Paulette C. - Optional Exercise

#1 -HAWAII FENCE 

The star of this picture is the red flowers on the white fence.(I have cropped it so it’s placement isin the bottom 1/3 of the picture)  There is the contrasting colourcomplement of the green grass & hills with the bright red flowers.  

The supporting cast is the rest of the horizontals in the picture-the hills & the cloudsand the fence & house and background trees. 

 There is a small speaking role for the vertical green palm tree in the left top third of the picture as it does pull my eye up to the clouds & then in a circular fashion back to the star attraction the red flowers.  

#2 GROUND LEAVES

AT first I thought that this picture did not have a focal point—no star—however as i studied it more closely I noticed the 3 green leaves in the picture.  Then my eye cast about for more & the yellow leaf with the blueish leaf on the edge of the piece drew my eye down.  Then almost in the middle there is a similar bluish group that pulled my eye into the middle of the piece.  However as my eye continued to search for more   there are many supporting cast leaf members that keep me rather involved in this chaotic picture

#3-TREE SHAPE

This is a one woman show with the star on central stage.  The complexity of the shape & texture contrasts with the linear supporting case quietly & simply replicating the vertical nature of the star.  There is a quiet repetition of the star with the small speaking role for the shadow which is a simplified & pared down version of the main act. 

#4 Sky

The star is the vertical cloud structure within the cloud crowd scene. The clouds themselves & the foreground hills  thecontrast withthe bright value of the focal point.  The road on the left pulls my eye into the cloud structure providing a circular movement around the picture.  

#5 Grey Spike Flowers

The similar shapes of the surrounding flowers but large value & size contrast make the focal point the central flower.  The placement of it in the top 1/3 also fives it importance.  

#6 Rock Pile

The red focal point really works in this picture 

The simplicity of the blue sky & curve of the orange complement in the landscape give the rocky pedestal import by repeating the orange colour but high visual textural & shape contrast

Paulette C.

Case study #2

HENRI ROUSSEAU

The "supporting cast" has many visual elements for instance the sharp pointy flowers  contrast  the shape of the very curvy luscious leading Lady. The flower’s sharp style seems slightly threatening especially since Rousseau has used the element of placement in a very powerful way by pointing them towards her. 

The placement of the ‘star’ a third of the way in and two thirds of the way down with her beautiful curves long hair delicious body contrast even more dramatically with the "crowd scene’s darker spiked foliage”.

I think the supporting cast consists of the two lions: the female lion looking at the luscious star although the male lion seems focused on the viewer –(me )the audience. They are in repose but the viewers know that can change in a moment.

The separate actors such as the flute player and the elephant create some visual confusion for me but they arealso useful as an intriguing element for the audience who must remain alert and continue to keep searching through this visual stage play.

The moon seems to be an effective part of the “set” for this play establishing time of day and increasing the mystery of the scene. It is seems to be a nonspeaking individual background role that increases the overall mystery of the stage play.

I can't decide whether the nicely rounded oranges; along with nicely-curved  bird and flute player should be classified as part of the nonspeaking individual background role or are part of the supporting cast as they reiterate some of the luscious curves of Rousseau’s leading lady.


I have chosen these four to share because I am not totally sure of their focal points.  I seem to see them differently each time.  Perhaps that is their appeal to me.  The Georgy Kurosov (#1) is such a complex study of repetition in addition to the central positioning of a complicated shape with  alternate shapes in the background.

Kurosov

Kurosov

The two Kadinsky’s have such a different feel with very different complementary backgrounds.  

Kandinsky

Kandinsky

Kandinsky

Kandinsky

Pierre Soulanges piece is  a 9 patch graphic textural piece. 

Soulanges

Soulanges

#3-2 Repetition

#3-2 Repetition

Case Study #2 - Martha T.

Week 3 Case Study #2

Analysis of Rousseau’s The Dream in terms of the Stage Play Analogy

Everything in this painting supports the theme of The Dream, in my opinion, from the mysterious dark Crowd Scene forest in the upper half of the picture world, to the dense vegetation,to the Where’s Waldo aspect of discovery of animals peeking out and the strange snake charmer with the flute who’s face is barely visible.  (I read that it’s a snake charmer..would not have guessed this as the snake is hard to identify below and to right of larger lion’s head.)

Nudes don’t typically recline on benches in a dense forest or garden, but if the dreamer is the nude, then she is envisioning lushness everywhere, from the larger-than-life flowers to fruit on the trees, a songbird, and danger in the lurking lions and snake. These colorful objects would be the Individual Background Roles, which are visually subdued compared to the nude figure.

But is the Leading Lady, the nude, having the dream, or is theartist, Rousseau, the dreamer?  More mystery to ponder.

The nude contrasts to the rest of the picture world in that she is the largest object, with continuous flowing lines against the detail and spikiness of the foliage.  She’s the lightest object, especially the breasts, which focus our attention.  The bright moon in the opposite corner makes an interesting balance point to the nude.

The flowers, disproportionately large, flattened and differently shaded, would be Supporting Cast, in that they surround her and are the brightest of the vegetation.  They strike me as stylistically different from the rest of the painting.

Week 3 Exercise 2

STUDIES DEMONSTRATING STRATEGIES TO CREATE A FOCAL POINT

ANALYSIS OF FOCAL POINT FOR HOPPER'S PEOPLE IN THE SUN

Uta L.

case study – 

Analyzing a picture that one has never really liked nor understood is probably a good exercise. But difficult. Certainly the naked lady is the fcoal point, but I wonder if the painting hadn’t been much better without HER! All the detail in the picture that goes unnoticed because everybody’s eyes are drawn to that white naked body. She is the first player – the hidden animals are the second players, and the whole composition would have been much improved if there had been more of those, instead of the lady, then the flute player and the moon would have been two focal points, though of slightly different importance. And of course, the space where the lady is would have needed to be taken care of somehow – so I guess this rambling is not really getting us anywhere...

Other examples

A family walk on a bright and sunny Sunday (well, sort of.) It’s the Dad’s birthday, the boy is ten, pre-puberty and definitely opposed to taking Sunday walks. The normal order of participants really was Dad – I – son, but I stayed behind a bit to take the picture. The boy’s jacket makes for a focal point, and that shows very well the importance of the two persons because although it should have been the Dad’s festive day, and it was his wish to go for a walk, the boy’s sulking usurped all attention to keep him walking and the whole arrangement from disintegrating. 

 

The contrast of the different shades of green (although rather dull on this brigth and sunny day) leads the viewers eyes into the direction of the field in the lightest green in the back, before the dark pine forest. The contrast/focal point effect is even more noticeable when the picture is cropped.

The examples of others: 

Paul Klee – three pictures, though I failed to take down every title

“Ad Parnassum” 

The intensive and delicate texture of the tiny marks throughout the picture dominates the overall effect and is a unifying force. Changes in color (complementary blue and orange mostly, with a little bit of darker shades) and the well-defined lines, traingle shapes and half-circle in the lower left hand third give the viewer the impression of seeing a house with an entrance. The orange circle in the upper right hand corner differs from the other shapes in that it is a circle by itself and not surrounded by a defining line, thus drawing a lot of attention to itself. But I think this is a faux, misleading ‘focal point’, and that the real focal point is the door, catching the viewers imagination. 

No clearly defined focal point. First players are the colors/Lines defined by the change in colors, and second players are the different signs or symbols. If there is something that could be considered focal pointish, I would say it is the two orange ‘lines’ around the middle, focussing the viewers attention around the middle, but this again is counterweightes by the stronger values of color in the upper half of the picture as compared to the lower half of the picture.

this one has a ‘focal area’ on the left side of the painting, defined by the fact that there is much more red on that side, and that the smaller sections are also concentrated on this side. So therre is color contrast, contrast in ‘texture’. I like the way that the arrangement of colors/size of areas keeps the viewer moving around while looking, making sure that despite the fact that ther is a focal area neverthelsee the entire picture gets looked at. 

photography by Dorothea Lange

Here we find two focal points: 1. the star on the policeman’s coat, and, secondary, the single man looking at the photographer, on the right hand side of the picture. The policeman is a ‘first player’, the men in the background are the secondary players, and the signs are the third players, despite the fact that most of them can’t be read in their entirety, or understood because of the fact that they were written in Chinese characters. The wide ‘line of bodies’ divides the picture into half, and the lower end, the pavement, is what the entire picture ‘rests on’, pushing a lot of attention to the signs and the fact that there is indeed a demonstration going on, even though it is being held under full control.

The focal point in this one is not the woman’s white dress/robe, although contrasting to her dark sking. The central position of her sitting on the rocking chair is strengthened by the way the tobacco leaves are arranges around her, pointing towards the setting. But the real focal point are her eyes, not looking at the photographer, but to the photograper’s right. 

own photography: 

focal point is the yellowish blob in the upper left, in a different texture than the rest of the picture, and different shape. found abstract art.

I don’t think this one has a focal point. But it has several contrast features: texture (the edges), shape (the darker ‘squares’), the shadows, the non-parallel lines (although if I were taking it today I would probably try to get a frontal shot, at least for comparison, must not have thought about that then)

own art in making:  – not finished yet.

this will be 12”x12”. The entire area on the right will be stitched as indicated. The various washers will be attached through stitches. And I haven’t decided on the entirety of quilting stitches yet, at this stage it is not layered yet.

Gail N.

Ladies Know How to Hold the Jungle Cat by Thornton Dial

In a library search for new artists, I found Thornton Dial. His whimsical watercolors are wonderful and full of meaning.  A small quote from the text: "The masculine counterpart to the feminine in Dials's early drawings is often the tiger. ...the tiger as Dial's alter ego, as powerful, protective, and passionate. The tiger in these iternations resists entrapment through cunning and physical strength and agility, fending off the predations of an unseen larger power. ... In the presence of women the tiger becomes frolicsome, playful, and docile." I chose this as an example of irregular and amorphous elements. The tiger dominates but the other elements are strong, too. 

Dial

Dial

Usha's Quilt by Rayna Gillman 

Gillman

Gillman

This work is carefully constructed with strong horizontal and vertical strips. The dominance of pattern has 2 solid black strips in the center and a black square near the bottom that anchor the riotous color and pattern.  

Nocturne: The Solent by James Abbott McNeill Whistler. No photo can do justice to this painting. How an artist can invoke such a feeling of darkness and loneliness is breathtaking. The dots of orange add just enough feeling of light and occupancy so you wonder what the sailors are doing while they stay off the coast overnight. 

Whistler

Whistler

My work. 

This study shows horizontal lines or set-in slithers contrasting against the vertical strips to draw the eye and create focal points. I took inspiration from Jean Wells and Rayna Gillman. I've been wanting to try this kind of piece. I haven't had time to try anything else. 

Joan Schulze, untitled work 2. I chose this quilt as an example of non-specific abstract elements that create interest as contrasted by the representational A in the lower left. The A, reinforced by the black around it, draws the eye but is balanced by the black on the right. 

Schulze

Schulze

Schulze - 2

Schulze - 2

Wells

Wells

My piece.

My piece.

Cynthia R.

FOCAL POINT

I liked the intentional inclusion of women artists in this lesson and sought them out for my examples. 

This a painting by Anna Ancher, one of the Skagen artists from around the turn of the 19th century. I have had a print of this hanging in my house for over 30 years since I visited the little museum in Skagen, Denmark and saw this painting in person. I never get tired of looking at it. Even though it is a simple domestic scene, the placement of the furniture, the flowers and the gold at the window draw me into the room. I suppose I assumed for a long time that the flowers were the focal point. Butthe bright yellow in the window is where my eye loves to go with the complimentary colors of blue and yellow. And its placement pretty much in the center. After listening to your talk and reading the essay on focal point, I have considered the chair with its round open shape and small red (contrasting color) flowers on the cushion, off center but still prominent, balancing the flowers and the bright yellow in the window. The chair is empty...did the occupant find the light outside irresistible and wander off to seek it out?

This is another painting by Anna Ancher. The focal point here is the light coming through the window, reflecting off the girl’s head and washing the whole room really, and creating the pattern on the wall. The lines on the carpet below lead to pattern on the wall and the picture of the woman (Madonna?) looks down on it. The girl is facing toward it also. Another simple scene that I find so inviting and of which light is the focal point.

This is a painting by Cecelia Beaux, Dressing Dolls, 1928. There is so much gorgeous color in this picture. And it circles around the woman: the yellow leaves in the upper right corner point down, which leads our eye to her arm, the girl is facing left and the doll leads our eye up to the pop of bright green which brings us to the woman’s red hair. I think the focal point here is the woman’s shoulder and arm and the light reflecting off of it. It stands in contrast to all the color circling her.

 

This is a photograph by Dorothea Lange. I’ve seen some famous photographs by her, but after watching a documentary about her life around a year ago, I have a whole new appreciation for her courage and her eye. She photographed (among other things) the dust bowl. This photograph shows the land leveled by the dust that blew in covering everything. The furrows in the distance were created to try to stop the drifting of the dust further. The focal point in this could be the dead tree branch as a fence post - an ineffectual fence since the dust moved over and through everything. But I think the horizon is the focal point. (Is that possible?) The completely level dust covered land against the hazy sky as far as you can see. It could also be the furrows which lead our eye into that empty flat barren distance. 

This is a painting by Louise Bourgeois, Beautiful Night. I love the color and shapes and movement in this piece. The triangle of two white trees and the white moon could be the focal point. Or the darker red wavy line in contrast to the other colors. The two taller mounds in the back in bright pink maybe? I go with the trees and moon, because in spite of all the bold color and shapes, my eye rests on the contrast of the small white shapes of these three items. 

This is a textile piece that I was working on it at the beginning of this class and I made changes in it twice from things I learned in the class. This is an early not-yet-finished version. It’s for a Lenten meditation exhibit at my church. The guidelines were that the piece had to be 8”x8” and in black and white only. This is from the biblical story of Peter after he denied Christ 3 times. I wanted the figure to be the focal point. But also the contrast of dark and light. The darkness is behind him and though he is weakened by what has just happened, he is facing into the light. So that is meant to be a significant part of the piece’s story.

Barbara I. - Part 2

Lesson Three: Exercise 2

This week I have been moved and distracted by the death of noted quilt artist, Yvonne Porcella. I used a couple of Yvonne’s quilts as examples for Exercise 1, but I wanted to go further and try to emulate her portrait technique. The C&T Publishing website posted a lovely picture of Yvonne, which I used as a model for my work. I scanned the picture into Photoshop and created a sketch. From that I outlined shapes on fusible web and selected bright fabrics from my stash with attention to Yvonne’s use of polka dots, checks, and black & white prints.

I first printed (on fabric) a muted image of one of Yvonne’s most famous quilts, “Keep Both Feet on the Floor,” which is the background of my portrait. It was selected for a collection called, “The Twentieth Century’s Best American Quilts, Celebrating 100 Years of the Art of Quiltmaking,” 1999, Primedia Special Interest Publications, Golden, CO.  Only one hundred quilts were honored in this collection.

I wanted to use Yvonne’s glasses as my focal point. In an effort to save time, I fudged the satin stich outlining by scanning my fabric collage into Photoshop and using the brush tool to emphasize the central placement of the glasses and the use of brightly checked fabric as lenses contrasting with the black and white glasses frames. I also used an element in the hat, again outlining the abstract leaves and emphasizing “veins” that point toward the glasses.

If you are not familiar with Yvonne’s work, you can go to her website and review her gallery. http://www.yvonneporcella.com/

Yvonne had an incredible career as an artist, author, teacher, and enthusiastic community member. She will be missed.

Priscilla I. - Part 2

I.  VERTICAL ELEMENTS AND HORIZONTAL ELEMENTS

3-2-1Painted papers collaged.  My eye does go to the focal point at the bottom as intended.  But the strips as a secondary element compete too much with the focal point  I think the strips of yellow and green should have been narrower and the color diluted so as not to dominate so much.  Had this been done, the background with it’s subtle coloring also would have been more interesting and supported the focal point better.

  1. BRIGHT SPOT OF COLOR AGAINST A DULLER BACKGROUND

3-2-2- Painted papers collaged and painted in cuneiform design.  This piece has a lot going on with layers of paint and imagery, all of which individually are interesting to look at.  But without the bright splash of red I wouldnt have had some place to come back to occasionally to get my breath.  

3-3-3- I’ve been playing with making backgrounds out of abstracted calligraphy text.  For every piece I developed I used the same words:  THE ESKIMOS HAVE NO WORD FOR WAR.  The words do get intentionally lost as I keep overlaying them.  I then went with with complementary colors and pencilled in some of the areas and developed a large black focal point . 

  1. VARIATIONS IN SIZE OF LIKE ELEMENTS

3-3-4 I’m including an old stitch piece with two fairly alike elements in subtly different sizes where the larger element with some added silver serves as the focal point and the smaller element is secondary .  The background was developed with the pulled thread technique with circles added. 

IV.  ABSTRACT ELEMENTS VS. RECOGNIZABLE ELEMENTS

3-3-5Again, I used a background of abstract text and painted over it with quin gold acrylic paint.  Then collaged part of a Varo painting to develop a focal point.   While the piece overall is pretty busy, the rectangular pointed shapes do help tobalance the busy text.  And the more solid black areas in the text help take my eye around to the focal point Varo female character.

  1. ISOLATION

3-3-6 Background prepared paper with elements collaged.  This background again isvery layeredwith paint and imagery.  I like the color chosen for the idea of isolation, but my eye keeps going back and forth between the group of 3 and the single item, so I dont think the single isolated element was necessarily successful.  Perhaps if I hadn’t made the 3 elements larger than the single element?  Or if I’d made these elements squares instead of rectangles to repeat the square element in the background.  I thought about trying each of these options by taking the existing focal point off, but it scraped off some of the under paint so I’ll just leave it. 

  1. PLACEMENT CENTRAL  

3-3-7 Painted background paper.  I used some blue calligraphy text to cutamorphous forms surrounding the circular forms.  Again, a fairly busy piece, but my eye does go to the circles.  I think I’ll try toning the amorphous shapes down so as secondary elements, they dont compete so much with the focal point.

3-3-8 Above with some zinc white water color added.

3-3-9 This is an older large piece of my anti-war series which when I made it I was unaware or unconsciously thinking of the type of focal point used.  Now I know.

  1. PLACEMENT OFF CENTER

3-3-10 Fairly simply developed.  Painted background paper with owl as a focal point collaged on.  I then used a green pencil to connect some of the green parts in the busy background and have them point to the owl.

  1. REPETITION 

3-3-11 Again, luckily simple.  A painted paper background which I did nothing to as I saw that the green leaf forms were the focal point....where my eye goes first.  The orange similar motif is more muted and adds to the repetition.  The movement of the brush strokes helps carry the eye around the piece.

3-3-12 NO MORE WAR.  This is a paper lamination I made last year.  As I made it, I was not thinking of the idea of repetition.  But this has repetition all over the place.  Each horizontal line is repeated.  But the one with NO MORE WAR text is a very different type of image and so acts as the focal point. 

  1. ABSENCE OF FOCAL POINT

3-3-13  ALL LIVES MATTER  This is a stitched piece using the pulled thread technique.  While there is no one focal point, I think the background and stitched lines complement each other nicely.

Barbara I.

I’m using another artist’s interpretation of the theme, “Fire, Water, Earth, and Air” from the exhibit “The Classical Elements in Fiber and Poetry” to demonstrate focal point. With her permission, Gail Sims shares with us her interpretation of the Navajo culture applied to this theme. All four quilts have vertical and horizontal elements, but the main attribute is repetition as you can see the turtles in graduated sizes moving up the quilt. She also uses isolation, as well as bright colors against muted background colors (sometimes complementary) to make the turtles “pop.”

An art quilt legend, Yvonne Porcella, passed away February 13th. I have been pouring over her gallery of quilts and wanted to highlight a couple of them. The first is “Takoage,” made in 1980, and I believe it was her first art quilt. It now hangs in the Smithsonian. I initially chose it because I didn’t immediately see a focal point. However, when I saw it as a thumbnail, the yellow bars near the center were very obvious. Yellow is repeated in a few other bars, and there are lots of triangles and squares. I think you could also make a case for vertical and horizontal elements, but they don’t literally point to the yellow bars. I’m curious what others might think.

“Monkey Sighting” is another piece by Yvonne Porcella, 2003. Again, it is quite abstract, but the red/orange “checkmark” almost screams that the yellow rectangle is the focal point – or is it the checkmark? Where is the monkey?????? Does anyone see a deconstructed monkey wrench block? The use of black/white checks to outline the yellow square seem to be reflecting the horizontal/vertical element – and force our eyes to stop and focus on that element. I’m sure there is a story behind this quilt. As an extraordinary teacher, Yvonne gave me (all of us) permission to use bright colors and ignore rules of traditional quilting. I will miss her.

I started taking the magazine, Quilting Arts, when it was first published in 2001. It is still going strong 15 years later (and I might have all 79 issues…). To demonstrate that hoarding magazines is useful, I chose one of the quilts from the third issue called “Moonrise” by Deanna Hartman. I think the human form in the lower right quadrant is the focal point, and I interpret it as female. The bright red form could be a nod to reproduction and is the star of the focal point. Straight lines contrast with curves, plus the beading and writing provide a sense of movement. Those elements, as well as the moonbeams, point to or outline the focal point.

“Crepuscular Flash,” by Judy Coates Perez, appeared in Quilting Art Issue #78. The gold line dividing the sea and sky is the focal point with dark blue and red / yellow on either side.

“The Dreamer,” by Maira Stoller, is from the current issue of Quilting Arts (#79), which is devoted to portraits. The focal point for me is the face, and especially the eyes with just that small bit of white bringing them to the viewer’s attention. I’m also wondering if isolation could be considered to help identify the face as the focal point? The horizontal matchstick quilting also contrasts with the curving outline quilting used to separate the human from the more abstract left side of the quilt.

This final piece is my first success using layers in Photoshop. The X-Ray shows a washer lodged in the throat of a young boy (my grandson). It is the bright spot against the darker shades, a definite focal point. Rather than just post the X-Ray, I thought that Dr. Groucho might add a touch of whimsy……… I have stayed up too late.

Priscilla S.

PART I - FOCAL POINT

I found this exercise more challenging than I thought itwould be.  It wasdifficult sometimes to figure out what the focal point was and/or what was happening with two or more focal points when my eye went back and forth between two elements.  

I would also add that this exercise and the one from last week, (i.e., looking at many paintings for the concept being discussed) is very helpful.  Generally, I’ve read books on composition and the words kind of go in , but it’s the actual trying to find the elements in several paintings that makes the concept more real.

Most examples below do not have their proper title as I inadvertently cut them off.

  1. THE LOVERS - VARO

     - Another from one of my very famous artists

     -  This could be viewed as having a double focal point interacting with each other. 

             The light faces surrounded by gold mirrors stand out from the surrounding background.  And the women’s bodies sitting on the bench also contrast with the background. 

      - There is a vertical feel with the women’s bodies and necks and mirror faces surrounded by the horizontal puffs of smoke from their love.

       - The background is crystallographic on the top with water drops and on the bottom with waves of water. 

2. ABSTRACT- BARLOW

        - At first this seemed entirely not to have a focal point.  But the more I look, I see all kinds of imagery hidden ....a large scary monster face in the upper middle; man standing facing outer edge of picture on the lower right; woman in upper left;  some bursts of bright color, etc.  I’ll still say this has no focal point. 

3.   WOMAN AND HORSE- DEGAS

       -  I tell myself a story. The woman is on the way to her wedding riding the horse with two hand maidens accompanying her and the horse needs a drink of water

      - The woman in the light blue gown with a white veil is the focal point.  The color of her dress contrasts with the background. And the red rose hanging down on her dressalso brings the eye to her.

       - Secondary roles are played by the woman playing a musical instrument and the woman sitting on a blanket beside the river and the horse.

4.  BROWN TREES

             -I made up a story. It feels like a dying world with ghosts of the past poking their heads up out of the ground.  So I see the focal point on the lower right, i.e., lighted circular forms sticking up from the ground.  

            - In other parts of the painting, there are vertical elements, dead trees, intersecting with the horizontal lines of the distant hills and mountains.

            -  There’s a peek of some bright colors at the top of the painting, but my eye still comes back to the bottom right.

             - Also,  the trees and mountains appear to be fairly representational while those forms in lower part are more amorphous.

5.  STARBURST

           - Central placement - radial

           - Fairly bright spot of color against a duller background

           - Secondary elements are the black triangular forms pointing toward the focus.

6.  TWO POLICEMEN - BASQUIAT

        - Three elements in a row with one, the black faced focal point, being different

        -  Black face focal point is at center of vertical and horizontal lines

        -  Secondary supporting story elements are two policemen and black vertical lines representing prison uniform

      - Background is primarily plain but with grafitti type scribbles

7.   WHITE HANDS 

          -  Black abstract circular form possibly with both a facial and a head image

          -  Secondary form is a tree/log form

          - These two forms are tied together both with small circular forms attached

          - One amorphous element and a background of representational elements

          - Dark focal point against light background

          - Focal point is larger than background elements

           -  These two forms might also be a closeup of dying tree limb with sap extruding

          -  Background is crystallographic filled with white hand prints

          -  And behind that another background layer ofbrown vertical lines

8.   WOMAN AND TWO DAUGHTERS- DEGAS

           - Even though the two girls and mother are dressed similarly and the two girls the same size, my eye kept going to the young girl’s face who was looking directly at me.  

           - The mother and other daughter play a secondary role in the story.  

           - The background is crystallographic with the blue wallpaper and printed rug.

9.  GIRL WITH TWO RED BIRDS- DEGAS

            - This was a piece I struggled with.  It seems like the focal pointshould be the girl’s face.  But my eye first goes to the two red birds and back and forth between them. But the longer I look at it, the girl’s face does take center stage and the two red birds supporting elements.

             - Background is a distant city seen from a balcony.

10.GIRL WITH HANDS ON WAIST- DEGAS

            - This was very interestingfrom a different perspective.  I see the focal point as the girl’s face.  And the contrast for me is in the incredible realism and carefully painted face with the lines of her body and dress which appear to be gestural....a much different feeling from the face.

            - Also a brighter blue color surrounds her face, again drawing your eye to it

11.  WOMAN IN YELLOW DRESS - DEGAS

          -   Vertical and horizontal elements pointing to focal point (not that you need them with that bright yellow dress)

          -   Bright spot of color against a duller background

          -  Supporting cast are the fine decorative accoutrements

          - I’m not sure what she’s holding?  a wig?  

12.   AFTER THE BATH - DEGAS

        -  The bather is the focal point.  Her body color is lighter than the background.  

        -  Her body is more representational than the background drape and rug.

13.   BRIDGE- MONET

        - I see the bridge as the focal point.  And the vegetation around it is made up of vertical and horizontal lines which intersect.  

         - Interestingly, although all the colors are the same blend of rusts, yellows, and greens, the bridge still stands out.  

         - Also, the bridge lines are representational and the vegetation more amorphous.

Linda V.

Week 3 baffled me and I got into some other projects and am a bit behind in both week 3 week 4.  I am plodding along. I am a bit overwhelmed trying to interpret these concepts to feltmaking, but I really want to. I actually I tried to coordinate color, vary size and add texture. Originally, it was actually one large piece 18" x 24" and I cut the piece into 4 sections, which seemed to work. Not all the images make sense as far as depth and focal point, but I will try to explain what I see in them. Feedback on where to go and what to do will be greatly appreciated

#1 image Focal Point and Depth

in this image, I think the red blob with the turquoise blue spikey flower like thing may be competing focal points. 

There is repetition in the 3 upright tree like trunks on the right side and depth created by the diagonal path going from lower right to upper left.

#2 image no focal point and no depth

Here I tried to create a focal point by adding the dark triangular piece over the red to counterbalance the large teal section that I embroidered on to tone it down.

#3a image no focal point and no depth

This is the same piece as #2 image without the small triangular piece on it. Again, nothing stands out. Is there something I can do to this to make it pop.

#3b image no focal point and no depth

#3a image no depth and no focal point.png

Here is the same image, I rotated and moved the darker triangular shape to see if it made a difference. Not sure but I think the triangular piece does add more interest, not sure what else I can do.

#4 image depth

This piece could have some balance, the larger right side balancing the smaller darker left side and then the bright path from lower right to upper diagonal left with the tips of the darker points overlapping and creating a bit of depth here. It is almost an aerial view of a garden area and city lot. 

#5 image allover design of color and shapes

In this piece there are smaller to slightly larger squarish pieces in different colors going from left to slightly upper and back right, which may create movement and depth, not too sure. There are 3 areas that could be challenging for the viewer. The 4 squares I just tried to describe, the 3 'almost the same size' dots, in the upper center right and on the left the diagonal greenish teal strip with dot like texture in it pointing down towards the right/center. To me, there is nothing that pulls this together. Suggestions.

I think I am too busy adding elements. I also am not able to understand or see the layers in felt, though I understand principles in felt to make light and darker areas. When  I start working, I have no idea where I am going. Hard to interpret ideas for me, always has been.

I will try lesson 3&4 again after feedback. Onto lesson 4 in more depth (ha ha).