Friday, March 28, 2014

The beauty that happens along the way

I recently had the fantastic opportunity to put together and teach a course in "Composition", as it relates to botanical painting.  I found pieces along the way as I researched this specific topic, but decided I needed to get down to basics.

Digging into the topic of visual literacy was a fantastic learning and re-learning session for me. My purpose in teaching seasoned artists about visual literacy specifically, was to think about moving
past intuitive ideas about composing, toward making informed and purposeful decisions.

The most important thing I learned relating to my interest in design, pattern, and tessellations, was a surprise. Humans are constantly trying to balance, neutralize and harmonize everything that we see. I think it's a way to cope with all of the visual stimuli that bombards us all the time. However, if our desire toward the end, of neutralizing, balancing, evening out - graying - has finally reached it's conclusion, there would be an eradication of senses and total neutrality; complete harmony and no contrast.

An example for me, that I experience in my two dimensional work and jewelry work, is that it is not perfect symmetry, perfect pattern, exactness that I really want to end up with. I created a tessellation a few years ago that was inked as perfectly as I could possible do. I was really excited doing it because I thought it would be fantastic to look at. It turned out to be a boring boring piece... nothing going on. Our eyes delight in finding that slight unevenness... that element that somehow moves slightly askew within a pattern. Now I know why. It plays so very nicely into working with organic botanical forms, because nature is not perfect.

While I am precise in my work and strive toward excellent craftsmanship, I try to include parts in a piece that aren't exactly symmetrical, not lined up perfectly. I am very happy about this. I don't want to make mechanical work, because it is my hand that is making it. Those imperfections, sometimes planned and sometimes not, are what my work is about ~ my handmade two dimensional and jewelry work.