A few months back I found two drawings at my mom’s house that I did back in college, not sure what class anymore, maybe 2d design or beginner illustration or what not. They were of the same subject matter and done in different technique, I wouldn’t classify them as great works of art but they are ok. Because they were skill building assignments, I categorize them differently than if I would have done them on my own conviction.
They are both pen and ink but one had some ink wash as well (see below). If my memory serves me we where to draw something mundane and to create them very differently, can’t remember the details such as if we were given certain styles and or techniques to work form. I did one in the style of analytical cubism and the other plays with hard lines and soft textures this gives a very different feel from the other one. I could go on but I won’t bore you with analyzing the works.
I mainly brought them home to reuse the nice paper they were made on (archers 140# rag paper cold press) and paint over the two pieces. They have been sitting in the hallway for a week now and Shae commented on them saying how much she liked them, she got upset when I told her my intent. Now artists have been working over older works for centuries and I really haven’t ever thought much about it. I am curious what others think, should I let these two drawings live? Anyone want to give them a good home?
In recent days I have been looking at some of the principles of design for some research on an article I am writing about it. One of the principles is balance and there are two main aspects of how we achieve balance in the visual arts, it is through symmetry or asymmetry. So I was thinking about symmetrical layouts and compositions, frankly all I thought about was how mundane and boring they must be.
Fast forward to today when I was looking for a new wallpaper for my work computer, I was getting sick of Van Gogh’s sunflowers that have been occupying that job for months. Richard Diebienkorn came to mind so I did a quick search for some images that might spark something in me. While I was looking, I came across a painting of a sliced tomato from him and was a perfect example of approximate horizontal symmetry (symmetry occurs with similar but not identical forms) and I was stunned how excited this painting made me feel. First of all, the knife’s point ended at the middle top of the canvas creating great amount of tension not to mention the erratic and painterly texture that breaks up the plane. He used more design principles which adds to the beauty of this painting, one being “dominance” where the contrast seen in the tomato in counterpoint to the cool whiteness of the table surface. The brush strokes also give a wonderful feeling of unity throughout the painting and adds a rhythm and movement that is energetic, playful and exciting.
I obviously pushed off and assumed certain tenants were not worth exploring and had preconceived notions about symmetry; I was wrong. I will have to develop a nice assignment so I can test and play with this and other principles and see what I come up. Could add a lot to the article!