Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Geometrography, a craft you cannot say ten times fast

my original painting didn't have the mathy part in it. But maybe I should add it in. People really like math here in Silicon Valley.
I had a painting kick the last few days. Maybe because I've been doing so much digital art, when I was inspired to paint with oils on Sunday, I've had dreams about painting; I wake up at like 4:30 in the morning thinking about it. Something about oil paint: it flows, it breathes, it's sharp and it's smooth. To me it's like the blue cheese of painting. Except it doesn't make you fat. It does kinda smell, though.

And I had this square canvas-I had the hardest time composing. First off, it's square so I can't rely on my typical long dimensions I'm used to composing. Also, I wanted to make more decoration-style pieces to add to my portfolio under a "gallery" or "for sale" tab (something to hang in a coffee shop somewhere, youknow?) and it came to me as I was brainstorming that I was at a loss as to what people actually want in their house. So I thought looking at my demographic, either dogs, landscapes, or patterns.

At first I thought I'd stick a bull dog in the middle part, as if it was a framed portrait, but when I started to draw the pattern, I realized how much I love building patterns.  This was such a large painting, I couldn't just print it off and trace it from the computer, instead I opened a pattern book on building classic Arabic patterns and traced it out with a compass and a t-square (and a 30-60 45-45 triangle when I felt like cheating).

It's stuff I haven't done since geometry class in High school (the clinical term for it is geometrography), and this is kinda weird so brace yourself, but I used to be a math person (at least in world standards, not Saratoga standards), up until I decided to focus on art and now I can't do simple addition anymore, but I loved making geometrography stuff then, and I still love it now. It's embracing a craft that artists used for hundreds of years before tracing prints from the computer.

Not only that, but I think my end result was a lot more precise. Maybe it took a little longer, but once I had the pattern down, it helped me understand it a little more. It had it's own little character. I didn't need to put a dog in it or a bird on it to give it a center of focus. The pattern was the center of focus already

Also, I finally know what to put inside stubborn square canvases.

Anyways, I highly recommend pulling out a compass and embracing your math side.  Here's some links to some fun patterns.

http://www.geometrycode.com/free/seed-of-life-pattern-construction-using-compass/
http://www.broug.com/learn_lesson1.htm

4 comments:

  1. the painting looks great...but math makes my head hurt. lol
    Debbi
    -yankeeburrowcreations

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    1. Haha, thanks! Luckily it only involves shapes and no real counting.

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  2. Oh, math isn't my strong side but I love looking at geometrical images, hoping that one day I might do that too!

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    1. You should definitely try it, it's very fun to see the bones behind a pattern.

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