Friday, October 15, 2010

Counterpoint in Composition

I am doing this blog on developing oppositional lines and angles within the structure of a painting. While doing a show in Utah, I was exposed to the work of Steve Sanger, a Park City artist who has multiple pitches in his paintings. This creates a fluid, poetic motion in a painting and is difficult to create without forethought. To obtain this motion, one must start with a line up from left to right, then have a focal point back to the left so the eye zigzags if you will. Always have curves, it is a counterpoint in direction, not light as the term often implies. This kind of motion has a singsong effect, good movement and captivates the viewer better than straight lines going in the same direction. Notice the green and earth tones are not even clear. Are they grass, vines, ? Who knows, leaving it abstract in the bottom third of the painting leaves mystery because you don't want the viewer to spend time there, merely open the door for them. This is an 11x14 (sold) of a Murphys, California vineyard. I have had this in mind for over a month, then saw this scene and immediately got out of the car and painted, esp difficult because my wife was in the car. Sometime I will do a blog on spouses (oh how they suffer) that you may want to share with yours. New classes starting up in Newcastle, Auburn area so join us!! Live model to draw and paint!! So, in sum, design your painting with curved lines that sway back and forth for a more interesting product.

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