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  • Writer's picturecarolyn land

Imagine the Possibilities

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”  Albert Einstein


“Cascade ”                             Collage

A reader asked a question after my last blog; “If you are painting from your heart what about all these rules about composition?”  Fair question!

First there are 4 “Elements of Design” that we use to make any piece of art:  line/mark, shape/form, color, and texture.  Composition comes from the “Principles of Design” which are: strong focal point, value, balance, variety, movement, unity, harmony. These vary by source. They come with practice, and we recognize them in our work when we study our almost finished piece.

However, there are a few basic things we should know before we start painting or creating any piece of art.

Know what the medium we choose can do.  We need to take time to try different things with it. We need to play with it on different surfaces using different techniques to understand the various ways it can be used.

Learn basic color theory. We need to understand the importance of value in our creative work. Know how to lower the intensity of a hue and make tints and shades of  colors so our painting is harmonious. Color makes a painting tranquil or vibrant, dramatic, or stark. And, this comes about not only in our color choices but also in how we build passages of color over one another or side by side so the viewer can visually move around our work.

Depending on the type of work we do, our initial planning process will be different.  If we are working realistically we need to find our subject, edit what we want in our painting, determine what our focal point is going to be, sketch it in to get the perspective correct, then choose our palette.

If we are painting abstractly or our painting is going to be nonobjective, we need to have an idea of what it is we want to convey to our viewer. Decide what colors will best describe what we want to say.

Then…create, create, create!

When we are done creating then we need to go back and take time to view it. Find the focal point, and if we need to, develop one.  It can take on any shape and size. It can be bold or subtle. A dappling of light, a pop of color, an expression, or emphatic gesture. Then see if it is balanced and if the viewer can get around the painting to enjoy everything we have put into it. It is after the initial painting that we fine tune it.

Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”.  We have basic knowledge of something, but what we need to ask ourselves is, what are the possibilities? What can I do with the knowledge I have, to make it more than it already is?  Imagination.  Creativity!

Perfect technical skills do not make a great painting. It’s about connecting to the viewer in a meaningful way. It is about expression, holding a viewer’s interest. So, let us be imaginative and creative with our medium. and subject.

If we have ever needed art, it is now.  So, go create in your unique way. Something great may just come out of playing with your medium of choice.

“Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday Life.” Pablo Picasso

Stay safe and be creative. Carolyn

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