Joseph Decamps, The blue cup
I'm interested in learning more about concealed geometric arrangements. How do you decide what kind of geometric arrangement to use? I'm guessing that you design your landscape, still life, etc. to express that arrangement but subtly.
The design IS the painting.
Tonight will be I guess , a restatement of one of the basic ideas of this blog. That is the idea that design is where the art is, in a painting. The art isn't found in the subject matter, and the technique must of course be there, but it is in the artists unique decision making about color, handling and arrangement that the art happens.
Creativity implies choice. If you are merely transcribing what is in front of you, you are making no choices, that is not art. Art arises from the artists decision making. A drum machine may play a rhythm, but it is not making choices about that rhythm, therefore a drum machine is not an artist. Even though, at a glance it seemingly does what a drummer does.
Transposing the landscape onto your canvas is not art until you make decisions about how it will be arranged intelligently, colored poetically and handled expressively.
When a painter sets up on location, they decide on their subject matter in a minute or two. I will paint this, not that. All of the rest of what the artist does to the painting is not about subject matter, even though they might work on it a thousand more hours. All of that time goes into the presentation of what the artist decided was the subject in the first several minutes. Almost all of what the artist does is about that presentation.
The scaffold upon which the artist hangs his image is the design or root. There must be dozens or more basic "stems" but a dozen or so are most common. The circle is one, a balance (steelyard) is another. Often a picture has some combination of several different design stems. The artist, familiar with a great number of these design ideas, sorts through his library of arrangements and finds one that seems to promise an orderly means of presenting the subject at hand. Imagining that scaffold onto the canvas and using it to "order" the picture is how the artist begins to bend the randomness of nature into a conscious arrangement.
I am terribly tired ( posting everyday has a marathonness to it sometimes ) and must close, however I shall begin in the weeks ahead to lay out the basic design stems available to landscape painters and show how some of them might be used.
I am still collecting images for the next reader critique, please send them to email@example.com. I will of course remove your name from the art and not reveal whose art it is that I am critiquing.