Art In the Studio Mixed-up Media

Ending 2019

Context: What I’m working on

The series “Ending 2019” is cleverly the last series for 2019. I learned a lot doing this series. And I hope re-training my eye for the kinds of designs I am personally drawn to, and now seem to be making. (is the training ever really *done*) The compositions/designs were taken from parts of earlier play-board work.

Ending 2019 Series

What didn’t work (TGW)

  1. Want to add restrained details and small scale elements to strengthen large bold areas. Maybe add partial zentangles to parts of the pieces.
  2. Feeling of depth is difficult to discern in each piece. Shallow design depth is ok, if that’s the goal. Not sure it was a strong consideration in the pieces.

What did work (TGR)

  1. Elements Overall: organic with some lines; shapes suggested by some lines; gradients present. Didn’t do much with drips or collage or scribbles except to build up the underlayer and add complexity to the quiet conversation. These were the result of some pretty direct intent to reproduce images taken from previous play-boards. 
  2. SCALE: Elements throughout are of different sizes/scale. This was a goal, to achieve more differentiation in size and shape. Perhaps the exercise will chisel a new groove in my brain to differentiate.
  3. COLOR: Colors for the most part are a secondary consideration. A lot of limited palettes, even monochromatic is present. These take a backseat to the design of the pieces. Again, focus of series is to create strong designs more intuitively. Where color was a consideration, the mixes of chroma created unexpected combinations, but these also work well.
  4. VALUE: Lots of value contrast. I did find I needed to go back and add the end points in lightness and darkness: pure black and white. But those were just ending touches, they supported and strengthened the established design.
  5. How about TEXTURE, TRANSPARENCY, AND OPACITY? Is there texture all over? Some texture and some flat color? Luminosity? A nice mix of texture, transparency and opacity. Again, differences stressed. Transparency supported quiet conversations both in light and dark shapes. Transparency also supported luminosity used to move eye around. This seemed important since a limited palette was fairly ubiquitous and could otherwise be boring without some tweaks.
  6. EDGES of the page: if a shape didn’t break an edge, then gradation was used to provide interest. Not sure how successful that is, but that’s what I see. Even this provides some differentiation, some variety from all edges broken.
  7. CROWDing the page? Is there breathing room? Some of the pieces have elements crowded in few areas counterpointed with large expanses. There is breathing room on most of the pieces. One feels like it verges on *kitchen-sink* feeling even though I tried to restrain that.
  8. CLUSTERs: Mostly, the elements are spread over the entire working plane. Some have more uneven feeling, which is ok. Since it’s a series, it’s nice to not have all pieces with the same feeling of clustered elements.
  9. FOCAL area: Each has a set of focal areas. Not sure if confusing. Focal areas are created by contrast, color, and for some: shape. I like that there is a mix of elements to draw the eye around each piece. 
  10. visual WEIGHT: I’m not clear what this means exactly, but the weights are fairly similar in dark vs light large shapes, negative space seems considered. Perhaps that was part of the initial selection process: interesting negative spaces? It seems you can put either the dark or light areas as the main interest areas and then switch it up to the opposite side of the value scale. Light coloring/values don’t necessarily mean light-weight.
  11. SPACE division: Not clear on this exactly, but here goes. Space is divided similarly in that there are some large shapes, and even large shapes created by proximity of multiple shapes. Some areas/spaces push through the middle of the panels, diminishing any sense of *center target* issues.

Insight/Next Steps/Actions:

  1. Eliminate the unnecessary noise, curate and prioritize: what do you want to accomplish next. The rest can wait their turn. When working on a priority, focus on it.
  2. I’m understanding better how to focus on aspects of design via elements used. Don’t need to include *everything*, but better to edit and focus elements.
  3. I’m building more confidence in execution and final expression.

in gratitude:

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