher concentration of gloom. Tones of yellow-green exist towards the bottom half of the gray clouds. The yellow-green tone produces feelings of sickness. This suggests that it is sickening how dominating the negative gray clouds are upon the clear blue sky. Although the gray clouds are ruling the sky, there is still hope for positive influence to flourish.

On the opposite end of the shady gray clouds dwell the serene white clouds. These white clouds signify positive influence. The pallid clouds denote feelings of safety and purity. They do not cover an area of the piece as large as the gray clouds. The positive influence is not dominating over negative influence. It seems that the white clouds are struggling against the force of the darker gray clouds. At the top left of the piece, the viewer should notice “a kind attack of spring” between the light and dark clouds. In that area of blue sky, the viewer should see shades of white moving towards each cloud. This blending of colors indicates a struggle between opposite forces wishing to conquer the blue sky.

At the moment of this piece, the speaker is experiencing a “real downpour” in his life. The speaker is “broken” because he is split in between two opposing forces: positive and negative influence. The situation is similar to a “photograph” because remains consistent and does not change. Like the “photograph”, the speaker is deadlocked in a situation which does not change. He constantly struggles against positive and negative influences while being encaged in between these two forces. At the bottom of the piece, the speaker seeks assistance from the reader. “If [the speaker] had [the reader’s] voice”, he can gain a second opinion to help him break free from his encasement as a “photograph”.

The “future” will forever remain in constant combat between influence of the dark and light clouds. Without choosing one side over another, one will remain deadlocked like a “photograph” without progression. One will not grow and change without surmounting the dilemma of these two forces. It is important for one to proceed in life, even if it means seeking assistance. Progress can only be achieved if one takes action; not by standing still.

Benwit L 6 said...

Page 191

On page 191 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips suggests that there is opportunity for growth in any environment through the question he presents on the page and the one treelike image that Philips creates. The object of focus can be viewed in different manners, each revealing different messages that Phillips suggests about growth.

Immediately, the viewer should notice how much of the page is a shade of purple. The peculiar shape on the top half of the page catches the viewer’s attention as it is unlike the other geometric shapes and people are naturally dependent on the left side of the brain, causing one to look for words. The words are covered by crosshatching of different violets and maroons, forming puzzle like shapes, all touching one another, yet, not overlapping. Not only do the purples create interest, but the aged yellow and white parts do as well. The white in particular creates a halo effect which gives the object an outline, allowing the viewer to associate it with simple symbols such as clouds and bushes. The outline does not take away from the image in anyway as the concentration of crosshatching and the differences in color create depth on a normally flat picture through value. Within this image is the question, “Can it be in my Barren garden that you flower?” being the only words in the image not drawn over and legible.

The viewer should then follow the shape of the first figure down into the vertical lines which resemble tree trunks. The large rectangle the trunks led to is a light indigo, with marks of darker indigo concentrated near the top of the shape. Together, the entire image resembles three trees in a purple soil, possibly a reference to the barren garden that Phillips mentions.

In modern culture, purple, when associated with nature, suggests contamination and a sense of degeneration, especially in things not normally purple. It seems as if the entire scene is polluted, that nothing is able to grow. However, the autumn yellow leaves suggest otherwise. They imply that the purple trees, although unnatural and strange, are still able to go through seasonal stages as normal trees would. One can also interpret the yellow leaves as yellow flowers. Flowers are known to be delicate and fragile. If flowers are able to grow in such a desolate environment, it can be assumed that anything is able to develop, regardless of where it may be.

The crosshatching is more than just artistic preference and creation of depth. It is done in rigid lines but it gives a completely different feeling, one that flows. The lines contribute to the overall image by giving an unrestricted feel to it through the untouched space within the shapes as well as the overflowing of crosshatching in the bottom left corner of the trees’ top. Corresponding shapes appear to differ slightly from one another but they are drawn with the same color inks. The concentration of the crosshatching is what creates the illusion of differing shades which in turn causes one to visualize a variety of feelings. The same dark maroon that smothers words and creates a sense of the abyss is the same maroon that is applied in fewer marks, making the tree seem basked in light, giving a feeling of tranquility and life in the plethora of color.

Phillip’s question may be the centerpiece of this piece of art, the words that are covered but still legible are of interest as well. In the turnip purple portions of the tree, wistful, flowing words and actions such as harmony, dodge, and speak. In the twilight purple portions, the words life, dreaming, night, and murmur are clear. These words are associated through sleep and dreams. The distribution of color is rather simple; the colors alternate accordingly according to adjacent shapes. Knowing this, one can interpret the image in a completely different manner. The alternation of colors represents the alternation of day and night, of clear actions and ideas and surreal ones. In this manner, one can interpret the tree as a large cloud or a thought bubble. The hidden words can represent subconscious thoughts and the clearer words represent things more commonly thought of.

One can also view Phillips’ question as an attack toward society. The trees-in-the-garden image is remarkably similar to a mushroom shaped smog caused by an explosion. The purple explosion is so great that the land is lit up by it. The same words that represent dreams and ideals are now being engulfed. Can it be that humans can only flourish through the destruction of nature? In this scene, the barren garden is referring to land devoid of life. Phillips may be suggesting that humans are only satisfied after knowing that nothing else exists. If interpreted in this way, Phillips reveals a sad truth behind modern human progress.

No matter how one may view this page, Phillips invokes thoughts of flowering, of growth. Growth is never-ending as are the thoughts surrounding it. Although there may be darkness in growth, there is also hope within it as well.

Son N. 6 said...

On page 235 of Tom Phillips’, “A Humument” Phillips suggests that the word alchemy of sex could be transcended into the meaning of love, a word derived with an inadequate meaning oppose to a word with greater meaning. In this piece, it deals with the topic of sex; by lust or by love. Sex usually occurs when two characters obtains lust for one another although specifically here, it happens with love involve. Sometimes when two characters have intercourse though, it only involves lust that both characters obtain for one another. Phillips also suggests that sex is real only when love for one another is real, symbolizing that love is truth. Overall when ‘sex’ is isolated, it indicates that there is no truth in the relationship but with love it introduces one into a whole new world.

First before the text, there are only five colors in this created ‘humument’; black, navy blue, sapphire, maroon and yellow. As well as five main objects that stuck out from the beginning. The half-circle shaped subject colored in yellow symbolizing a moon and the navy blue dominating background indicates that this piece takes place during the night. Towards the bottom of the piece are also two people, a man and a woman. The man is wearing a hat and is colored in maroon while the woman is colored in sapphire. Maroon is a deeper shade of red, and while red symbolizes love, the man in maroon can represent his deeper passion and love for this woman. This also goes along with the sapphire woman, where blue represents innocence and purity, sapphire which is darker than blue can also indicate this woman’s deeper innocence and purity. Also towards the end of the canvas is two stripes across colored in black, this may represent the finish line of the piece but it may also work as a censor, whereas it blocks out the naked features of the woman and the man; the chest and below the hips. This censoring may be to cover the viewers from a special time only for Phillips, to remember the feature aspects of the woman and what happened that night.

Tom Phillips also includes words throughout this piece. He begins with “meanwhile,” then there are dashes in white that goes on to the next word bubble. It continues, “Moonlight and the//crazy benches” in this word bubble, the word moonlight proves that this piece is taken place during the night and the benches that both the man and woman could mean that they are still outside, whereas they could be in a home. Then the character “toge” appears, a word created by Phillips to mean together. This could indicate that he must have been a lonely man, how he shortens the word ‘together’ into just “toge” but it can also indicate that he was not with her for a longer period of time. After “toge” it connects to the next word bubble, “At last, felt her//forest.” This break indicates that he’s gotten closer to the woman, close enough to finally touch her. In this piece, the forest can represent one thing on her body, hair; either the hair on her head or the bush by the waterfall (Genius). The story continues “dearer to him now than,” during this time it seems that he has already inserted himself into her because it is dearer to him now, indicating that it is a memory that’ll last a lifetime. Then Phillips adds “Broken syllables which are//for lovers signs” this may be indicating that as time passes by, she moans out some word but as she inhales it might be broken up but it seems that it’s a sign to him that she may be talking about love. As it goes on, Phillips begins talking about a world, “world; //world’s// gerating// alchemist, //topsy-turvy//passionate//baldest and most//real,” Phillips may be talking about a “world” that is pleasurable, while he is in constant spinning motion with his woman now exchanging anything with each other as “passionate” as possible, it is also at “baldest,” indicating that both can be naked and finally “real,” that they’re love is real. This may be all incorrect and the couple is probably just sitting on a bench, as the black stripes may be the bench for the back to lean on. It is also noticeable that the woman’s head is also facing up as the man faces the woman. Though still, everything he feels is still real to him because despite everything, love is what he feels for the moment.

In the end, Phillips may be saying that sex with love can take one on a journey to a new world, since it makes one feel something one has never felt before. It is a time where one will always remember as well and that it should only be between the two people involved instead of revealing it out to others. Also, going back to what the black stripes refer to, it can symbolize the end of something.

Laurie M 6 said...

Page 29

On page 29 in Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips’ use of color change and word choice causes the audience to understand that no matter what road is taken allowing oneself to accept the unexpected is a great aid in comprehending ones true meaning of life.

In this piece of art work Phillips includes a long road in the middle of the painting. This road symbolizes the road taken to reach the ultimate goal that one sets for oneself. In this painting the main person is a poet. It is understood that this person is a poet because along the road the word poet is placed beside the trail. The road begins with the words “chancy, not malicious” these words describe Phillips main character. Meaning that at the beginning of his road he was not a hateful person but dangerous. These words are carefully chosen in order to convey to the audience what this character is like. Not being “malicious” must be a great quality in the character since Phillips had to include it in his painting. In the same section where the character is first described as being “chancy, not malicious” the color blue is in the background. The color blue is known to be a color of wisdom and stability. The color blue is also associated with knowledge; this allows the audience to understand that the character being described is a very smart, stable person.

The next part of this piece of artwork includes this long road and the color purple. This road continues through the page, the word “poet” is isolated on the side of the road. The color purple in this section reveals this character’s confusion and sadness. The color purple represents the feeling of frustration so it is understood that this character is frustrated. Phillips’ inclusion of the color purple is meant to convey these feelings that the main character has. Also, in this particular section of this piece of artwork the word poet is seen on the side of the road. The word poet being placed on the outside of the road displays the idea that being a poet was not on the original road of this main character. So Phillips includes the word poet outside the road to convey the confusion the main character has with what should be on the road that he is taking. Along with the color purple the word “poet” adds to the character’s confusion.

The colors begin to change greatly moving down the piece of art work. The next color shown is a dark green color. Along with the color green the word poet shows up again but with a question mark after it. This shows a great point that Phillips is trying to convey. The color green represents ambition and the word poet is placed in a position where green is included it shows that this character has a drive for poetry. The road continues through this painting and at this point it is the main character’s stage of understanding his love for writing poetry. Although there is a question mark after the word poet it shows how the character is thinking about poetry. It is placed between the purple and purple meaning knowledge it helps convey the knowledge the character has for poetry. The background color than shifts to the color pink, the color pink has many significant meanings. The color pink can bring weaknesses among people. In this case Phillips’ character is weak to the idea of poetry. The brightness in the color pink shows how much this character is weak to the thought of poetry. Along with the color pink Phillips adds the word “chance” onto the road that his character is on. This significant word “chance” provides the audience with the thought that this character took a chance with poetry and conquered his weakness.

Phillips then allows the road to continue through different colors. The road than goes back to the color blue, which is the color of seriousness; now the character is serious about poetry. There is a question mark after the word poet in this section, but there are also the words “our poet” follow the word poet. Phillips now declares the fact that this main character is a distinguished poet. The road continues and changes colors from blue, to grey back to purple. The color blue represents the seriousness of the main character has in poetry. Phillips adds the color grey to convey the growing of the character and the ageing process. At the end of this piece the words “with results that astonished”. This is the end of the road for the character. The colors that Phillips uses are all meaningful and take part in the understanding of the different stages one must go through to complete a goal that one has set. This is symbolized by the road that Phillips includes.

Throughout this journey Phillips’ main character undergoes many different stages. The main character begins as a non-malicious person he then moves on through this journey of confusion, difficulty and acceptance. On page 29 in Tom Phillips’ A Humument , Phillips’ color choice along with word choice conveys the fact that a road that is taken by a certain person can be completely changed by one alteration. The final destination of a character relays on the characters open mind and willing to accept differences.

Laurie M 6 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christina H 6 said...


On page 94 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips reveals the beauty of inspiration. Phillips creates a contrasting background with the colors of blue and red to represent two different populations: radicals and conservatives. The indefinable shapes create an explosive effect that captures the movement and rhythm of new ideas. The author uses one word descriptions to express the abruptness of ideas and reveal the process in which ideas undergo in the human mind. He is specific in choosing optimistic words to encourage the growth of ideas. The growth of an artist is marked by his progress not just his works.

The viewer is first attracted to the cadmium red of the explosive shapes on the page. The red is a bold color that often immediately catches the viewer’s attention. The color is daring and adventurous symbolizing a more daring population. After the viewer is done admiring the red, she begins to notice that the background is filled in with a solid shade of dull blue, like the color of a pair of faded denim jeans. The chosen shade of blue is not eye-catching and background creates a boring atmosphere. The single shade of blue is normal and ordinary, so it fails to grasp attention from the viewer. As opposed to the red, the blue represents a more conservative population.

The shapes also add effects to the colors. The red shapes do not have a basic geometric term. Each of the red shapes has differing numbers of sides and edges and varying degrees of angles. The tiny blasts do not fit together perfectly, which shows that even great ideas will encounter complications along the way and that certain ideas may have conflicting views. The random shapes create a spontaneous and edgy effect that reflects the new perspectives that ideas bring. The shapes are like new ideas that have yet to be officially documented. The red shapes are sparks of inspiration that can light into great ideas. Phillips creates an image of firecrackers with the sparks of red. Each spark acts as a chain reaction igniting a new thought. However, the blue shows insignificance by remaining in the distant background in the shape of two simple rectangles.

The suddenness of the bursts comes from different directions, which means the ideas stem from a variety of sources. From the top of the page, Phillips already stresses that an artist must “feel” inspired and motivated to create. He needs to want to experience and discover. Phillips uses the verb “feel” to establish a connection between the artist and his soul. The artist must “confide” in his inspirations and not doubt his instincts. If the he is hesitant in his ideas, then other people will not follow. Most importantly it enlightened one must “enjoy” the works that he is producing or else the task will laborious rather than uplifting. It is hard for an artist to truly “confide” in his work when placed under pressure and demand. The piece of work becomes forced as opposed to natural.

The tiny sparks of inspirations “spring” into action. Phillips word choice places exaggeration on the height of the leap the idea makes. Instead of choosing words such as hop or jump, the author purposely wanted to emphasize the great lengths that simple ideas can extend to. Spring is also a season known for new beginnings, so Phillips may suggest that new ideas are ready to be bloomed. Once the ideas are ripe, Phillips encourages spreading of ideas through “teaching.” It is selfish to believe that only one idea is correct, so different ideas must be shared in order to accumulate the feedback from the viewers, listeners, and readers. The audience would also provide different outlooks and perspectives to the works-in-progress. Phillips believes that the learning experience should be entertaining as comfortable enough for people to simply “laugh” and discuss the ideas freely.

Ideas also become a form of self-expression. Like a “poet” who uses his emotions as inspirations for his writing, Phillips urges people to not only accept the feelings, but to “think” about them and to try to “understand” them as well. An idea can only go so far if it is taken as is, but by questioning and challenging the points that the artist trying to make, he creates even more depth. If the artist comprehends his idea thoroughly, then his explanations can only improve for the audience to better understand.

In the middle of the page there is a thick lime green line, where the ideas seem to be crossing over. The green line serves as a boundary that contains the tiny bursts of inspirations. Within the green line, there is a quote, which reads, “I published one small volume, and they have now forgotten it.” The writer’s tone is marked by depression and disappointment. He’s accomplished a great deal of work by making a publication, yet he feels that his work has since then been forgotten. Phillips discourages pessimistic thoughts, which is evident since he notes that “they,” the readers, may have forgotten about “it,” the “small volume,” but the author and his ideas still exist. Even though the materialistic version of the author’s ideas is forgotten, his abstract ideas are still floating around, waiting to be challenged by a new idea. Once the artist realizes that ideas are more valuable than material goods, he will be able to achieve a new level on the other side of the line.

At the bottom right-hand corner, the viewer’s eye rests on the word, “Look.” Out of all the one-word bursts, Phillips only capitalizes this word to demonstrate the importance of being open-minded to the ideas of others. An artist must open his eyes to all the different possibilities of interpreting an idea. If he remains consumed in his own room with his owns thoughts, then he will be at a disadvantage compared to those who have taken a risk by leaving the common room and looking at the creativity that the outside world has to offer.

There is not a single answer for the location or reason for inspirations. Ideas come spontaneously and at random times in random places, but should be appreciated just the same. The beauty of inspirations begins with a spark and grows into a lasting theory or memorable idea for future generations to contemplate. It is a never ending learning cycle for all man kind.

Michelle said...

page 50

In his trials to tie both artistic prose and poetry with art, Tom Phillips uses W.H Mallock’s Victorian novel as his torn apart and paged canvas for A Humament. By shaping his images around the text, Phillips’ text is highlighted by erasing other words and/or faded throughout the many collected prose and poems of the original novel. In this way, the meaning is also italicized to show not only importance but also another story and a different text within the orbs of the original, such as in Page 50 of Phillips’ A Humament. Through his artistic choice of highlighted text, the reader is able to see and comprehend an alternate view of the limited words and repeating green and yellow shaded orbs of what is the “revolution”

The different hues and shades of both the lime green and yellow greens suggest a slow moving evolution between the six circles in Phillips’ painting, though all the masses inside seem to be moving languidly towards each other in a cyclical movement. Suggesting at the time span of movement, the reader gets an idea of another time span, “ten hours;” which is cast aside outside the orbs of evolution, and centered and boxed around faded text that the reader cannot see, focusing the eye on “ten hours;”. By separating the two, the way the semicolon separates the two interdependent statements, the “political revolution” is outside the evolution illusion and this separation gives a sense of those ten hours between the circles, the evolution and “revolution”.

Phillips’ title of his human documents, A Humament, appropriately addressed this evolution of words as well, as the words “human” and document” are meshed together in a slow and languid way. The stale connotation to “document” gives off the sense of a yellowed parchment paper color as well as “human” which can be associated with a green of growth and life. The orbs that, in an alternate view, resemble different worlds also seem to coincide with one another as the “ten hours;” move along together, shifting shades and position, though the text remains outside. Phillips uses these orbs to also suggest at the symbolism of each circle as a “band”.

As each “band” moves into the other, it provides a sense of not only an evolution, but also each orb symbolizes an embryonic revolution as the “bands play”. Each band holds a center that plays into the other that is separated from the idea of time and ended off from the “political revolution”. Within their orbs, the “bands play” and until it comes to its origin, the evolution is cyclical, and “It is a political evolution,”. Such bands also exemplify the obvious connotation of music, which is a moving matter in itself. Phillips, in this way, uses the lime greens and yellows to suggest at the different but harmonizing musical notes. Such different and yet alike notes are a “political evolution” in this alternate view.

These orbs also suggest at the slow moving evolution to Phillips’ poetic statement which is ultimately “It is a political revolution”. By setting it in a tone of other faded texts, the revolution most clearly portrays a change, though also a slow one. The shades of green provide not only a symbol of growth but Phillip also suggests at the innocent naiveness of his “political revolution” that the “bands play” and provide which, alternately, the hidden text fails to explain. The meaning is caught between the masses inside the orbs of Phillips’ painting just as green is caught between blue and yellow on the color spectrum. In an alternate thought, Phillip suggests that such a “political revolution” is cast outside of this entrapment that both the mass and colors are caught in.

Independently, “revolution” and “evolution” serve as a pun to Phillips’ green poetic statement. The prefix re- refers to the cyclical and repeating movement of the circles in the painting and their meanings. His text is also surrounded by ongoing punctuation “ten hours;” and political revolution,” which gives the reader a sense of repeating movement that is highlighted and shaded throughout the orbs in the painting, though the text is cast around such evolution as a “political revolution”.

Phillips’ last punctuation leaves his poetic work that is combined with art to be continued and flowing such as the art itself. The pods within each orb or world continue to change forms and shades as well but are all “At last--welcome!” in Phillips’ “political revolution” that the pods or “bands play”. In this alternate view of W.H. Mallock’s Victorian novel, Phillips’ provide many alternate views using artistic puns on texts, growing shades of green and stale yellows in his human documents that are reworked in A Humament.

Ronald d5 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ronald d5 said...

Page 119

On page 119 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips suggests that sin, however deep or complex should be confessed vocally as soon as possible and words of the mouth, the notes of the human instrument have the ability of manipulating time. Phillips uses smooth, erratic lines to create melody, sound, and complexity. He paints with cool but different colors to fabricate depth, and to add to the sophistication of the image. He also reveals specific terms to create or just start the reader to his hidden idea within the picture.

At first glance, attention is drawn to the text in the picture because it lacks color. This text is where Phillips describes his point. Phillips uses the word “slowly” to create a sense of time. When he uses “slowly” to modify the action, it creates suspense along with thoughts of what is going to happen next. Then Philips manipulates the words “open his mouth” to mark the beginning of a time frame. This is so because when a person opens his or her mouth, it is generally the initiation of the vocal expression of some thought or idea. Then a white bold line finds its way down to the next set of highlighted words where Phillips uses the words sing to create melody. Then Phillips uses the word “last” to create a sense of quantity and ending. When anything is described as the last of, it means that there were things before this one which conjures up the thought of quantity and of course the meaning of last is being the only one remaining which conjures up the idea of an end. Next Phillips mentions the “book of surprises.” Phillips uses the word “book” to create a number or quantity because if there are enough to surprises to make a book out of it, there must be quite a number of them.

Phillips makes a second text box not connected to the first one to convey another idea. Phillips uses “One of these days” to create a time frame of around when the viewer is analyzing this picture. Around this phrase, the box of text has sharp edges opposed to rounded edges of the other text boxes and Phillips does this to draw attention of the viewer which highlights this phrase making it more obvious to the importance of this phrase. Then the text box tunnels its way down to another set of words which Phillips does to connect specific ideas. Phillips then uses the words “time on his lips” to describe how the human mouth can manipulate time. Confessions or surprises all happen at a point in time and can manipulate time in a person’s mind when though about or recalled. It can take a person back in time to recall, to the future to fantasize, or connect to other thoughts to ponder about.

Phillips uses a cool blue color to fill in the background. He does this to create the idea of water. As the viewer shifts his eyes lower and lower from the top of the picture, the water changes from a dull sky blue to more of a deep sea blue. This creates altitude and depth. With this Phillips is suggesting that as time goes on and a secret is hidden, it sinks where it will get deeper and become more difficult to resurface and confess. Phillips wants the viewer to realize that he or she should not withhold secrets too long and just bring to light what may be hidden.

Various thick lines of color flow freely through the Phillip’s piece in the back ground of the image. He colors them in various shades of brown from mahogany brown to dirt brown, light yellow green and light rose pink. He uses dull and blunt shades of these colors to make the colors noticeable but not too piercing to the eyes. These colors flow freely in the background in various streams that wiggle and swirl around. Phillips puts them in such a way to convey the idea of music and melody. Thoughts and such in the mind flow freely about and connect with many ideas and other thoughts in the mind. In this case, Phillips connects all the streams to the text boxes of words that chose. This is to show that many items get connected with such surprises people hide. Then when the streams of color on the bottom of the page are compared with the streams of color on the top of the page, the ones on the bottom are more erratic and swirl and wiggle to a heavier degree than the top. Phillips does this to show that as you hold in a secret too long, it will affect the other happenings in your life. These streams as a whole are space close together and with the wiggle, they cause the piece to look very complicated but at the same time, the smoothness of the wiggle of the steams creates a very melodic flow.

Phillips uses the combination of the diction, color, and random lines to describe how important it is to come out with secrets and not to withhold them. He uses the diction to express the idea, the colors and lines to create complexity and flow of time, and a fading background to show the effects of time without confessing.

William C5 said...

Page 206

On page 206 of Tom Phillips' A Humument, Phillips creates two different interpretations of life through images contrasting both in palette of color and complexity. The uppermost image portrays pessimism, with a dark and cynical viewpoint of life. Ironic to its lower position, with up being optimistic and down being pessimistic, the bottommost counterpart depicts optimism, with a hopeful, upbeat, and positive outlook on life. With both contrasting perceptions of life, Phillips offers advice with scenarios involving objects and organisms.

The first noticeable detail viewers will observe is the top image, with its blurred swirl of dark purple as it approaches and transitions into utter black darkness. The darkness at the center of the image seems to draw and suck in the surrounding purple, almost as if it is a living organism that is swallowing color. Peering into the darkness provides viewers with viewers with a sense of depression, as well as an abundance and variety of negative and pessimistic feelings. The image also contains very little text. It is intricate and indistinguishable; it immediately draws attention to itself. Phillips perhaps suggests that humans may tend to find a negative viewpoint of life, as with the above image’s complexity compared to the bottommost picture’s simplicity, more attractive and appealing than the positive viewpoint of life.

The text within the uppermost image is very cynical when providing context to its surroundings. When answering the command written at the top of the image, “explain its history”, the image, by being indistinguishable visually, also denotes its nothingness and lack of the past when describing itself as a “queur photograph”, as queur is not an existing or known word. Without a history or origin, the uppermost image produces a negative aura and outlook on life.

The bottommost image is the second thing viewers will see. It is extremely simplistic, containing a dull brown background clashing with its display a plethora of colorful, lively boxes, with colors ranging from: bright red-orange, grassy green, dark green, velvet red, sunflower yellow, and black. It differs completely from the image atop of it, as the palette of colors not only increases dramatically, but the simplicity and realness of it is opposite from the abstract and intricate design of its counterpart. It offers a positive and uplifting viewpoint of life, with its lively boxes and text. It starts off with the exclaimed word “Ah!”, while the uppermost image begins with a strict-like command. Contrary to the uppermost image, the bottommost image signifies two or more people, with the notation of “our boxes”. While the uppermost image also displays solemnity and loneliness, the bottommost image embraces togetherness with its bevy of boxes, “laughing bricks”. To sum up all of the feelings shown in the bottommost image, the text ends with the word “assembled and hoping”.

Phillips offers both interpretations without the usage of human beings, but with objects, to indirectly warn viewers of the paths available in life. While the bottommost image proposes an interpretation of life embedded with hope, togetherness, laughter, and overall optimism, the uppermost image depicts life cynically with an outlook of despair, loneliness, darkness, depression, and overall pessimism. Viewers can follow the uppermost scenario, with lives similar to a dark hole, solemn and alone, or perhaps follow the latter, living as a happy, colorful box amongst box friends.

sarah c 6 said...

>Page 55

The picture on page 55 of Tom Phillips' Humument is divided into 8 sections. The first thing that catches the eye is the white part of the sixth section that looks like an "x". The "x" sticks out because white catches the eye well. It appears to be covering something yellow with a little bit of blue and red. The next white "x" that catches the eye is in the box below the first "x", the eighth box. This "x" is covering some darker and also bright colors. There is some red in the background and also some dark blue and black. There also appears to be a lighter shade of red. The contrast of dark and bright colors is obscured by the big white "x". The meaning is hard to interpret, but once these words are put together with the others in the picture it may be easier to decode their meaning.

The next section which contains an "x" is the second. This "x" appears to be covering a landscape. There appears to be fields and grass. It also looks like there may be some bushes near the top and some dirt at the bottom. The words mention a location which may be the setting of the landscapes in this picture. There is a grassy knoll in this landscape as well as fields and bushes and trees. The dark color could be the sky. These first two sections that appear to be landscape could be the view a pilot sees from a plane. It makes sense that these could be the views from an airplane because they are landscapes and look small without much detail. The light outlines in the first section could be outlines of trees or they could possibly signify anything else. However the outlines help create a contrast in colors because on one side of the cluster of words the outlines are pink and on the other side the "ground" is solid pink.

The third part of this picture catches the eye well because the yellow sticks out. The yellow looks like it is a cornfield or a plain with dry yellow grass. The green looks like a row of bushes separating pavement and the field. The white part appears to be obscuring a runway or a connecting point to lanes of a runway. The red circles look like they are maybe stop points and checkpoints. The pavement with white spots appears to be lanes for takeoff or it could be lights. I think this landscape could represent an airport.

The next part that catches the eye is next to the third part, "the airport" landscape. This catches the eye because there is a large amount of red. Then there is blue and some grayish purple color in the background. The background could represent the "smoke" described in the words. The red could represent the "red cock" in the words. There are only two other parts of this picture. The fifth part is the next to last to catch the eye. There is orange, blue and brown color in this section. The blue can represent water. Maybe the blue part is a river and the brown could be the riverbed. The orange could be the ground around the river, the dirt. The last part of this picture contains red and orange. It also contains a duller reddish brown color. The orange appears to be the ground and the reddish brown could be the "wall" described by the words. The red could represent a part of this wall or it may be the "cyphers". The red could even be the "ditch". The words on this picture can help describe and show meaning in the pictures.

The first group of words, starting with "above the roofs", indicates that someone is looking down at Grenville from a window. This makes sense because the first two parts of the picture are landscapes. The trees becoming smaller mean that the aircraft is climbing higher into the air. The next group of words tells the viewer that the first few parts of the picture are landscapes. This traveler is flying over Grenville. He is probably passing over on his flight. In the next group of words the aircraft is dipping lower. This “red cock” is the red in the picture. The dwarf is some object that appears very small to the flyer because he is elevated. The “red cock” could be a weathervane on top of a barn. “The sound of whip sensation rocking”, can indicate that there is wind outside the aircraft causing it to rock. The great pop ditch can be represented by the blue in this part of the picture, possibly a river or lake. The last words in the picture indicate that the traveler is getter closer to land. He sees markings on this wall, maybe graffiti (the cyphers). At the end of this traveler’s journey he is close to this wall and that is when he sees the “flower tramp”. The flower tramp may be some symbol of significance to the traveler.

This picture describes what it is like to look down on everything from the sky. From above one’s perspective is much different than looking at something straight on. Being on land and flying are different and make perspectives different. Since the perspectives are different, the interpretations of things are also different. It changes the way one views our world.

Janelle C. 5 said...

Janelle Cocuzzo
Period 5

This painting is page 14 of Tom Phillips’s gallery. What this painting is saying, or the view is trying to show is that life has a beginning and an end, and can often times be taken too seriously.
First look at the bottom of the painting and the words included there; “Chapter 1, Enter, Toge, Wheeled slowly in by French and German ladies of vague conditions of life.” What stands out most in “Enter, Toge.” Toge is together, with the last letters having been erased. So the fragment is actually “Enter Together”. Then comes “wheeled slowly in” with reminds people of being wheeled on a gurney, in a hospital. This image is probably used on purpose to signify birth. Birth starts at a hospital, birth is act where an infant literally enter the world and enters the world with their, together with their mother. This idea of these words initially representing birth is also shown with the first words on the painting “Chapter 1.” Chapter 1 in a person’s life would obviously be their birth or their early childhood. In accordance with the hospital image are the “French and German ladies” who could symbolize nurses working in a hospital, mainly because if the women are in a hospital and they are wheeling someone, they would most likely be nurses. But also, nurses would have a vague or unclear way of viewing life, because they see death and sickness all around them, but also the miracle of births and recoveries, so they wouldn’t know whether to view life as a cruel, harsh thing, or beautiful and full of miracles.
Then, focusing on the same area of the painting can also symbolize death. Death often times occurs at a hospital, which accounts for the hospital and nurse imagery. Also death, for those who believe in a heaven or an after life or even reincarnation, would be the Chapter 1 of the corpse’s new life or new side of life. Further more, the corpse would have already lived a long a full life, in theory, so they would be carrying their knowledge and experience into the after life, the person and the contents of their mind, would be entering the after life together; “Enter Toge”.
At the top of the painting is what appears to be a clown, or at least meant to look somewhat like a clown. When thinking of a clown thoughts of jokes, comedy, fun typically are associated with clowns. This thought the process is probably why Phillips included this in his painting; it counteracts and balances the bottom of the painting. The bottom of the painting alludes to birth and death, the more serious sides of life. Then the top is meant to show that life shouldn’t always be so serious and grave it is meant to be enjoyed and to make the best of.
The colors and set up of this painting are very important to consider. When first looking at this painting my eyes went to the bottom, because while the top is where most of the bright colors are, the bottom has words on it and that was more alluring to my eyes. Then of course my eyes drifted to the top where, again, the bright colors were. After that they traveled back down to the bottom to analyze the words more thoroughly. The pattern and process of how the painting was looked at is very interesting when considering the painting’s meaning, because through going from the bottom, to the top, back to the bottom is symbolically carrying out the process of life; going from the bottom of the painting (birth), to the top of the painting (life and the less grave elements pertaining to life), back down to the bottom again (death or reincarnation). I think it was no accident the painting was set up this way. Then look at the actual colors used. In the bottom there is primarily purple and gray used. Purple is a subdued, but still warm and loving and semi-vibrant, a more lively color than the gray. The gray is a calmer, graver, more depressing color, often times associated with death or the color of grave stones. The use of these colors makes sense when thinking of the meaning being expressed in the bottom half of this painting, the purple is used to show the birth side, and the gray for death side.
Then obviously the bright colors on the top are used to represent the vibrancy of life and the happiness and various emotions involved with life. Also, how the colors blend together and form what appears to be a clown, hints to the idea that people tend to take live too seriously and don’t have as much fun or freedom as they probably should.

Angela S5 said...

The Six of Hearts

Dreams are defined as a series of images, ideas, and emotions which occur during certain stages of sleep. Dreams and the form they take can be compared to art, including acting, paintings and performing opera. Opera is a dramatic performance which is set to music. Operas are often dream-like and over exaggerated in order to reveal a deeper meaning or truth. Dreams and opera both reveal unconscious desires and fears and often involve love and tragedy. In the second painting from The Six of Hearts series by Tom Philips there is a connection between the art of opera and dreams. Through his use of words, textures and colors, as well as the music which surrounds the painting he suggests that dreams and art connect with unconscious desires or rather truth.

When first glancing at this piece of art the images in the center stand out. In the center there are words which are covered by images. These images covering the words appear to be performers on an operatic stage. There are lights shining on the performers, yet the words are hidden and unable to be seen. This is interesting because in opera there is no spoken word and everything is sung. The fact that the words are covered by the performers reveals that what they are singing is false and that they are hiding the truth. Also, the images or performers look like they are shadows and are misshaped which give them the feeling that they have come out of a dream. Also, the fact that the words or truth is being hidden suggests that in our dreams the truth is often hidden and unconscious ideas are put in our dreams. Also, in the center of the painting there are over sized words such as “Irma” and “3D”. Irma is the name of an opera that Tom Philips wrote and the enlargement of all of these words once again suggests that this opera or opera in general is being compared to dreams and unconscious ideas.

There are words also found in the center. The first sentence states “the opera moving Vienna”. In the picture “the opera” is separated form “Vienna” which once again suggests that this piece of art is being compared to a dream because in dreams ideas and images are often fragmented and do not completely make sense. This sentence suggests that the art of opera is moving these people emotionally and perhaps is a way for them to leave reality and enter a dream like state. The next sentence states “the opera madness”. This sentence is also fragmented like the first which also suggests a dream-like quality. This sentence also suggests that opera is a way for people to “dream” or leave their reality in order to escape the “madness” of the world. The next sentence is “the opera poison” which similar to the other two sentences is separated. This once again suggests that opera or art in general is used as a way to escape reality and from being “poisoned” by unconscious fears or desires that would normally be unacceptable. The last sentence which appears in the center states “Let us go”. This sentence is interesting because it is the only sentence which is not fragmented and is in one vertical line. This suggests that although art and dreams are confusing or difficult to understand at times, in the end there is a purpose and in this case people are using opera as a way to free themselves and the tragic world that they live in.
Surrounding the words and dreamlike image found in the center are four frames of measures of music. The lyrics to the song are the same words found in the center of the painting. There is also music for the cello, viola, and the clarinet to play. The surrounding music contrasts very much with the image in the center. The image in the center is rather colorful and fantastical, while the outside is rather rigid and is almost like a maze. This contrast suggests that like a dream the center image is fragmented and confusing but ultimately has a hidden truth, while the outside represents the barrier or thing which is hiding the truth. In this case the music may represent society and the fact that Vienna wants to be let go, because they are being kept form their true reality. Also, in the third bar line in the words state “Irma you will be mine”. This suggests as dreams do, that a person wants another person to fall in love with them or has desires and is doing anything in their power to do so. Similar to dreams these actions are due to unconscious desires and are expressed through performance and music.

The second piece of art from the series of The Six of Hearts revels through its colors, words, and textures that dreams and unconscious desires connect with art of opera and the truth which is hidden in both.

Simon M 6 said...

Page 286

On page 286 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips suggests that society never notices that life is simply a never-ending cycle. Phillips paints clouds of various colors that rise up to a black block and uses words that describe time to emphasize the coherency of the time spent in a day. The picture is a landscape evaporating into the black sky, representing nothingness. Every event from that day will be gone, and the only event that will remain is the dawn of a new day.

The image on page 286 does not have any color that will specifically catch the eye. The coherent and mix well into one another that everything seems to “melt”. The sky portion consists of the spectrum of colors between blue and black, starting from the ground. The colors of sea blue, turquoise, onyx, and sky blue all represent different events of the day, all rising up into blackness. This transition of colors represents the unification of all events in the day. The blackness symbolizes nothingness, and the sky is in a state of “dissipation”—into the darkness. The “animal curves”, referring to the human body, is “taken by the plausible” way of life. Society will work and move according to what nature and bosses tell it to do. Phillips’ character, as well as other individuals in the world, is slowly moving toward this society, demonstrated by the evaporation of the sky into the black block of darkness.

The only thing that stands to repel this transformation is whiteness, representing purity. This happens before one joins with the black block of darkness which symbolizes a “corrupt” society. However, the overwhelming scheme of dark and gloomy colors overpowers this purity. As the saying goes, “once a sinner, always a sinner”. Once into the nonstop cycle of society, life will fly by day by day, filled with the same boring daily deeds.

At the center of the image, Phillips integrates time to emphasize that all is connected. It is known that “night” will turn into “morning” and that “yesterday” and “to-morrow” are connected by “today”. This connection demonstrates that day will follow day, always repeating morning and night. Also, by repeating each day, the sky will regain its color again, only to turn black and dissipate once again. It happened yesterday and will happen tomorrow as well. Society is trapped in a cycle that is all work and movement that is to be repeated again and again. “One whole day, sponged out of hours”. Individuals will work and work, and the whole day will be “sponged out of hours” before they know it.

The bottom portion of the image has a shade of moss green and a mix of brown and black, to form what looks like grass. This grass is also dark like the sky, symbolizing that everything is connected to society’s cycle of life. Green represents money and greed, which is what most workaholics desire. However, this green is tainted black because the money comes from the sake of wanting cash; it is not innocent enough to be made a brighter shade of green. Directly above the grass is a glint of sunlight. In the never-ending cycle of society, “even [when] morning…came…[it] was glib and distant”. People work and move all the time that no one notices the day anymore. It is sucked up by their daily routines of life, and the essence of the morning is gone. Even if it is there, it comes and goes silently, always miniscule to society.
Phillips uses colors and specific text to portray the overwhelming existence of nonstop cycle in society. An individual will grow up and eventually curve into a schedule that he will most likely follow for a while. Every event done will only be repeated again the next day, rendering the amount done the day before useless. Once grown up into this “machine” that loops its programs, nature and daytime will often be neglected. The aspects outside of one’s schedule will seem like nothing, overlooking the essence of the surrounding nature.

Steve T 5 said...

Page 6

On page 6 of Tom Phillips' A Humument, Phillips gives viewers a setting that depicts the current position of a certain character named "Toge," by using particular, chosen words, a series of lines, and color to make somewhat of a picture, of which the viewer will observe and become interested in the story of Toge. By giving viewers and readers a setting, the reader may decide then if the story is worth reading, or if it isn't. With that rule applied, using such colors, shapes and etc, the viewer will take a sufficient amount of time in attempt of understanding the concept of the story's setting and if succeeding in understanding, or believing to understand, the reader may feel accomplished enough to keep reading the pages of the book. If the reader does not succeed, then he will not feel accomplished, and the reader may decide to ignore this particular work of art. Though, considering the amount of different shapes and colors, a viewer can conclude to many opinions on the picture. Therefore, the setting of this story can be understood in more ways than one, and can reach the interest of diverse viewers as a work of art. Considering, art is defined as the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance, and is taken interest by many, seeing that it needs to be accepted by many to be put into a museum, or even published.

Now aside from the words and the first confusion that bubbles in the viewer, the lines and color of the picture clearly stick out. The lines, except for the picture's borders, are all mostly cut off. There is also a special case with the mustard brown that flows from the top left, to the distal right. Now, the cut off lines do not combine with the line that actually intercepts it, and does not have any similarity other than being dark and/or dull in color, therefore the line is proven to a degree that it is cut off. Though the lines of the picture are only parts of shapes. These lines are connected to make shapes. For example, the brown on the top of the picture is shaped and seen as 4-sided, though it is possible that if the mustard yellow had not cut it off, the brown could have gone further down to create a longer shape, and possibly a rectangle if it hit the edge. Therefore, instead of being cut-off, it's safer to state that the shapes overlap one another. It's as if pieces of flags were placed on top of one another in a collage, and that is precisely what it looks like, country flags, probably about 3-4, are being overlapped. Though obviously, these colors match no current, known country. So If these are flags, then the areas are unknown, or do not exist. If they are not flags, then the shapes are still unknown, and may not represent anything that actually exists considering the shapes are nothing common; The possibilities are endless enough for the shapes to stay unknown, though there are more shapes that do not include straight lines and cornered edges. There's a large, noticeable, peach brown in the center of the picture, and it resembles the shape of an animal. It has legs to stand upon, a neck that extends from the scapula, and a head that points to the upper left of the picture. Also, it faces towards the end or beginning, depending on how it is looked at, of the long shape the mustard brown makes. Therefore, there is a life form in the picture, and it is in some sort of unknown environment.

Looking at the environment of the animal in the picture, it's seen to be inside of the mustard yellow, along with a mixture of many, many dots of assorted, bright colors. The yellow mustard stretches from the top left of the picture, to the distal bottom, as stated before, and holds the inhabitants of all of these bright, visible "things;" inside of the mustard yellow, there is bright red, blue, yellow, green, and all these other familiar colors. What more, is that the size of the dots change as you go down the mustard yellow's shape. From the top right, the dots are small, as if they are far away. Then, going down, the dots get bigger, as if they are closer to the viewer. This art technique resembles how someone may stand on a long, straight street, and look forward: The road will seem to get skinnier, and in this picture, Tom Phillips is trying imitate that effect of seeing a road. Then, he places the animal who travels upon this road, and it moving forward into the area that is less visible; the animal is moving forward to an area that has not been currently reached. Further more, the large red color in front of the animal seems to have no significance other than showing more of which direction the animal is going for. As if the creature was a bull, and was following the red up the mustard brown to reach some destination, or in the case of the bull and red, it is being led blindly forward to a new area along that particular road.

It is evident that the animal, the life form, is traveling on the bright road of the mustard brown, and is walking along with many other visible colors: known colors. The animal knows his surroundings, and travels upon this road that inhabits many familiar things, but it the only road which contains the familiar colors. On the outside, there are the shapes of those flags. These flags, as stated before, have dark and dull colors, and are on the outside of the mustard brown road. This gives the viewer an idea that the animal is not as familiar with the outside of the mustard brown road, and it has not decided to venture that outside world, but the outside world does exist. The picture clearly shows that outside countries and worlds do exist, but whether the animal knows this or not, is not known, for there are areas so far off of the mustard brown road. There is even a small dark blue spot on the right of the picture, not actually inside of the picture, indicating how far off these unknown areas are. And in further notice, the dark, far blue is much different from the nearby red color the animal may follow. They are totally opposite colors; the outside is completely opposite to what the animal finds familiar, and what the animal may actually seek, follows, and/or understands. Though there is a chance the animal may venture off the mustard brown road. The red color that the "bull" follows slightly sticks out of the mustard yellow road, thus indicating the animal may feel enticed to follow it off course a little in the future. Thus, the animal is following the familiar road, but may slightly wonder off the course to visit those unfamiliar places. The life form may do so, considering it walks, has a brain to do an action such as follow, and has the capacity for curiosity; Being curious of the unknown mixtures of colors on the outside.

There are more than colors in this picture, there are also words. The words of the picture are jumbled, and make no full sentences, but considering each word has a definition, a viewer may be able to develop ideas on the words themselves, and why they exist in the picture. "The Journal, writings, written, volume, writings, writings;" all around the picture, the presence of a story exists. Obviously, a story is being told in this picture, and those words may be the first clue a viewer may have to realize the existence of literally, a story to follow. On the top left, there are words such as "sophical," and "perplex." These words correlate to the direction the animal is traveling to, and can be categorized by definition. The words have to do with seeking sophisticated, complex wisdom. So, the animal is seeking some type of wisdom, and that is what the red represents in this case. The animal believes that the red is the entity he seeks, and has decided to follow it. "Dejected" is another word used near the top right. It means depressed in spirits; disheartened. This indicates the animal is slightly disturbed, and has been motivated to follow this red entity; The source of his motivation to travel, is due to depression, and the counterattack to his depression. Lastly, there are a jumble of words at the bottom right of the picture, words that are mainly in the areas the animal has already walked by in the mustard brown road. These words consist of "only one half of the, toge, story, the first, scenes and feelings." Then, in organizing the words into sentences, and filling the blanks the sentences make, the new understanding of the words of the bottom of the page is, "the first scenes and feelings in toge's story is only half of the story," or something along those lines. To prove this, by looking at the animal's position of being in the middle of the picture, it shows that toge is indeed halfway on the road, as if he has done half of his life, and life's story. Furthermore, in reading and viewing the other pictures of The Humument, the character named, "Toge," is more evident. In fact, it is the only "word" in this picture, and there are other clues such as "myster, and T." Myster is pronounced mister, and Toge begins with a T, thus in pronouncing myster and T, the pronunciation is Mister T, the character in this story.

In understanding all the clues Tom Phillips has left inside of the picture, and the page number of the picture, it is clear that this is the beginning of an adventure for Mr. Toge. Toge became disturbed to some degree, and counteracted to find truth, wisdom, and new meanings, thus he follows the red entity that he finds familiar and interesting. Though due to the nature and placement of the red entity, there is a foreshadowing that Toge, the main life form in the picture, the animal, rather, human, may venture off his familiar course, and find new ideals, cultures, or other unfamiliar entities of which he may find interest in. That is part of the setting in Mr. Toge's story.

Faedhra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Emily L 6 said...

Page 104

On page 104 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillip suggests that imagination is a beautiful art form allowing one to create an endless number of masterpieces. However, with this ability to create comes insanity. Like “alcohol”, the art of imagination intoxicates the mind causing reality to fade.

In viewing the page, a wide range of colors make up the piece. The colors are formed in a blotchy manner with no particular shape, size, or pattern. In one way it resembles an ink blot, allowing the viewer to conceive it in any way possible like a work of art that is open up for interpretation. In another, the colors represent imagination. There are no limits to the colors like there are no limits to the wonders of imagining. The colors evoke different emotions and it allows the viewer to interpret the different colors according to his or her own imagination.

The colors appear to be separated into a top and a bottom where the top uses darker shades of color as oppose to the bottom where lighter shades are used. The lighter colors suggest a sense of innocence in believing the imaginary. Often times children are the ones who play pretend and it seems innocent in the eyes of a child because it shows that they too can hold ideas, creativity, and “character”. In another view it is an innocent game that humans seek to escape from the brutal world. Imagination opens up opportunity to be “quite a different person (in) quite a different cause”. It’s interesting how the word “person” is camouflaged in manila color against the light orange blots. In the art of imagination, there is no true identity because identity can be changed and altered to anyone and anything. Instead, the true self is hidden and covered, but at the same time it is still there and visible. Being able to imagine gives the mind the ability to fabricate different reasons and causes to why things occur which is why imagination is beautiful and rich.

There are no limits to what one can be if one conceives imagination. It’s even possible to “character a sound”. The color pink circulates the phrase. Pink symbolizes hope and playfulness. It’s joyful and merry like the art of imagination because anything can be possible. Sounds can be characters. Characters can be sounds. The number of ideas is unlimited. It is something “beautiful”, but at the same time when a person makes believe of a person, place, or thing, it becomes “beautiful as well as nonsense” in the eyes of others. The idea of what is real is questioned.

The dark shades of red and purple suggest a negative perspective of the imaginary world. On the top, Phillip introduces the idea of pretending. He writes, “I feel somehow as if we were playing at ‘pretending’ now”. Pretending is a form of imagination where one makes believe or performs fictitious play. However, it seems nonsensical to be playing at pretending when pretending is already a way of playing. The art of pretending seems to have lost its charm on Phillip. His thoughts are graphical and his imagination is filled with “thoughts of the blood like alcohol”. It symbolizes the idea of intoxication where pretending has become an addiction. It’s no longer a fun innocent game, but like “a fresh packet” he seeks it like drugs. The colors red, purple, and blue circle the negative text. They are all very bold and vibrant colors that draw in attention, but together the colors are heavy and burdensome. It’s suffocating to look at when the colors conflict one another. Together the colors mark insanity.

Phillip appears to have lost his sanity as he strives deeper into the imaginary world. He writes “I was picture of him dyed and curly”. The word “dyed” puns for the word “died”. The image of a dead person bothers Phillip. It is the only complete sentence that he has circled and it is the only time in which he addresses himself and his feelings ever since the first line. Around the thought are pen marks that attract attention. The markings are stroked deeply and dark as if he is angry and mad. It is also the only text that is colored by the paint, signifying its significance. The text represents the imagination that he has created. Instead of fantasizing mirthful memories or ideal thoughts, the image of a dead man appears and this haunts him. The black markings signify fear and agony. It can also signify his confusion as he is unable to decide what is real.

Although it is difficult to define what is real and what is considered the imagination, Phillip nevertheless shows the beauty of the art through his splash of colors. However with the power to control in the imaginary world, it questions the idea of reality. Imagination starts to become the truth as reality shifts to a blur. Ultimately, it leads to harming the mind.

Mark D5 said...

page 77

On page 77 of Thomas Phillips “Explicating A Humument” it is a letter to Eve. Possibly Eve from Adam and Eve. Where the words are placed and in which colors and shapes adds to the effect of the thoughts of a poet or artist. Red, the color that attracts the eye the most is used at the top. This color is the color of passion, hatred, fire, love, which in my opinion are the most intense feelings a human being can feel. In this red area is where the author addresses Eve. Eve is passion, eve is love.
The real question about this piece of artwork is why the author is addressing Eve? There are bubbles of words in this piece. Some are connected by small river-like white strings. While reading the words straight down some don’t make sense. But reading them like a book, left to right, the reader can notice plausible phrases. In the top right corner are the words “ Love is Help”. This is a full sentence but not what Thomas Phillips meant to say. If the reader reads the text from left to right the phrase changes from “ Love is Help” to “Dear Eve Love is eve you help me,”. The author is telling Eve that she needs to help him.
This specific page of Phillips book of explicating human society he is tackling the humans who devote themselves to artwork. He is a part of this page since he was a man who devoted himself to his art. So in a sense Phillips is talking about himself and he is the author writing to Eve. He needs help from his love, which is Eve. My eyes are also are focused on the lonely “Cheri” at the bottom of the red section. I believe that Eve is Cheri. In French chéri is used for honey, darling, and also treasure. He is calling Eve is honey. What is rather interesting about his love for Eve is the imperfection in it. In the upper right hand corner of the painting it seems that the corner has been burnt out leaving a white spot with ash surrounding it. In this burnt spot in the painting Phillips places the words Love is help. This symbolizes the mistake or imperfection between the author and his chéri. Also, this could coincide with the statement “ You Help Me”. He wants Eve to help him through his imperfect love, his burnt sense of reality, and also the ridiculous way in which he thinks. “Ridiculous, Ridiculous” it is ridiculous. Love, passion, poetry is ridiculous.
Opposites are a big theme in this painting. There is a line separating red and pink. Above the line in the red are three words “ Absurd Poetry World”. Below the line in the pink area are three words “ Common Happy World”. The opposite for absurd is normal, regular, or “common” which the word under the line. Also in Phillip’s point of view the opposite for poetry is happiness or how Phillips put it “Happy”. The last word is repeated above the opposition barrier and that word is “World”. World has no opposite, so he uses it twice. But in the world there is either heaven or hell after it. Red symbolizes hell and pink symbolizes heaven in this piece.
Heaven is a place “where men explain”. Dreaming men are poets. Also in heaven you can find the “gorgeous exclusive ladies of heaven”. Poets love writing about heaven and hell and this is what Phillips is saying. Also, it seems like there is an audiences in both the pink and red areas of the painting. One is a baby blue and the other is more navy. This is the poets readers who are constantly watching them, and constantly making judgments about them. That can drive a person crazy.

Chris O5 said...
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Kevin Ta 5 said...

Page 173a

On page 173a of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips demonstrates the futility of beauty, and the vain efforts wasted to save it. He uses a few simple colors with patterns thrown in, but overall, a pleasant yet disturbingly tranquil aura exudes the collage. The fluid words follow a relatively linear path; they juxtapose with the parts of the image. Both the picture and text start off clean and crisp, only to degenerate far beyond recognition as the viewer pans down the page. Likewise, beauty can begin with a graceful start, only to fall unto itself.

When the viewer first takes in the image, he may notice the strikingly dark border surrounding an almost completely white background. Preventing any chance of escape, the purity of the contents is left to suffer and deteriorate. The stark white background within the black boundary is only at first disturbed by a calm blue flowing down in a straight slit about three-quarters from the left side of the image. As the viewer moves down the image, the pure white, representing cleanliness, light, truth, virginity, and peace, continues to cover the picture like a fresh coat of snow. The stream of blue begins exhibiting darker shades of azure blotches scattered about itself as it descends downwards. Taken figuratively, the white represents the ideal embodiment of beauty: a pure, beautiful, serene, virginal female uncorrupted by the outside world because of her containment inside the recently created walls of isolation. She remains this virginal figure so long as the blue stream continues to flow uncontaminated.

Phillips’ use of the page’s words begins before the vertical midsection. He begins by describing a male character “softly unlock[ing] a field of dim moving blank white curtains”, the words contained within easily recognizable rectangles and an oval. After reading these words, the viewer may realize that the white areas on both sides of the stream resemble opening curtains, with a sky blue backdrop begging to be revealed. But these curtains are not alone. Within the perimeter of black isolation is a whole “field” of these white curtains, one in front of the other, hiding the next one from sight. The “dim moving blank” curtains tower above the male character, giving no ray of hope as they obscure the female prisoner at the end with unyielding expressions and lumbering appearances. Despite the intimidating circumstances, the character “unlock[s]” each of these curtains as he strives to reach the end. The curtains are “locked”, suggesting the value of the beauty they try to conceal. However, the character “softly” undoes each curtain, hinting at an uncharacteristic effeminate approach, revealing a possible compassionate motive but likely to hinder his progress.

As the viewer continues to scan down the image, Phillips’ male character carries on with his metaphoric search. The image seemingly reaches a climax towards the bottom third of the picture. The blue slit of a waterfall peacefully cascading down the pure white surroundings immediately coagulates, turning a navy, and then a blood red. Coincidentally, at the same instant, quick black lines extend from the “ground” of the picture, puncturing the once impressive cascade. The text simultaneously displays “to see her dead” in a congealed shape as the slit of blood continues down. It apparently seems that the character has indeed reached the beautiful female figure at the end of the ceaseless field of curtains. Unfortunately, upon unlocking the last curtain he “see[s] her dead”. The text, shapes, and colors in this area clearly denote the female’s death. Although representing the perfect personification of beauty, the female degenerates under her isolated and confined conditions. The character’s efforts in finding the female and possibly freeing her are futile.

The image ends with the stream flowing into a curdled pool of red, concealed by the numerous lines raised at a 45° angle that had pierced the cascade earlier. The text concludes with “her little patch of garden, the red tulips, the tumbler of water”. The character may have found next to the corpse of the virginal figure the last items she came in contact with. The female may have unsuccessfully tried to grow a “little patch of garden”, lined with “red tulips” and watered with a “tumbler of water” in a vain attempt to preserve the beauty. While a watering can is normally used in gardening, the tumbler may symbolize the female’s abrupt fall from grace, as tumblers are frequently used for drinking alcohol. Her seclusion has reached the limits, and the final sin of sowing fruitless seeds is committed before her supposed death.

In conclusion, Phillips crafts a collage brimming with simplicity but bursting with imagery, symbols, and meaning in this page from his work, A Humument. On page 173a, Phillips conveys to the viewer that beauty is a double edged sword; aesthetic appearances may be pleasant to look upon, but when left isolated and neglected, the beauty is useless and potentially harmful. Furthermore, any endeavors to save beauty that is far too degenerated are pointless as well, expressing the melancholic state of fallen beauty and hopeless efforts.

Erika R. 6 said...
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Alexander A.6 said...

page 11

On page 210 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips suggests there is some kind of battle between good and evil and more importantly how it affects the human element. Phillips uses fire and the presence of blue as a resistant force against the fire of red. By using traditionally involved colors with themes, Phillips presents this battle and how it intends to play out.

To start there is a breach in the very title of the page that presents a question right off the top. The inferno red hides the “an doc” part of the Human Document. Now it could be interpreted as a questioning of what the picture really is. The picture is a test to the intellectual capabilities of the observer. The fire can be seen as the shape of a dragon, a mythological creature who presents chaos and destruction. The fire can be seen arising from the depths of hell. Phillips contrasts this by using the blue base of the painting to represent the ocean which has been used in literary works to traditionally represent a cleansing region. The water represents the rising force that pushes away the immoral acts being committed on the written words.
With the focus changed to the top “half” of the page there is a noticeable point in the highlighted words that appear. Phillips talks of the “book” that is given to a “reader” and tells the reader that he can not reveal what it is indeed that he has changed. Phillips makes these words the first primary highlight of his page. It is from here that the flaming red terror eats up the rest of the page and proceeds to wear away at it’s meaning. The scarlet is fractured at spots, possibly indicating that there is something of some importance to the words he presents. Phillips preserves the words of his play “ is a hum.. ument” which brings about the essential thought process behind the picture.

Phillips prepares to reach his point by the second “half” of his artwork. He labels the second half of his painting “The Characters.” There is an influence that the characters play in preserving the work created by artists. The usage of the first line, “the history viola” provides something comforting to match the teal blue of the imagery of the ocean or force of good and well-being. A violin however is also associated with the song of departure and ever lasting depression. As it applies to the page, the violin can be used as a romantic ballad to incorporate the cooperation of love and hate in the battle for literary equality. The turquoise and rose align to describe the two realities that Phillips’ sees affecting the everyday words and the threats they pose in society.

The blue box is set off with the red raging from the depths and acting as it’s own unit in the page. The page also goes to show the old adage that you can’t fit a square inside a circle which might help represent the contrast of ideas associated with Phillips skepticism of the written word and the threats that are opposed to this everyday.

The characters are representing the root of all good that can come from a work. Demonstrated by the strands of roots that stem from the title feature are damaged elements of writing that could be fixed by features of the blue texts. The furthest from the strand involves people or the fractured word of people. The establishment of this word’s distance implicates that people are different from characters. There are features such as the operation and togetherness that separate these two factors of literature. Much like the words on the page there is no connection and thus creates an interpretation of what the rest of the text really means. The page is a message from Phillips and from the large scale literary world that tells the watcher that there is indeed a battle that thinkers face and the changes that are to occur soon are going to be forever repressed.

Kathy L. 6 said...
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Kathy L. 6 said...

Page 3

On page 3 of Tom Phillips' A Humument, Philips creates a two-sided story. In this photo there are two shades of colors, light and dark. There is also a large frame around line 8 and all the way down. In that large frame there are also two little frames in it as well. The two shades of colors represent two different types of story and the two little frames in the large one goes with the light shaded story. Doing this will help and tell the viewer that there will always be a two-sided story to everything. It can be in a photo or it can be in real life.

At the beginning of the page the light shaded part is talking about how these two strangers are sexually attractive to each other. The woman in this wants to be sexually stimulated by him so she tries to seduce him. The first sentence she says to him was how she was thinking about “whether she will show it” to him or not. Then she started to give him a little tease about it by laughing. After she asked him, “Do you think you would care to see it?” He told her that anything she thinks is worth showing to him, he think is “worth seeing”. So she was thinking of seducing him by inviting him to see her nude. The woman told him that he couldn’t just see it. He would have “have to do more” to it than that. She wanted the both of them to climax.

Philip continues this story through the other side of the story by using small frames in the large one. The woman then goes with the man afterwards to his “room to-night”. To-night is a symbol of a one night stand. When they got to his place they didn’t go to his room, instead she went for the table. The man says that “she was even better” lying on his table. He was becoming sexually aroused by the way she was lying there. At the end they finally decided to give in and there were stain marks “in size and appearance” on the sheets.

There is also a second side story to this page. The dark shaded part is totally different from the light shaded part on this page. At this moment the woman is trying to tell him that what she was about to show and tell him is about “a collection of manuscripts.” She didn’t know if he “would care to see it” or not. The manuscripts didn’t belong to her but that person left it to her, which is considers as her “property” now. Not only does she knows the writer of it but he “know something about her” as well. Just not as much as he thought he would of. She can’t tell him about the writer or anything or something “would happen” to him and she wouldn’t know what would that be.

Along the way during the conversation the woman told him that the collection of manuscripts “is an imaginary continuation of Marie Bashkirtchefi’s Journal”. She then told him that Marie Bashkirtchefi is “represented as undergoing the exact fate” that he was wishing for her. She think there’s more to it then that. Later on he went to his bed and put a “handkerchief” under his pillow. There were nights when he be thinking of her and he would cry to himself. Maybe she was one of his lover back then. He has a “great folio volume bound like a photographic scrap-book”, the sight of which will fill him with dismay. When he looks into the scrapbook he was confused because it was “in reality, not in appearance only.” Not only can he see it but he can also feel it. It comes in all shape and size.

In A Humument, Philips is able to create and tell two-sided story. He does it by using different colors of shades and using frames. The way he place it show a different part of the story and which one belong to which. So then the viewer can tell the different between the two stories. This all reflect back to the two-sided story about the woman who was trying to seduce the man and the one about the woman telling the man about the collection of manuscripts of Marie Bashkirtchefi.

Emily R 6 said...
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Andrew D 5 said...

On page 231 of A Human Document or “A Humament”, there is a horizon. A lilac colored path is aligned by an appalling, hard-featured, uninviting, camouflaged green trail of revoltingness. Once you’re eyes process the camouflaged collaboration of lime green, yellow green, and forest green; then you glance down at what seems to be the beginning of a trail. This alluring, beauteous lilac colored aisle or terrace gets more and more confined or pinched by the surrounding ugliness. An ugliness without any lucidity or clearness separating the different shades of green but separated from the beauteous violet trail that represents the boulevard of love being paved through, not around, but straight through the masquerade of everyday people pinching down on you by a definite straight line. The green camoflouge colored walls alongside the quadratic shape like a pyramid with the very tip of it cut off at the horizon.
The myriad mixture of shades of green really jump right off the page, Naturally my eyes bent towards the horizon, where the path, sky, and walls met about three quarters up the image, or the center where all the colors met on the page that gave the image depth while still being two dimensional. Then from there the different shades of green seemed to mingle together without definition and bend my eyes outward like two triangles, meeting at one point in the middle of the image and widening out to the full length of the side. The moss, olive, pea, pine, and spinach colors take up the majority of the image as well as the majority of my attention.
The ugly colors have all one thing in common; they are derivatives from the same shade. They all came from the same pigment. They represent the different, yet related feelings of the spectators observing beauty. Some may love the fact the something beautiful is among them, and some will be benevolent but they all share the same sense of jealousy.
The path that goes through the camouflage is the same color as a lilac. The beautiful purple lilacs symbolize first love and youthful innocence, they also smell really pretty. It is what you make it but Tom Phillips decided to make it lavender lilac purple. A path is paved with two sides with two definite lines in a picture and it takes two to tango. The two dimensional outlook of the picture, and on life, doesn’t always show the big picture.
What Tom Phillips is trying to represent on page 231 of “A Humament” is that not all young passionate young people turn general attraction into love. And we always tend to start young. As long as you have an attraction then you can be admitted up the avenue of love, go for it, the lavender colored lilac road Phillips lays out. The text on the page says that if the boy and girl are willing to overlook the dilapidation that is prone to follow, then they are sufficient and are able to be admitted along their way.
Lastly the sky, my eyes start at the bottom of the path and follow the lilac colored boulevard of love while it is compressed by the horrendous mixtures of camouflage green which gets narrower and tighter towards the horizon and the and finally to the sky and I realized it’s not blue. The sky is not blue and it is not a dark shady color. Instead it is a periwinkle grey shade almost like the light strings that line the inside of a baseball. Very unnoticeable until you notice it is not noticeable.
Phillips made the sky the shade that it is to make it the least eye catching color on the page. My eyes fell right into the path Phillips intended, to the horizon, out to the sides following the not-so-attractive shades of green, down to the bottom of the lilac path, back up following the narrow avenue of love, ignoring the camouflage, back to the horizon, then up. Up to where the baby blue or the dark navy blue sky or even the blackness could have been. But instead it is a dim, barely noticeable color. This is a color that if Crayola were to come out with a color that said “nothing” on the side, this would be it. The sky isn’t supposed to be a noticeable image, not a pretty color, and nothing to stand out.
For a small picture that wasn’t even supposed to originally be a picture, it is phenomenal the things we can come up with at first glance. There aren’t any people, myriads of color, old writings in different languages, music notes, which could represent something. Instead, it is all just a collaboration of colors. Different shades that can have all sorts of different names lime green, yellow green, evergreen-tree green, dirty pond green, forest green, crayola crayon green, Gecko from the Geiko commercials green, light purple, lilac, lavender, periwinkle, etc. All those colors combined into some camoflouge and a flower colored narrow road with some small chopped up text about love and it is all worth a thousand words. This image is plain, simple, and it doesn’t use allot of colors in it. At first glance it looks like most of the rest of the pages in “A Humament”, nothing. But after reading the text left on the page that was not filled in things all came together and you saw the avenue and felt the camouflage in your peripheral vision while you sit and make sense of it all.

Natalia A5 said...
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Kevin Tr . 5. said...
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Kenneth M5 said...


Creation is part of the human ways, and people do that in many ways. Some use art, some raise children, but either way it all leads the same place. This way is splattered by badness and unwanted feelings. Phillips shows this by using color choice to show emotion, the layers of the colors, where he pushes your eye, and the words and where the colors are put around his words.

The first thing noticed is the colleague of colors that seems to be set with no relation to each. The bright “Big Bird” yellow on the top left is where ones eyes are drawn because it is brighter than the rest of the piece and we are trained that literary works are suppose to begin in the upper left hand corner. This could have been done by Phillips to make us realize that we are still reading a story and need to pay attention to what is being said from page to page as though it wasn’t just a piece of visual art, but a literary piece also.

Then ones eyes gets driven to the right by the horizontal lines that are on the yellow. These lines look white at first glance, but on further inspection they are a pale blue-grey. The color and wavy nature of the lines gives the impression of water though a stream. Then your eye gets driven to an olive green beige mess by the streams on the yellow. It seems to be over the colors and be on top of the entire quilt of colors. Looking at the pale blue-grey lines of the yellow one notices that they are the only thing that are over the olive green beige splatter. Bright yellow have an association with happiness, which if one assumes the streams on the page are meant to represent our stream of conciseness, Phillips is suggesting that the only way to overcome the mess and splatter of life is to keep with the happy stream of thoughts.

The olive green beige splatter holds the first words of the page. The words begin “touched by the instruments,”(Phillips). Phillips may be trying to suggest that the artists creating art allows the artist the happiness stream of conciseness. The art is spawned from the ugliness, but helps one separate from it in the same moment. This is also suggested in how the word on the page actually separate the olive green beige splatter and keeps it separate from the rest of the colors, which are used to show the flow of emotion. The words, which are one of Phillips arts, holds back the darkness and ugliness from the rest of the art.

Phillip’s art is one that unites different styles of art. The book is based on the combination of literary and visual art. The words that come up next speak about the combination of another arts. “My two children…I sing in the hall” refers to when one sings it automatically mixes word art with the notes you sing. The “two children” are the different forms of art.

If one could look at the piece without the olive green beige splatter you could follow the different lines of each patch of color. They force your eye to look down the piece, jumping from patch to patch. Each color is used to create a different mood and emotion. This shows the progressions of emotions that every person goes through. The last color you eye is pushed to is a dark earthy brown. This reminds me of the ground that we get buried in. The brown is the end of the movement, like being in the ground is the end of emotion, death is the end. The end of this page of the poem is also within the brown. This is also suggest by the words “the me after me.”

The words on the page also suggest something bigger, that art surpasses our lives and helps us live on. We create art to further our existence, similar to how to view children. This continues the art and child association. This child and art association can be used to show the power in creating art. Art has a life like quality and live on in the same way a child does. This association also can be used to show that parenthood can have the happiness creating stream of consciousness that was mentioned before in this essay.

The title of this also seems to say “A hum I ment.” The U is covered by the blue patch and creates something similar to an “I.” the “hum” goes along with the music aspect of the poetry. Humming is arguably the only way for a person to make music without the help of another art or without the help of an instrument.

Creation is the way for people to overcome the bad parts of life. We all live through the same emotions. Art makes those motions easier to deal with. We deal with the emotions until we eventually die.

Amy H 6 said...

12 =)

On page 12 of Tom Phillips' Humument, Phillips suggests that life is a path with many obstacles, challenges, and choices. The choices, obstacles, and challenges will not be easy. Phillips knows this and is able to show his viewers through use of color, word placement, and many other techniques, Phillip is able to convey his readers to look more closely at life and what it throws at us. Life is not meant to be simple, it is meant to be complicated.

First looking at the picture, the viewer can clearly tell that the humument is mainly constructed of dark colors with little specs of white. I believe the dark colors that Phillips uses in the humument represented the obstacles that life throws at a person. While the little specs of light represent hope. As the viewer can see, there is much more dark colors of green then there are colors of white. I think Phillips purpose for the excessive green and the limited white was to show how many obstacles a person would have to overcome in his or her life and how much hope he or she will have while overcoming the obstacle. But the use of the color green could also have a split meaning. Green could also mean spring, renewal, or growth. There is also controversy at the top of the picture. There are two different shades of color with a slash of green between the middle. The brighter side which consists of pink, blue and white, is one side of the pathway, and path with the darker colors is another. It depends on how the viewer views the picture to choose which side he or she determines to follow. Just like with the split meaning of green, they can choose which way to perceive it. Green could be sought as an obstacle, or it could be sought as growth or renewal. Leaving the viewer to decide the meaning is also saying what choices a person can choose in life. There is never only one option; there will always be many options.

A significant thing I noticed about the humument was how the words were arranged. The words as the viewer can see starts from the very tip of the left hand side then moves slowly to the right then takes a dramatic drop to the left again and finishes at the very tip of the left hand side. As the viewer can see, the words are arranged in what appears to be like a path. The arrange of words could easily be translated to how life is a path. First, people are born and have no knowledge of the world yet, they are "condemned to life" as Phillips puts it, but as a person grows older, when they are in their teenage years they understand life more, but stray away from it. Teenagers, as most people know, are probably one of if not the hardest age group to understand. Which is the second little packet of words is away from the first on the opposite side of the page and very far away from the next. Phillips purpose for this how people in the teenage age group usually tend to stray away from life. The word choice he uses clearly demonstrates what he thought “this good book looks for nobody". Replace the word book with teenager and the line makes perfect sense. Between the years of 1970 and 1975, Phillips probably created his humument gallery. This was also the time of the hippie era, liberation for teenagers and young people. Teenagers were dressing wildly and doing acts that people were just no yet use to. This is why I believe that the little set of words is so far away from the other sets. Hippies were also misunderstood for the most part; another reason why I think Phillips cast these words away as far as he did.

The next set of words is on the left hand side again, where the humument began. The set words at the bottom left hand side are more dense and abundant than the previous sets of words. I believe Phillips made the lines this way was because the last set of words symbolizes adulthood. The first set of words symbolized a baby, the next set, a teenager, and the last set belongs to adults. I believe the last set of words is denser than the other pairs are because the last set of words is the path of adulthood. As an adult, people are more knowledgeable of the world and what’s around them. They challenged more obstacles than teenagers and babies. In general, they have more knowledge. It’s the road to success, they (adults), figure out their lives pretty much. Teenagers on the other hand, are just coming to grasp what life is and has yet to learn the definition of life.

Another thing significant about the humument is that there is a patch of mud brown that begins in the top middle that goes down to the bottom of the page. Looking from far away, the patch of mud brown could easily be seen as a pathway. There is also what seems to appear as a door in the bottom right hand corner. The path as it appears seems to be going towards the door. Through many obstacles and challenges life throws at, the door to this humument is a person’s salvation. Also, the door is surrounded by a bunch of flowers; which symbolize life and nature. People worked hard in life to travel through this door, as Phillip tells his viewers.

As the viewer can see, there are many obstacles in life to overcome. Life is never as simple as it seems. There is never just one option; there will always be many options. And it’s up to the person to decide which option would be right for him or her. Life gives people paths; and it’s up to the person to decide which path to take.

Nina F 6 said...


On page 123 of Tom Phillips’ a Humument, Phillips suggests that with knowledge and art one can free themselves from the past by being able to grow and become a new creation. In the end the things that may really matter are the things that were once important but have been forgotten.

The first thing that is eye catching in this visual is the butterfly on the top of the picture. While looking at this butterfly, it shows that Phillips is trying to evoke that idea of freedom. Butterflies naturally fly around the sky while it is warm out. The strange things about this butterfly is that it’s wings are larger then its body and shaped like side ways hearts and Phillips suggests that the passion that someone may have for art or knowledge is bigger then the passion of a constant thing. Butterflies are also viewed as beautiful creatures and beautiful creations, as is art. The butterfly has reddish brown pokka dots inside the wings, looking at it and looking at the transparency of the wings shows the pokka dots more. The importance of the pokka dots are not only to make the butterfly beautiful but to show the true color of this butterfly. Phillips is suggesting that as humans there is a need to show our true colors and not hide who we really are. The reddish-brown color symbolizes the passion and productivity, Phillips shows that as a creator there has to be passion behind the things that are being done. Around the butterfly the scenery is sea foam green, the top of the sea foam green part looks like the leaves of a tree. The green may symbolize liberty, and since Phillips uses this the trees may also symbolize birth. So these two concepts together could mean the birth of liberty as an artist. Also it looks as if the butterfly is flying away from the things that are going on in the bottom of the picture as a sense of freedom and liberty from the things that were keeping then captive.

Going down this picture the words “Poetry, drawing, music, knowledge- I tried them all.” are separating the two sections. Looking closer to these words, they all help in expressing the way one feels about something. As a result of this it is a way to stay away from the things that are keeping them captive. When Phillips writes “I tried them all” Phillips suggests that he has resorted to every option but he hasn’t found a way out. As the words go down the words become detached from the previous passage. Phillips shows that the thoughts between these two passages are different, the emotion of each are different. Further down Phillip writes, “I began to read books of meaning” this shows that he began to read things that were meaningful and less pointless. Also it shows that growing up there is the ability to become a new creation. The words being all about art shows that art is able to create a new person. The words are all positioned in a way that creates a zigzag effect. This suggests the idea of not being stable or having the high points then low points. The outlines of the words are bumpy and somewhat crazy, and Phillips may be suggesting that the art of words and music is as crazy as life is and have turns and tosses that may be unexpected. On the left side Phillips writes, “Buried philosophy” this is lower on the picture and this shows that this was the thoughts that were going through his mind before the transformation. In the past he may have thought that knowledge wasn’t as important and it is to him now. Then he writes, “mere nonsense” and Phillips suggests that the things he that were important to him before are not really all that important anymore because they were all nonsense.

The bottom half of the visual is grey and pink. While looking at the picture I found that the bottom rectangle looked a closet or something that keeps things captive. There is a border around the rectangle which makes it seem locked in. The color grey may symbolize the idea of being unsure and not quite knowing what is truly wanted. Also looking from top to bottom it looks as if the top which is birth and the bottom which is the past, it shows that the birth on top is trying to defeat the past by being superior. The colors not only evoke the idea of becoming a new creation and it shows the growth of passion and the willingness to change for something that he is passionate about.

Philips on page 123 shows that with knowledge and art there is an ability to free the person from the past and grow up and become a new creation. The things that were once forgotten because important again.

Jessica S. 6 said...
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Jessica S. 6 said...


On page 191 of Tom
Phillips' A Humument, Phillips suggests that in any person’s life there is always hope even through the bad by the various color, shading, shape and text of the composition.

In Phillip’s drawing the object shapes out to be a lifeless tree that grows in a barren land. The tree has the color of green, red, blue, and yellow, but all the colors except for yellow is shaded to black meaning that it’s almost lifeless and the ground is colored brown with tints of purple creating a dead color. In this drawing the tree is a symbol of life. It is here where it’s ironic that in such a barren place, a tree can sprung from the ground. It seems like the ground gets little to no water and the tree is lifeless because of the dark shadings. But it is in times like this where it seems that nothing is valued in such place that life can withhold through such a harsh obstacle. This is the tree of hope. The ground can symbolize a person who is lifeless and have nothing to live for but from this person’s mind springs hope, which is the tree. Their hope is having something to live for. That’s why the text says “Can it be in my barren garden that you flower?” implying that garden is the ground and the flower is the tree.

Another interpretation of this drawing is that the lifeless tree symbolizes a person’s mind. The shape of the tree is almost molded like a human brain, it seems soft and squishy. Also there are a many words written in the blobs almost like the human mind thinking about different things. Think of it as a person growing in a harsh environment, which is the barren ground where the tree gets very little water from. This is the root of the tree/person where there were many obstacles already surrounded the person. And yet this tree/person struggles to grow with all the source that they have which is the small amount of water and sunshine. Knowing that the tree is shaped like a human brain, the person’s brain is covered with different blobs with words in them with the colors green, blue, red and yellow. But yet the colors is shaded over by the darkness of the black which can symbolize that the person is unhappy or depress with the way things are going in their life that it’s slowly taking over the good memories. This signifies that the person is changing, which is into the dead tree. But within the tree or the persons mind there is something that lights it up. It is the yellow blobs that pop in the tree. The first thing that Phillip draws the attention to is the brightest color on the page, which is the yellow. The yellow represents hope. In this person’s mind springs out a feeling of hope, the yellow is the only thing alive in this picture it is the “flower” in the barren garden that the text talks about.

On the trunk of the tree says Chapter XIX, this could possibly be the title of the picture because the tree represents life. It could possibly mean the beginning of a new chapter where a person who went through many downfalls has strength and hope to move on because they see that there is something there to hold on to. And that’s why Phillip suggests that in any person’s life there is always hope even through the bad by the various color, shading, shape and text of the composition.

Emily T 6 said...


On page 208 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips suggests that the longing for the one you love can be a painful and uncertain process. This is suggested through the words that Tom Phillips chose to use in the picture and the colors that he used. The colors and the way the author displays these colors places emphasize the true meaning of the words.

Through the words you can get a sense of what the character is feeling and the colors capture the emotion. The words are placed in a cluster towards the middle of the page. Another sentence is placed at the bottom of the page. This sentence is unlike the cluster above. The background in not as clear as the cluster and the sentence is underlined in red. The fact that this sentence is at the very bottom and the words are underlined can exemplify importance that the sentence has. The picture focuses on three main colors red, yellow, and blue. The blue is a dark, navy color. The yellow is a dull yellow. The red is a deep red almost like a maroon color. The deeper shades of the colors shows that possibly the emotions are sad or worried some. Towards the last sentence on the page the color changes. The red runs into the yellow given it an orange look and the blue seems darker. The red surrounding the word “sheets” turns into a brownish color. There are also blue dots above the cluster of writing and below the cluster of writing. They are thick blue dots none of the dots are perfectly circular. The texture of the paper has a wavy look to it. It could be seen similar to ocean waves. This could represent uncertainty or conflict within the painting.

Within the painting there is two faces that are blurred towards the upper left side of the paper. One face can be seen more clearly than the other. This face is stretched out in an awkward manner making it look longer and wider. The expression upon the face is shocked. The face looks like ghost, the face that is directly next to it is harder to see. This face looks angry. It is more detailed than the other making it easier to pinpoint the eyes, mouth, and nose. Underneath the cluster of words there is a darker blue circle. This circle looks like an eye. It gives the impression that someone is watching very intently. There looks like there is an eyebrow shaped figure about the eye as well.

The painting has a distinct split in the page. The split is mostly evident through the cluster of words. This split makes some of the words in the middle hard to read. The split could symbolize how the character is feeling or a split between characters.

It is evident through the words portrayed within the painting that there is conflict or sad emotions between two characters. “He saw her as he turned,” indicates that there is a conflict between a man and a woman. “How heavy his hand would feel” shows that this man is feeling unable to move in the presence of this woman. He is possible struggling to motion towards this woman. The heaviness in his hands that he is feeling is represented in the painting through the blue dots above these words. These blue dots are like heavy raindrops holding this man back from seeking this woman. There is tension between the man and the women “between them laden so he felt—naked” The man has uncertainties about this women and these uncertainties are weighing on his mind and making him feel insecure. The mixture of emotions he his feeling is represented in the colors. The color yellow represents his happiness towards the woman’s presence and the fact that her presence freezes his reactions. Yet the blue represents the sadness in his inability to feel certain about this woman. The red represents the love that the man has for this woman. Yet surrounding these words the red is not a prominent as the yellow and blue showing that the love is far off from his mind. That possible he is unable to obtain the full love he has for these women at this time. The face that is showing a shocked emotion represents the man that is shocked at the woman’s presence. The ghostly looking face could be his ego trying to push him away from the woman because he feels uncertainty surrounding her.

The last sentence on the painting is isolated from the rest of the words. “Everything has an air of beillest reason” this shows that the emotions that this man is feeling are occurring for a serious reason. The final word on the painting is “sheets”. This could represent the idea of the sheets of rain that the blue dots represent falling. This sheet of rain is the reason why he is being held back. In order for this man to make it past he must survive the sheets of rain. The rain could represent other individuals that are holding him back from achieving what he truly wants with this woman.

Tom Philips is able to represent ones struggle to find certainty in a loved one through colors and shapes to represent feelings. Through his limited selection of words and his vibrant colors he is able to represent the sadness one feels while trying to be with the one they love.

Kevin Tr . 5. said...

"Page 146 CHYEAHHH

Vision, mystery, and emotion are created uniquely through the moody colors and geometric shapes seen afar and up close. Color abstractly sets up a certain feeling and emotion that attracts the human eye closer. Love is held captive. A circle is forever. The emotions of love and compassion are forever captured and lost through Tom Phillip’s beautiful Humument.

At first glance, the first thing possibly noticed is the large deep sea blue spherical object with a blood colored blot. The dark blue gives off a feeling of loneliness because of the dimmed aquatic shade that gives a nostalgic remembrance of the vast empty ocean. This moody color encompasses any exuberant emotion that the brighter lower background shade attempts to release. The lower lighter shade of sky blue highly contrasts the dark ocean blue as the ocean blue gives a feeling of loneliness while the sky blue symbolizes a brighter mood of freedom and prosperity.

The stitches of darkness surrounding the sphere lets the viewer focus in on the events within the sphere. The chilling colors of the dim icy blue contrasts the fiery red colored blot. The dark red color within the sphere symbolizes the love or compassion once had by “Julie” before she slowly “grew cold”. This rose red compassionate color is surrounded by the feelings of loneliness and depression expressed from the surrounding darkness. A sphere has no breaks in its lines and trying to chase a circles end is never-ending. As with love, or heartbreak, the feeling of love is infinite and has no boundaries that anything could be compared to. A circle has no break or cranny that shows escape to anything that it encircles. The rose red blot is completely surrounded by darks strokes that form a circle. This darkness conceals and almost swallows the color red, symbolizing love. Love is forever captured and preserved in the encompassing darkness.

In a broad perspective, many things are circular and round. Describing the darkness in and surrounding the sphere in the painting brings to mind the fluorescent moon. The moon is bright and full of light, yet it is engulfed by the clouding night sky. The Greeks connected the brightness of the moon to the purity of a woman with a single goddess. Diana is the Greek goddess of chastity, and the moon. The moon looks to be a solid color as does the sphere in the portrait if not for the dirty white and red spots within the sphere. The white and red represent impurities in the sphere that prevent the sphere from being a pure solid blue. Impurities in the sphere link back to Diana, goddess of chastity and moon. The intrusion of colors in the painting’s sphere connects to a tainted moon and in hand represents an impure chastity. The symbolization that a circle is forever ongoing in its own cycle gives birth to the idea that once chastity is violated or has become impure, chastity remains impure.

Chastity can be broken by the everlasting ties of marriage. In marriage, rings are exchanged between two people who promise to forever love each other. Like the sphere, rings are another symbol of everlasting love and prosperity. The circle of a ring goes on forever like the wanted prosperity of marriage. Once married, those in marriage can be seen as very happy people, or people that are tied down by the circular golden ornament. This brings to light a truth of a ring. It is a form of confinement. The circle is a prison of it’s own Of course, human society knows that marriage is a sacred event, but for some couples love is not easily maintainable. Though marriage is a rather binding agreement between partners, the ties of marriage have been broken before. There is a light white line that creates a rift in the Humument. A rift in this document can symbolize the separation of marriage, or perhaps the For love’s sake, and for the sake of marriage, the rose red color may look and act as a flower, a flower with obstacles to overcome, the white blots, and growing stronger from the insecurities of not knowing what is to come in marriage.

The white rift that goes diagonally through “English poets” showing the rift in art and poetry Tom Phillip helps create. “English poets treated Nature” can represent the commitment artists and poets do towards their work. “Nature” is both the artists’ field of work, their skills, and the art produced by the artists themselves.
Art itself is a never-ending flow of ideas and creativity. Though, like the colors from top to bottom, if unpracticed or untouched, the culture of art can slowly fade away. Sticking the first and the last phrases together creates “English poets grew cold.” They grew cold because some art, like many other things, doesn’t last as long as others. Though, some art leave a last impression that is remembered eternally through its viewers and audience. Art, like a sphere, always remains alive and intact. Art exists everywhere in nature and society. Love itself is an art. Like everything else in history, art also has ups and downs. Rifts in the artist movement can cause new ideas to bloom bright red and take root in a society full of blue believers.

Derek D5 said...


On page 210 of Tom Philips’ A Humumet, Philips creates an image that can be viewed as a representation of the human mind and is demonstrating the separation between the mind and physical body. Philips mainly uses hues of purple and red to demonstrate the stark differences between the mind and the body. This difference is most evident due to the fact that reds are commonly considered warm colors and purple is attributed to a cooler shade. The text selected by Philips also reflects different aspect of the characters consciousness, ranging from his recent memories, to observations, to regret.

Philips begins his piece with two lines of text that state, “at the time arranged, abandon all”. The placement of the phrase is very significant; the first line is placed in a white box and appears to float above the rest of the image. If the entire piece is viewed as a persons mind then the placement of the phrase is a more recent memory, similar to an actual reminder to whoever is the owner of this mind. The fact that there is an appointed time to abandon everything is symbolic that owner of this consciousness is aware of when he shall have to abandon all. This abandonment can be linked directly to some outside force that Philips intentionally left out of the script. Philips does not reveal this outside influence because this Humument deals directly with only what can be found in the mind.

Philips’ character continues to descend deeper into his mind. Farther into the piece there is a line that clearly exhibits an extension of the first line. “he at once drove off to the dim regions of Bloon”, Philips specifically wrote this memory in the third person. Which can be viewed as the mind observing the bodies actions from a separate, critical position. This idea of a detached consciousness is similar to an objective overview of past choices. In other words, the character is looking over recent memories and is trying to understand what has happened.

Philips has his character shift from a physical observation to a more abstract statement. The character states “he had found the loss of all events, he was, he knew, heavy for ever”. This excerpt signifies the character delving deeper into his own memory. By finding the “loss of all events” means that the character had to have been searching for something. Since the placement of the phrase is near the middle of the piece, the character is searching through his own memories. The phrase heavy for ever, refers to the feelings the character has when he thinks back on his past. Something in this character’s past is weighing him down, whether or not it is sorrow that makes the character heavy is not revealed by Philips, in order to provoke thought while viewing this humument.

At one point the character in this humument, reaches what he refers to as a “condemned cell”. Philips uses this image of a cell to represent the trapped feelings the character has. All this time the character has been looking over his memories and has realized that he is literally trapped. He can not go back to change the past, but his current state is caused by his unchangeable past. Philips also uses the word cell to create an image of captivity. The character is trapped in his situation and can not escape no matter what he tries.

Philips refers to his character’s realization as a “dirty passage”. Philips uses this particular phrasing to make it very clear that the character is ashamed of his path. This is not a physical path but more of a road created out of the characters memories. It is also possible that Philips is punning on the word passage. The word itself could mean either a pathway or it could be used to mean a passage out of a story. If Philips intended that the term be used as a reference to a story rather then a pathway then the idea of a dirty passage, refers more to one moment that the character is ashamed off.

The next line in Philips’ humument deals with the character remembering peaceful images of a lake and of starlight. The placement of this line is near the bottom of the piece which would mean that the memory is from a distant time. At this point the character is trapped in a very dark situation which was brought about by his own choices. Philips wants the reader to think about why the character is thinking about starlight and water. The starlight is a reference to clarity. The character wants to see his past clearly and understand what he did wrong; while the lake image is a symbol of peace. Not only does the character want to understand his mistake, he wants to be at peace with the outcome.

The final line in Philips humument says “both realities, once”. Philips ends his humument with these lines to symbolize that through out this entire piece the character has existed in two realities. A physical reality which is dealt entirely with outside influences, and the other is a more ambiguous, mental reality. The piece takes place entirely in the mental state. Philips intended to use the final word, “once” to depict that this is an introspective examination that does not happen often in a persons mind.

Faedhra W 6 said...

“Page 30”

Page 30

On page 30 of Tom Phillips' A Humument, Phillips compares our uncontrollable emotions that we expresses to the different seasons of life because both can be so unpredictable which sometimes leads to the regretful choices that we often make. With its uses of color, Phillips’s parallel work show the power of light and dark, summer and winter, the sun and the moon, sane and insane, and cold and hot. Phillips demonstrates it is only when an individual take his time to think, when he does not react by emotions that they can clearly see what the world has to offer.

To began, the first thing that struck me is the parallel style that exists in Phillips’ work. He diagonally divided his work by is uses of color. In the bright side, there are different uses of yellow which represent the color that is evoke by light, by the sun. From the right top to the bottom corner will be found Indian yellow, chrome yellow, gamboges, cadmium yellow, cadmium orange and rust. All of these lights, color represent different emotions that are not easily manage which make it extremely hard for individuals to use common sense. In the bright morning, Phillip’s explains that in a young man name Jackson goes home in July. July is the warmest month of the northern hemisphere for Phillip purposely chooses this moth to show how sometimes the heat plays in the emotions of individuals. To continue, Phillips explains that Jackson sees himself as “wing-room love poet” who is how every man and women let themselves empower by lust and butterfly in their stomach. Suddenly they are turn into “poet”, they want to express themselves. Man are turned into dreamer, they have let lust take over their life. Every action that are made, their every line or their every thought is about women. As we go down, the light, the brightness starts to fade. The color is as pale as the opposite color. As the heat diminuend, Phillip shows that is when that Julian was noticing what was happening to him. “Julian in poetry nitzs- My dear” he stated surprisingly.

As I look closely at the shape of the right piece of Phillip work, I notice how unbalance, chaotic the outskirts of that side of his work. Many cuts and holes can be found which in other words explains what have become of men in distress. Their life has become disorderly, uncontrollable, and antisocial since they have became blinded by the light, the heat of the sun. In that period of time, the period of love, of emotions men have became weak.

To continue, the other side of piece of work, the color is very pale, the color gray represents tranquility, calm and stillness, the opposition of disorder. Comparing to the opposite work it is more clean, and pure. Phillip shows that the mind of the man has become saner for it is ability to control its thoughts. In other to control what is revolving around him he must behaves like a brick, or like a moon which is clarifying the way for the world but does not show any emotions. This kind of life is a balance life since gray is not either black or white but a shade between those two colors.

The Character is able to think more clearly about “stuff” and acting like a “love-poets”. By living this kind of life, one is able to process his or her thoughts. Viewers can see that the mind of the individual is more rested because they are able o reflect to their past and noticed that they are “tired of ming eyes glasses.” Phillip wants to show that it is it minds that plays an important role on the decision of men. The mind is the stream of consciousness and it is manifested as the combinations of ones thoughts, perception, emotions and imagination.

The border of this work and as a whole demonstrates stability, contrary to the opposite side of the Phillip piece of work. Phillips through art and poetry is able to send a message to the world about the ability and the power of the mind of an individual. It is up to them to decide whether they will remains blinded or whether they will try to learn to control their life.

Natalia A5 said...


On page 131 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips creates this peaceful image, transmitting hope and courage to the ones who have given up and life to the ones who live in the darkness. The first images that catches the eye on this page are, what appears to be, three butterflies. These three butterflies are not drawn with the exact form of the insect but later on when reading the poem, the word “moth” is a hint towards what the images are. Phillips uses pastel colors for each butterfly, such as red/pink, green, and yellow. These colors give the butterflies a calm, almost peaceful appearance. A thin black outline surrounds each butterfly, except for the yellow one. It looks as if the outline were a wall, preventing them from coming out. The yellow butterfly, on the other hand, seems to be breaking that ‘wall’ or outline, like it were setting itself free.

These small details are accompanied by the words that Phillips uses on the Humument. Phillips starts by saying, “hamed of your derness terness” which at first appear to be unknown words that were thrown together in a phrase, but with no intention of creating a meaning. After reading it a couple times, it seems as if what Phillips really meant to say was “ashamed of your…” Then he writes, “You have made my moth fect her soul.” Combining these two phrases, or thoughts, together, Phillips explains how by hiding, or being ashamed of who you are will ‘infect’ your soul; or in other words it will kill you inside. Phillips uses the moth which turns into a butterfly to symbolize freedom. He demonstrates how a moth will be infected or hurt if it keeps itself trapped and afraid to open up. These words describe the picture of the red/pink butterfly with the outline surrounding it. The color he uses on the butterfly can be symbolized as feelings of anger or of embarrassment, going back to where Phillips used the word ‘hamed’ or “ashamed.” The outline can also be symbolized as the butterfly’s shadow. Phillips uses the words “from her shades” to describe the outline.

The other words that are written more towards the end of the page are used to describe the yellow butterfly. This is so because of the position in which Phillips drew the butterfly and wrote the phrases. On the top of the paper, the first phrases are written beside the red/pink butterfly. Then on the middle of the page, the next few phrases are written beside the yellow butterfly. This same pattern also happens with the last butterfly, which is not entirely drawn, but still shows half of it’s body on the bottom right corner of the page.

The yellow butterfly, unlike the other, does not have an outline that completely surrounds itself. It has a gap in the middle, where the both ends do not connect, but instead they make an opening, almost as if the butterfly was breaking through it. The color of the butterfly, yellow, symbolizes the sun, which in many cases is a symbol of life. The words that accompany this butterfly’s action are “that Moth Great simple life simple life.” These words explain how simple life could be if we break through that wall or when we stop hiding in the shadow. A butterfly itself is a symbol of liberty and happiness; so in order for the happiness to take its place its necessary to overcome the obstacles, or these walls, as the yellow butterfly did.

The last words on the page are, “And one only- my soul children out My been and suffering moth.” These words are accompanied by the green butterfly, which appears to be leaving because it was only half drawn. The words describe how at last all the suffering and pain will leave once you step up and out of the shadow. Phillips uses the word children to symbolize hope. Children are usually looked at as a signal that there’s still hope. Adults look up to the children, hoping that they will be the ones to make a difference.

Analyzing the page closely, the three butterflies also appear to be the signal lights. The red is a sign for you to stop and analyze everything around you deciding whether you should make a change, the yellow is a sign for you to cautiously make your choices, and the green is a sign for you to go and not be scared to step out of the ‘outline’ and start over.

Edmund H5 said...
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Edmund H5 said...
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Edmund H5 said...
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Edmund H5 said...

Page 304

On page 304 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips suggests that men solicit favors to a woman in order to court them but they will solicit favors to many a women by gifting them with elaborate gifts. Philip colors the page with black shadings with the edges being darker than its body of light goldenrod and as he maps out a body of land he encompasses it with words and phrases like water around an island. This island is the representation of men’s continuous journey to court the right woman.

Philip first begins the page by putting into light how moral are the ways men tries to purse women. The passage begins on the upper left side of the page. It starts with, “A Cruise in an Opium Clipper,” which is referencing Captain Lindsay Anderson’s book about the morality of trading Opium to China. This is the author’s way to introduce the reader to question men’s morality of how they try to woo women. By bringing up opium it is expressing the poisonous acts men perform to get what they want. Opium has properties to sooths the mind and emotions which is the way men will try to trick women into giving them what they please. The opium clipper is a ship that is used to transport opium over seas and for a man sailing on this boat leads one to question his morality to allow the trade of poison. Despite the British knowing opium is very addictive they kept on trading poison to get into the ports of China, just as men will do the same to get into the ports of women.

As the lines cruises above to the page it begins to describe male conquest as a long but adventurous journey. The description is addressed on top of the page where he writes, “Ten years travel.” The specified amount of years is to stress how long a male’s sexual conquest takes for them to find a settlement, which in this case is a woman. The whole process of a male selecting its mate is a, “sport in foreign lands.” The choice of word the author uses to explain the process is by sport. When a person sports they are performing an athletic activity to amuse themselves but in context it means performing a sexual act because it requires vigorous effort to perform this activity with the mystique of the female body.

Philips creates a lake where “Toge” follows a path to “soften…” a woman’s, “heart.” The line introduces the behavior of what Toge does to try to win the heart of a woman. This leads to more words surrounding Philips’ drawing. He takes her to “breakfasts luncheons and ball suppers,” which are display of his affection and it demonstrates men’s efforts to try to buy their way through to their lady with food. The first method to court a woman uses food as a sensual tool to arouse the senses of a woman. However if the first method doesn’t succeed men will try to appeal to a woman’s material desires by, “precious stones” of diamonds and gems. These acts are poisonous as described by the image that one can see in the window of pitch darkness. At close inspection a skull lies at the center of the framework, which is a symbol of poison and death. The window also has the skull lodged within a heart and the red surrounding it is spreading to other parts of the heart which is the heart being filled up with the acts of lustful men.

The chase of wooing women is a man’s, “marine engines and boilers.” Marine engines describe the driving force of men to woo women and as they woo other women their blood boils like a boiler that heat up water. The boiling describes men’s intense heat and passion when they spot an attractive mate as well as the blood that rushes to their sexual organ to allow it become erect. The process of wooing is only understood by a select few as described by “esoteric Buddhism.” Buddhism main principle is that desire causes suffering and that the whole process is repeated if a male has not realized their actions, “karma.” It explains that good deeds are the way to win a woman’s heart and not through food or material affections.

This is the end of the journey and where the words begin to repeat itself. The words traces around the drawing symbolizing the eternal cruising of the sea to woo a woman’s love. The drawing is an island that is colored in light goldenrod and separating it from the sea of words is a border colored in the dark shades of black. Along with a dark window located near the center of the land representing the deeds one has done to gain the chastity of a woman.

In conclusion Philips’ encompass image of words portrays the male behavior as eternal. It cannot be broken until lessons are learned from the past to find the proper way to court a woman because material gifts are nothing more than getting women addicted to poison acts of lust.

Mr. G said...

It is the morning after the assignment was due...just making a note for myself.

Emily R 6 said...

Page 56

On page Page 56 of Tom Phillips' A Humument, Phillips shows through words and color, the authority and power that is obtained through religion and the opposition of fantasy in the Roman Catholic Church. At first glance, one may attain feelings of passion and love from the image. The deep blood red and light pinks and other shades of red would make one acquire feelings of love. However, red has another meaning. The colors seep from and off white- fleshy tone at the top of the page to a deep red at the bottom, causing the image to appear more intense towards the base. There are splashes of light colors throughout the dark red. From about a quarter down from the top of the page, towards the right side of the image is a strip of dots. The strip of dots looks similar to a long star constellation, only the dots are black.

The diction on the image is choppy and broken. Words relative to religion are brought up many times throughout. The word “sceptre” represents a staff, which could have biblical reference. Sceptres are a representation of power, just as Moses’ staff held the power of God. In the middle of the image, power through religion is shown through, “a cardinal simpered super”. A “cardinal” is a high ranking member of the Roman Catholic Church. The cardinal described in this passage is said to have had the presence of being “super”. This superiority is brought on from the title of cardinal.

The word “between” is shown twice on the image. This word is representing the split between fantasy and religion. By following the words one may read “the little dwarf, who might have been kissing something”. This “dwarf” represents a fantasy character. Roman Catholics have strict beliefs against believing in fantasy or imaginary beings. Also, the Roman Catholic Church also are strong believers of abstinence. The dwarf is “kissing something” which is why it says in the image the dwarf is “behind him”. “Him” could be a reference to God, since he can be referenced to in this way. “Him” is judging the dwarf.

At the bottom of the page, there are more broken sentences. If one reads it as, “nice-/ To-night/ the shape of the priest/ I must go farther than usual”, one can see the reference to religion again. The narrator could be referencing the priest when he says “I must go farther than usual”. The priest is a representation of God, therefore one must “go farther” for the priest to impress God.

The vivid red on the image is a representation of the power and passion of believers. People such as the “cardinal” or the “priest”. Red is bold, a primary color, just as God is the primary being in all Roman Catholics life. The black dots are a representation of premarital sex, shown through the dwarf kissing, and fanatical beings. They are a smear on the Churches’ beliefs.

CasieS P5 said...

PAGE 264

On page 264 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips suggests that time and patience will evolve happiness. People want instant gratification in everything they do, especially the pursuit of love, or happiness. The narrator of this painting creates a relationship between love and happiness, and implies that love is followed after happiness. The narrator implies that people never love something or someone until they are happy with it and are able to have experiences with it that they enjoy. The feeling or idea of happiness is not physical, however something mental, simply in ones mind.

In this painting the use of colors and brush strokes creates an organized however hectic image. The painting is representing a forest, bright greens, and yellows. However deeper into the forest the darker the colors become. This may be for the simple illusion of depth. However this could also symbolize the mystery and blindness that a lost soul may find their selves avoiding. The darkness of the forest represents the woman that is being pursued by the narrator. The green represents the “hope” that the narrator has for the woman to love him. At a first glance at this painting the audience’s eyes are drawn to the tree in the center of the painting and then defused out through out the entire painting. Phillips uses brush strokes that are unique and delicate which are small and thin this creates some confusing, which provides the audience to notice the stable solid words written on the painting.

Phillips describes the narrator by implying that he is dressed for love, or the action to love. “Toge and amour” is describing the physical outfit that the narrator is wearing the correct clothing for a special occasion, and the occasion is love. The audience can interpret this painting in many different ways, which is exactly the purpose of art, in novels, paintings, and sculptures. The narrator is waiting and hoping day after day for a response from the women. And everyday the narrator is being disappointed with no response. She avoided this narrator, symbolizing that she avoids love and has no pursuit of love. This painting can relate to high school student waiting for an admissions letter from the college that they want to be involved in. Waiting day after day for that answer, with the hope, if the student is sure of himself or herself like the narrator waiting for the women they might be disappointed with being turned down. This painting can relate to anyone who is waiting patiently for a positive answer from someone or something and the challenge of contemplating whether this desire is worth the struggle or not.

Finally, one morning the narrator hears a voice from the forest and is still dressed for the occasion. “Have you got your hat of happiness” says the women from the forest with a soft voice. Taken sarcastically this woman has disappointed the narrator again. This women is smarter than the narrator because she knows that happiness is not within the correct out fit or attempt of a good impression, however in the mind. This “hat” is worn on a head, inside that head is where the happiness is held, not in the hat. However this could be considered as flirting from the women from within the forest, her own way of asking if he is happy now that she has said something to him.

Living life waiting for that “special occasion” or that “special love” from inside the forest can be disappointing. The authors purpose is to live life with a “hat of happiness”, always believe in happiness, that way when people are let down and forgotten by something or someone they will still be happy with their “hat of happiness” or they will still be happy in their mind. Where is happiness but within the mind? Not within the clothing one wears, within the impressions one make to another, however simply within the head of an artist in a happy state of mind.

Erika R. 6 said...


Page 203

On page 203 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips communicates a sense of hate, loss of human warmth, and a lack of compassion by using a series of dark and smoky colors, and a series of words which have an angry tone and an image of flames burning everything they touch. Phillips creates an allusion to hell, through which the viewer sees a world full of antipathy and selfishness which can only be thought of being hell. At the same time Phillips creates an allusion to a force from heaven or goodness that fights against the darker forces of hell.

The idea of the picture being translated into meaning hell comes to mind after looking at the bottom of the picture which is a box with a very dark black color. This dark base at the bottom of the drawing signifies the darkness of hell, which is usually thought of as being under the ground. When one thinks of hell, the first thing that comes to mind is darkness, and along with it the feeling of hotness and fire that burns the souls that end up in there.

In order to create this scene of hell, Phillips then draws a type of yellow flames that come out from the dark bottom and that seem to elevate as if they wanted to reach up for more, perhaps for more souls where they can spread this dark and malicious force. On the other hand, Phillips draws an semi-oval right on top of the dark base from which some of the flames seem to be emanating with the words “by the Furies” written in it. The word “Furies” is here written with a capital F, which transmits a feeling of strong anger, which hell is expulsing from it along with the flames.

The flames that continue to elevate carry other words like “bitterness,” “banish,” “harder,” “bitter,” “hate,” and “spurn.” All of these words can only proceed from a place which is called hell. Phillips implies that from hell all of these types of feelings are being thrown up to the Earth. Feelings of hate and bitterness are the only thing that can be felt in this place. Every soul that is paying for something they did wrong on Earth can only feel hate while burning up in that place.

Phillips also describes, at the very top of the page, someone “whose hands glistened with rings, and his nose, suggested finance and Israel.” This person with shining hands appear as a figure of God, and the fact that the phrase describing it is at the very top and high up on the page suggests that above that darkness there is one that also rules the lighter part of the drawing which signifies the Earth or perhaps Heaven. Phillips then creates the allusion of a fight going on between the two worlds, each one having a different protector of the ones being on the two different worlds, which could be said to be divided as good ones in the top, and evil ones on the bottom.

By using the words “finance and Israel,” Phillips lets the viewer know that the one he is describing is Jesus Christ, the God of the Jewish, who was a descendent of a Jewish family and how came to “finance,” or assist spiritually and save the ones who believed in him, and he lived in Israel. When making this connection is when the drawing starts being looked at as the battled mention before between the good and the evil ones.

By describing this God as having hands that “glistened with rings,” Phillips shows the power that it possesses, while describing the power of the forces from the bottom with flames and fire. The smoke that elevates to the top of the drawing appears with a darker black color in some parts and with a lighter brown color in other parts. This detail also implies the battle between the two forces and how they both kind of mix in the war they are fight for the winning of souls.

In conclusion, Phillips purpose of this painting is to create a scene where two forces are described, the force of the goodness and the force of the evil. He creates this meaning by using different types of dark colors with which he makes a significant difference of the two worlds, always giving a lighter tone to the colors used in the top of the page and a very dark black color to the bottom.

Shaun N 5 said...


Period 5

Page 25

The first thing that is immediately noticeable on page 25 of the Humument is the word “logical” encircled in a blue orb at the top of the page. Surrounding the orb are what appear to be red flames, as in a fire or emulating as rays from a sun. Looking at the red licks of fire, the eye is drawn, almost upon instinct, back to the blue orb holding that single word, “logical,” highest on the page. Despite its blue color, one is inclined to believe that the orb is symbolic of a sun, and that the red flames are indeed representative of rays. However, the blue in the orb makes it out to be similar to Earth, and so the image of a sun and Earth is seemingly used interchangeably, giving light to the idea that life is the highest light, that the will to live is brighter than all else.

But there is still the word “logical.” Traveling further down the page, to where the red flames come to an end, the first complete thought of text is highlighted: “maintain this--that man is only human because of his longing.” The argument is that love, man’s “longing,” is the most important factor of life, of survival. Seemingly, love is the only factor contributing to the humanity of man. But a question that arises is why this statement is in the middle of the page and not elsewhere, for example: at the top of the page, where the word “logical” sits within that blue globe, amidst a blaze of red. Perhaps it is because the artist is unsure of the answer, of the true nature of man. Perhaps it is not an intentional placement, but this seems rather unlikely due to the exactness of the Earth/sun, centered and burning curiosity from any eye that might rest upon this page.

The next complete thought comes only after a phase of black. The meaning of this is unclear but may soon be uncovered. The text reads: “this--that lite has lost all its hopes, and death none of its.” “Lite,” in this context, can also be taken for “life” as it is compared to death in the second part. Assuming that “and death none of its” continues “and death none of its [hopes],” (and this is probably so due to the comparisons between the ideas presented before and after the comma) the complete idea would translate to: Life is hopeless, and death is promising. Of course, this message is rather bleak and unfulfilling, especially when put in context with the rest of the page. So it is safe to conclude in a parallel direction that, when further translated, the words would evolve to read: A fear of death in all hopes can regenerate a passion for life and a will for existence.

The bottom of page 25 from the Humument contains no words, just a filling of green. Looking at this in comparison to the rest of the picture, it seems almost as if the eye had been led in a circle. Along with blue, green can also be considered a color symbolizing Earth if not, more-so. Blue would symbolize the water and green would be a symbol for grass and vegetation. It only makes sense now to move back up the page, starting at the bottom in the green. The first thing that comes to mind is birth and the beginning of life; green is innocence. Second, after text, comes the darkness, or death. The last part of the page is the fire and the ultimate destination, once again, Earth; water (perhaps suggestion an afterlife or even reincarnation). But this is only when looking at the page in chronological orders, assuming that there are steps toward a final resolution.

Indeed, what the pictures and words within the page truly symbolize are the things that are most important life. They are what make human beings who they are, and separate us from animals. Of course, the one thing that is most common among all living organisms is the “logical” aspect of things. These would be the need to eat, the need for safety and, finally, the need to love and be loved, the “longing.” To go through life without being logical would be an absent minded senseless feat. Therefore, it is the rays around the orb that encircles the word “logical” that symbolize the underlying message burning through this page, and it is best summed up with the few words brought to attention: “maintain this--that man is only human because of his longing.”

Stephanie P. 5 said...
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Stephanie P. 5 said...


There are good sides and bad sides to everything. There are good sides and bad sides to a story, an item, and to life in general. Life is confusing in this way but most humans would say that there is more good than bad or otherwise there would be more suicides, murders, and hatred between one another. In The Humument on page 155 Tom Phillips that life has it’s ups and down; parts of life are good but there are parts that humans can consider as bad even horrible. Phillips uses the contrast of the colors, the plants, word choice and style of painting, which is gouache, to do this.

Plants are a necessity. The provide food, oxygen, wood, paper and lots of other things that society today calls important. Phillips uses the trees as a symbol for life. Plants grow, wither away and then leave their seeds. Human life cycles almost parallel the plant life cycle.

One of the first things a person observing page 155 in The Humument is the contrast. The first half of the page is dark but the rest is bright. Contrast is used in art to make the picture or whatever is trying to be created clearer. The top is a forest made of different shades of green brown and specks of red; all of them are mostly dark. The forest is often times associated with darkness; attacks happen there, scary animals in habit forest, and there is no straight paths or clear walkways. What consumes most of the painting is the bright colors on the bottom and the sky blue. When a person is in the forest it can be difficult to see what is above or around you but in a field lighted up by the day it’s possible. The painting is symbolic of life at times it can be a clear field and at other times humans can enter a dark part in their lives, like a forest in which it can be difficult to actually reach the other end.

In the painting, on the right, “In the New World” is written. Now the New World is America and when the British came to American it was considered good but on the other hand it was a horrible time for lots of people. There were new diseases and Native Americans were persecuted and pilgrims had a difficult time adjusting to the New World. On the left, it says, “inspect the forest for hands and needles”. Hands are usually associated with help. People use phrases as like “Give a helping hand”. Needles are something different they hurt when touched and not soft at all. Phillips uses the hands and needle to show how that in life people have to have discernment to see where the danger is and where the help is. Close to the middle of the painting it is written, “Toge slim children eat pale daffodils”. This goes along with the New World. The New World was something that people anticipated to be a good thing but in the beginning is was difficult. Skinny children eating things that won’t make their situations any better. Phillips uses this to show the viewer how bad life can be. It bring this visual that children are eating at thier own lives. Phillips show this all in his painting

Nina F 6 said...

On page 123 of Tom Phillips’ a Humument, Phillips suggests that with knowledge and art one can free themselves from the past by being able to grow and become a new creation. In the end the things that may really matter are the things that were once important but have been forgotten.

The first thing that is eye catching in this visual is the butterfly on the top of the picture. While looking at this butterfly, it shows that Phillips is trying to evoke that idea of freedom. Butterflies naturally fly around the sky while it is warm out. The strange things about this butterfly is that it’s wings are larger then its body and shaped like side ways hearts and Phillips suggests that the passion that someone may have for art or knowledge is bigger then the passion of a constant thing. Butterflies are also viewed as beautiful creatures and beautiful creations, as is art. The butterfly has reddish brown pokka dots inside the wings, looking at it and looking at the transparency of the wings shows the pokka dots more. The importance of the pokka dots are not only to make the butterfly beautiful but to show the true color of this butterfly. Phillips is suggesting that as humans there is a need to show our true colors and not hide who we really are. The reddish-brown color symbolizes the passion and productivity, Phillips shows that as a creator there has to be passion behind the things that are being done. Around the butterfly the scenery is sea foam green, the top of the sea foam green part looks like the leaves of a tree. The green may symbolize liberty, and since Phillips uses this the trees may also symbolize birth. So these two concepts together could mean the birth of liberty as an artist. Also it looks as if the butterfly is flying away from the things that are going on in the bottom of the picture as a sense of freedom and liberty from the things that were keeping then captive.

Going down this picture the words “Poetry, drawing, music, knowledge- I tried them all.” are separating the two sections. Looking closer to these words, they all help in expressing the way one feels about something. As a result of this it is a way to stay away from the things that are keeping them captive. When Phillips writes “I tried them all” Phillips suggests that he has resorted to every option but he hasn’t found a way out. As the words go down the words become detached from the previous passage. Phillips shows that the thoughts between these two passages are different, the emotion of each are different. Further down Phillip writes, “I began to read books of meaning” this shows that he began to read things that were meaningful and less pointless. Also it shows that growing up there is the ability to become a new creation. The words being all about art shows that art is able to create a new person. The words are all positioned in a way that creates a zigzag effect. This suggests the idea of not being stable or having the high points then low points. The outlines of the words are bumpy and somewhat crazy, and Phillips may be suggesting that the art of words and music is as crazy as life is and have turns and tosses that may be unexpected. On the left side Phillips writes, “Buried philosophy” this is lower on the picture and this shows that this was the thoughts that were going through his mind before the transformation. In the past he may have thought that knowledge wasn’t as important and it is to him now. Then he writes, “mere nonsense” and Phillips suggests that the things he that were important to him before are not really all that important anymore because they were all nonsense.

The bottom half of the visual is grey and pink. While looking at the picture I found that the bottom rectangle looked a closet or something that keeps things captive. There is a border around the rectangle which makes it seem locked in. The color grey may symbolize the idea of being unsure and not quite knowing what is truly wanted. Also looking from top to bottom it looks as if the top which is birth and the bottom which is the past, it shows that the birth on top is trying to defeat the past by being superior. The colors not only evoke the idea of becoming a new creation and it shows the growth of passion and the willingness to change for something that he is passionate about.

Philips on page 123 shows that with knowledge and art there is an ability to free the person from the past and grow up and become a new creation. The things that were once forgotten because important again.

Chris O5 said...

Page 326
On page 326 of Tom, Phillips Phillips’ Humument creates a picture that is worth a thousand words by using his writing and his creative ideas of taken away a majority of the words that he saw had a story and meaning. He then took the words that seem to send a message that one can relate to and understand. The author colored everything and a dark and gloomy color; it could have been portrayed as the life of someone in the world who is seeing the world. I found it interesting that he seem to color just about everything but the outside of the painting as to almost create a frame but in the shape of a certain shape. A person is blind and in full of darkness but not always is a person consumed by darkness even if there is a glimmer of light left in people. Tom Phillips could have the intention that he is telling a full story even with the little lines that he has left not engulfed by the darkness and corruption of the world. The shaded area seems interesting to the idea of corruption because the dark gloomy area could be interpreted in as a flame. A fire could be a dangerous but also beneficial attribute because fire can destroy anything that is surrounding it but also it can create because once it destroys it has the ability to create and have a new life come in to the world. The author made me think in the beginning of life such as the painting everything is pure and has no corruption but as time progresses we as people are influenced by our surroundings. As time passes a life then they are slowly being corrupted and as one is in the time of parties and where anything is possible a person is corrupted. It seem like it is the best time that we are able to understand the world and everything that is going on around us. It was interesting that at the top of the picture the words are legible but they are not as dark or easy to read as the part that is a bit darker. In the center of the painting is the darkest part of the entire painting but it has three orbs that are white and have writing that has a meaning behind it. At the bottom of the painting and the story that he was writing it seem like it was being erased and it could be represented just like the life of a person. The title caught eye and I thought it was interesting that he decided to go with the title of The Human Document because it could be a great deal of help to get a better understanding of the message that the painter was trying to portray in the painting. The title also helps getting a better understanding of the words that were being said in the orbs in the painting and how it could be related to the life of another human being.

It appeared interesting how he left three orbs in the painting as well with the and how they are being shaded differently in a plaid form. The orbs could possibly represent the idea of how people live three parts of their lives; a person is born, they live and we die. In his writing a person can get a better understanding of how the lives of people are being portrayed in the painting. The very first orb first words are portraying a garden. A garden tends to be where something has life but before it is a beautiful garden it must be dead so something can be born. As well though with anything that is born it is being born into a world of corruption. The painter could have also tried to describe as person as soon as they are middle age. The second orb in the painting is leading to a person’s life coming to an end. As the stars start to replace the sun and it’s the end of the day. Also could be representing the life of a person coming to an end. In the last orb the author uses the moon as his final orb and his final words were the ones that he slept. The text could be interpreted as the final stage of a person as he will lie underneath the moon and be in an eternal slumber. The orbs could also be a way to interpret the soul of a person because was customary that a soul of a human being was to be in the shape of an orb. A circle in also never ending and its just like the cycle of human life. Although a human life is limited and it will come to an end and for every life there is a new one that is being born.

It is interesting how the painter placed the orbs among the painting because the way the words were describing the words are just like a setting sun and how the life of a human being is exactly like a human being. They are born it is the highest orb and is like a garden that is being born. Also where is the not a lot of the middle painting and in which the middle orb is located and ones life is just in their prime. The world is being bleak and nothing is very clear. The last orb is talking about the end coming to an end and is at the very bottom of the page. It is located where everything is coming to an end and is ready to make another cycle so a new life can begin. As well it is where the words start to disappear and nothing is visible and it could be at the end of someone’s life. The words and colors that are being used by the painter could be symbolic as a person’s life and the corruption of the world and the way that a person is can and can’t see the world.

Mario R. 5 said...


On Pg 82 of tom Phillips’ Humument, Phillips creates a feeling of gloominess, and bereavement that sets the tone for the small sentence to tell a story. He does this by using dark colors and putting everything in a tiny part the canvas he makes it like you are looking thought a window he puts a royal blue broad to show power knowledge and seriousness. Which sets the tone for the whole picture it’ serious and he wants express he’s knowledge with everyone.

The first that I notice when I saw the painting was the was the words so writing the first sentence was interesting it said happy scenes out of an opera. Reading the first sentence makes that this was a happy picture but when you look at the picture it is dark and the people have a horrified look on their faces. Then I notice on each side of the first sentence are arrows pointing away from the picture, which meant to me that there were happy scenes in the past and there will be some in the future but not here. The next thing that I notice was the dark purple arch the arch is use as a window to see what is going for the person who is watching the show. We learn who is watching from the color of the arch, which is purple with red fading in some places. It kind of looks like a marble counter but in purple and red, the color purple stands for royalty and for people of high standings but because the purple is dark it evokes gloom and sad feelings.

The following thing that caught my eye was the people that were in the middle of the picture there is bunch of people. If you look very closely there is a man with a crown in the front of the picture he is wearing a dirty red shirt these man is arch over like he has a hump on his back now when we king of a king we think of a king we think of a man standing straight up be in on his thrown. We don’t picture him out amongst the people and not slouching. One other the dirty shirt that he is wearing stands for he’s wrath. Also after a closer examination you will see a man on the middle right hand side wearing a back hood as they had done in the medieval times in my understanding he is the executioner.

The next thing that I did was I read the words In the picture the words read “ the small book shed art on springs, art in gold letters on the modern fashionable emerald quadrangular hills each grass scene had its crucifix, Crucifixes were also nailed to trees travelers, pictures birds than painted with the names of each at intervals watch the leaves bubble.” In the words tom Phillip is explaining what is going on with all he’s pictures. He’s saying that the book is made for art not for money that people make art for now. In the rest of the words it seems that Phillip is trying to see that we as a people put are into this show like we did with Jesus we crucible and watch as he died. So he basically saying that were killing art.

The next thing that I saw was the black tree, which was hard to make out. The trees are supposed to be green and full of life but these tree looks like it’s dying. The tree in this picture represents the death of art. The tree is black because black stands for death and mystery. Next if you look at the bottom of the leaves there are parts of dark green and the green is the last life of the tree or art. The dark green stands for ambition the ambition that arts have to keep the life in art.

Overall Phillips had created a feeling of gloominess, and bereavement by using dark colors and small sentences. The reason Phillip name this work of art the human document is because this is a document of what people can do when they overcome by greed and jealousy. Finally he’s saying if we don’t learn from are mistakes it will curse us and we will consume are selves.

thespina g 6 said...
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thespina g 6 said...


On page 10 of Tom Phillips' A Humunent, Phillips suggests that humans often wonder about the future when it comes to matters of love and relationships. He divides the page into charcoal and dark grey sections that take the shape of rectangles. There are scattered words, phrases and sentences that are in black print with white as a background that move from left to right as you go further down the page. He portrays the way humans have either a positive or negative outlook on love which he does through contrasting lighter shades of grey with darker ones, and putting his text in tiny areas of pure white, which represent hope.

To begin the page, Phillips creates a pattern of smaller and larger rectangles where the larger ones are charcoal, almost a light black, and the smaller ones which border each larger rectangle are dark grey. He inserts tiny white text boxes into the surface of the page with little phrases and words in them. The dark rectangles represent the negative feelings humans have when it comes to love. The lighter rectangles represent the doubtful and neutral feelings that are neither good nor bad, just grey, that people feel about love. The area that the larger rectangles take up is more than that of the smaller rectangles and the text surrounded by white. This may give the page a negative vibe. It brings to mind break-ups, games and relationships with bad layers and ends. However, when first-looking at the page, the white overrules the dark colors surrounding it. Hopeful thinking comes to mind. The white boxes represent a ray of light in a relationship. Even though the text boxes have a strong presence, they do not overwhelm the eye which can't help but notice the doubt and negativity also on the page.

What makes the page more specific and personal is the character Phillips assigns to it. The character starts by describing the beginning of the relationship from his viewpoint. "You in / mine, / fused" (lines 1-3). To him, he and she are "fused" like two pieces of metal soldered together. He feels they are inseperable and one. He goes on to describe how strong the love is. It is so strong that he has proof of it. Phillips writes "in witness of my love for you, every page" (line 4), which he creates so that the character can persuade the reader that he is truly in love- that every page of every book will prove it. After this line, there is an area where there is no text at all. It is full of charcoal and grey rectangles as the eye travels down the page until another text box appears. The character seems to be concerned about the future of the relationship when he "foresees a book which" (lines 5-7). He stops at "which" because he feels all the feelings of love at that moment. He experiences the negative, neutral and positive and cannot carry on elaborating on the book until he is sure of what to say after "which"- a challenge may humans have with relationships. He finally decides when he says "which, / might / disguise / name" (lines 8-11). Here, Phillips gives the character a skeptic trait, making him doubt and question not only what the "book will foresee", but what he is saying as well. Once again he is torn between a decision and can't pinpoint exactly what is going on in the relationship to decide what will be "foreseen". He feels doubtful and that she is in disguise, or that she is hiding something from him. Therefore, Phillips places the word "disguise" on top of a dark grey rectangle. However, on top of the charcoal triangle is a very alone and blunt "name". Here, the character feels negatively about the relationship. he considers a significant 'other' who is to be "named"- maybe someone intruding the relationship from her end. The word "disguise" also gives me the impression that the character's lover is a woman. The choppiness of the phrases and clarity of the words gives me the impression that the charcater is a man. The next words are leading from the dark grey rectangles to the charcoal rectangles which show how the character at first is doubtful, then becomes convinced that there is something sinister just out of his reach. "admit / explain / perfectly indicate" (lines 12-14). These lines bring to mind a scene that is very familiar to most lovers. He accuses, she "admits" and tries to "explain" but all he hears is words that "perfectly indicate" how hurt he is. This represents the climax of the relationship which leads to the end. It symbolizes the decline from bad to worse.

At the end of the character's tale and at the bottom of the page is the only white text box in any corner. This text box was put there by Phillips to suggest that no matter how dark situations can become, there will almost always be a tiny corner of hope. The character continues, "mention / convince / might," (lines 15-17). These lines start out on the charcoal rectangles but he presents possibility, "might", and ends up on top of dark grey triangles. In between discussion, "mention", and possibility, "might", lies "convince". The character has changed his mind after discussing it and being convinced that there is a possibility of the relationship's survival. The final lines are tricky. The character says "most completely, change" (lines 18-19). This could refer to a negative change made from the "fusion" he used to feel with her, or a positive change made from the doubt and fear he experiences when he is contemplating the relationship's future. The only known fact is that the last lines start on a charcoal rectangle and end on a light grey one and are exactly lined up at the corner of the entire page, as if they are exiting and have find the way off of it.

Phillips' simple techniques of repetition and clarity, as well as his contrasting of colors for the purpose of extracting emotions suggest that no universal emotion brings out so many others in humans, as does love.

ashley S5 said...
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ashley S5 said...
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ashley S5 said...
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ashley S5 said...
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ashley S5 said...

Page 15

On page 15 of Tom Phillips’ A Humument, Phillips illustrates the character as an evil man who resembles a beast by using descriptive words and illustrates the poem with dark rainbow colors. Each word describes a specific character that symbolizes a man turning into a beast. This beast was once a man who had loved in the past and who was hurt by his ex- lover and is left with a broken hurt that can not mend. He is then left in the last moment of conversation with his lover when she tells him that she is not his wife but his only response is laughter to show her that at the end he will have the last laugh. The poem is then ended with the word flash that represents quick movement that the eye could not respond to quick enough.
The man is described in the beginning of the poem as being curious and beastly looking. This is evidential through the following …..
Dirty and pale
Curious spectator,
Standing on
The scene
With dark, almond-shaped eyes,

Through this adjective description, the viewer can visualize the man more a beast rather than a human being. From the words dirty and pale, the man is then transformed in to an uncivilized and unsanitary wild creature that might be overwhelmed with an affection of a virus to cause them to contain pale skin. His cloths are then described as being loud. Loud is being used to describe the manner of a color of clothing or having unpleasantly and tastelessly contrasting colors or patterns. However even though he is describes to have no human qualities, he is still considered to have his own character. The man in the poem is also described to be a metallic nasty little devil. By the author using the word metallic gives the man having the characteristics of a metal that is unbreakable and strong. Metallic is also connected with the verb flash. Flash is a verb of speed that is too quick to be caught by the naked eye.
In the painting there are various colors that resemble the rainbow in the sky. However instead of a blue sky the rainbow is located in a light tone yellow. The words are printed in dark black but are isolated in white backgrounds which white symbolizes truth and the black can resemble darkness and evil. The yellow back ground can symbolize the sun and energy. Colors can have a spiritual energy. The colors can be used to represent his emotions that occur through his body during his event of his conversation between him and his lover. Blue is the color of oceans, skies and the heavens. When people think of blue it brings peace and understanding and calms and relaxes the body mentally and spiritually. Yellow represent wisdom and brings clarity of thought and allows better decision making. Red is the opposite and represents interest and passion. When combing these three into different combinations it results in to secondary colors. When mixing yellow and red it will result into orange. It represents creativity and playfulness and in addition to relief from boredom. Green is the result of the mixture yellow and blue which brings the mind harmony, sympathy and health. Last but not least violent is a combination of both red and blue. Violent is the process of healing and is the last color of the painting to be shown which suggests that by laughing at the end the man is healing. The darker tones of the paintings are associated with sorrow and sadness and darkness of evil.
Tom Phillips uses his painting to reflect the word of his poem. In the title of the poem it is spilt in half which may symbolize the character being split in to a spilt personality. Through the connection between the poem and the painting the character is experiencing an intense event that has him torn and struggling wit identifying with his emotion which leads him onto an emotional rollercoaster.

Danielle S. 5 said...

Danielle S. 5

On page 5 of the Tom Philips Hummerment there is a piece of paper torn up nearly shredded to bits. It’s a bright yellow piece of paper that is shredded perhaps symbolic to light, the sun, bright joyous life, or perhaps its there to cover something deeper. There are words and phrases within the mix of shreds, underneath the bright yellow shredded paper there is another piece of paper an off white color more symbolic to paleness, depression, and unwilling happiness. It’s like a maze of literature, there are words hidden underneath the yellow paper on top, but that yellow paper seems to be hiding a secret of its own, a secret language, a foreign language imprinted in bold bright red catching the eye of the observer very easily but why? What does this mean? Why is it in a different language? Or is this even a language at all, Perhaps it’s just something made up by Tom Philips that only he can understand. We may never know.

Among the shreds of paper there are exposed words, Words that have symbolic meaning to the shreds of paper, to the overall meaning of Tom Philips “Hummerment”. At the top of the paper there is a phrase visible to the observer and it reads “attempt to cripple sentences” This phrase displays meaning because it gives the observer the meaning behind the shreds of paper they are the attempt to cripple sentences.

Moving on down towards the middle of the page we see another brake with more exposed words and phrases, but as the observer reads on towards the bottom of the phrase the words become blurred. The phrase starts off by saying “Really broken by” and the rest of the phrase is unclear to blurred to read. This shows the observer that this was done purposely to cover up a possible secret or to keep the onlooker guessing.

The next phrase to the left of the one above is at the corner of the page and it states “broken the besides journal, and…” This phrase is chopped up and scrambled badly. However it is the first time that we see the word Journal which may make one think that this could be someone’s journal and it could be hiding a big secret that is why it is so well scrambled. Moving down towards the bottom of the page there is another phrase that has the word journal mentioned in it states “The impression Journal” This phrase gives the observer a little bit more insight into the actual meaning behind the meaning of the journal. In this Phrase is called the impression journal, so perhaps it just an impression a fake to distract the observers attention.

Moving on the phrases towards the middle end of the paper is so badly scrambled they are hardly legible, so that the nearest legible phases are at the bottom of the paper and they read “The first….. The imaginary Journal…” this is the fist time in this picture that we see the word imaginary. This word brings many ideas to thought such as the idea that impressionable and imaginary could be related in the thought of a fake something put in place to distract attention away from something not wanting to be seen

At the bottom of the page there are three legible fragmented phrases, they read “Discrepancy, journal, journal……. Fragments……………..Fragments”. This is the conclusion of the page and all we are left with is the theorized idea of the meaning behind this journal. The phrase starts off with the word discrepancy which is an obstacle holding someone or something back from its intended goal. After that we see the word journal repeat itself twice what might the reason for that be? Maybe it was written like that to put an emphasis on the word. Then we see the words fragments scripted twice its ironic how it is written because these words are in-between torn pieces of paper, fragmented pieces of paper. So in the end we may never know what was really written, or what the complete message was. We can only guess the meaning behind these blind lines.