Recently I decided to create some collaged works in a slightly new size: up from 16 x 20 to a 20 x 24 piece. It involved ordering some cut mats for a finished presentation.
I had the ideas, but just couldn’t get the wheels turning till I received the mats and saw the actual size. Then the ideas clicked.
It was seeing the frame. It was placing the concept in its picture plane.
I’m not sure if I’m sharing this as a handy tip or as a confession. Maybe it’s just a thinking-through of how ideas and compositions go together.
I don’t seem to come up with an image or an idea in isolation. When I start sketching or planning, it’s always the primary image or concept in context. As I sketch I work the object in the space, determining whether the overall composition should be vertical or horizontal, and how the image fits in that space. In addition to the focal object, what else will be in the composition? How will those parts interact? What’s the pattern of lights and darks?
As I looked back through my sketchbook, I saw that I always work out ideas by beginning with the perimeter. Or if I sketch the object first, I get a perimeter around it pretty quickly, to give it a place to belong.
I know that when I feel like I get it “right,” composition and concept are partners that reinforce each other. When I don’t work out the use of space as part of depicting the focal image, the piece will be lacking.
And now for THE CHAIR…
This should be fun. I’m participating in a fundraiser sponsored by the City of DeLand: artists decorate chairs and they will be auctioned. Proceeds will fund public art projects in the City. The event is in January. I need to have this done in a few weeks. So, here’s the official “Before” picture. I want to use fabric. So far that’s about all I know for sure. Stay tuned.
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