Monday, August 12, 2019

How to read a painting using 7 ideas

Paintings are made of marks that are built upon a surface much like a writer builds words into a story.  And just like a reader can connect words into a larger meaning, a viewer can use these 7 design ideas to read a painting: unity, contrast, dominance, repetition, harmony, balance and gradation.  I am giving an art talk on Friday, August 16, 7 pm at the Old School House Gallery about how these 7 ideas can help us see more deeply into the new work of Annie Belcourt, in her exhibition titled "evanescent."

Here are 7 questions I will explore in a gallery walking tour of Annie's work, combined with images of her oil and cold wax landscapes that appear, like the definition of evanescent , to "gradually disappear like vapor."

is the repeating of colour, tone, shape, texture, size, direction. 
 It may be exact or with variety. 
 How is repetition like an echo? 

Marks are felt as well as seen.   
Why is balance a force as strong as gravity?

is the sequence of small steps from one extreme to another.
What do we feel when gradation moves 
in all directions at once?

can be opposition, conflict, or complimentarity.
How is contrast like the plot of a novel?

is the rule of a superior force. 
Can more than one kind of mark be equally dominate?

happens when marks have similar attributes.
What are the extremes of harmony?

is integration, a oneness of all the parts.
Why is unity the single most important idea?

A special thank you to Richard Trueman for these beautiful photographs of Annie's paintings.