Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thinking About Art Again

So I was in my 3-D Design class (traditional, not digital) today, and I was thinking about art. Go figure, right? Thinking about art in my art class? What nonsense you spew, Rachel!

Anyway, we were discussing the pyramidal structure, and I had this thought.

For those of you who haven't taken any art history or design, we as human beings like things to be structured as triangles. They automatically create this mysterious sense of unity in a composition, and it's subconsciously pleasing. You see it a lot in classical art, especially the early to mid Renaissance, but it's been around for ages, and we still use it.

This is what I'm talking about. Just look at the number of triangles you can draw.

So we were talking about structure, and the way it can affect the space a piece of art fills and how you perceive it. 

And if you don't know what I mean, I don't really know how to explain that for you.

Anyway, I commented that I think a lot of structure is actually instinctual in art. It transcends cultures and training and skill level in a lot of ways, solely because it feels right.

And that, I think, is what really makes an artist. Obviously training and disposition and interest come heavily into it, but what I seem to find consistently with artists is that they operate a lot on their instinct without knowing the terms or techniques they're using. Many times, I've drawn or painted something, and then in a class or something I learn about radial nuclear compositions or some other technical term, and I end up thinking, "Hey, I do that all the time!"

So my thought for the day, which I've taken my sweet time in getting to, is that art is really about understanding what feels right, and running with it. That's where it starts. It's not a whole bunch of artists looking at their predecessors and going, "You know, he did that, and it worked out really well. Maybe I should try using diagonal lines and the relationship of objects to create movement and drama in my art." They usually just go, " You know what would look cool?" or "Something about this feels off somehow...." and then comes the execution, which someone looks at later and praises the balance of the composition, or the unity of color, or whatever thing they're looking at.

It's as much about instinct as it is about skill.

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