Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Symmetry, Harmony, A Beautiful Life

Symmetry and harmony through size, shape, color, and placement find their way into most of our compositions with just a little planning. Those of us who share a mathematical bent, may even find fractal and circular elements to be a focus in choosing subjects. Symmetry is a main reason we find visual art aesthetically pleasing and beautiful. This artistic harmonious balance extends to the beauty in nature, architecture, and the beings who populate our worlds and create for us a beautiful life.

I read a brief article about Leonardo's symmetry study Leonardo's Vitruvian Man earlier this week and it clarified why I'm having difficulty putting finishing touches on five small beach studies. I digressed from my typical palette knife minimalist beach color studies to more realistic works and lost my symmetry.

Picnic Island Tampa  Sea Grapes
Yesterday, I packed up my worthless camera and headed to an inland spot away from beaches in search of signs of Spring in my eternal Summer paradise. This sea grape from my Picnic Island beach site is the  most drastic color change in my Florida Spring landscape and is worthy of a painting. Look at all that symmetry on many levels!

Gadsden Park Tampa
Just two miles from Picnic Island, I found Gadsden Park next to MacDill Air Force Base. Nothing more than a large pond, beautiful old oaks draped in moss, and multiple red clay ball fields, I found it lacking in symmetry. Cattails and manipulated scenery in the trees surrounding the water definitely were announcing Spring, though they hardly compare with the natural beauty of Picnic Island estuary.

Gadsden Flowering Shrub
One isolated shrub along a concrete walkway was the only flower I found yesterday. I'm guessing that with no drinking water fountains there is no water for flowers. A great sign of Spring, but not worthy of a painting. Although I do see possibilities for an abstract color study.

Gadsden Park Trail
This serene setting along the trail was incredibly beautiful with an almost Japanese garden appeal. Texture played against texture, light against dark, and vertical against horizontal--awesome symmetry! Maybe some day I will capture it in a lovely painting that will be very pleasing.

Today, I put aside the five beach paintings to work on "Spring" flowers--again on the beach in a wonderful breeze, surrounded by water and sail boats and native flowers. My next blog should have some painterly pictures for viewing.

One can learn a lot reading about symmetry in practically any field. I encourage you to explore. Recently I picked up a bag of board games at a tag sale to use the pieces in handcrafts. Inside I discovered a bag of Runes. In reading the enclosed text I found that Runes are basically about finding symmetry and harmony in life.

The runes research brought to mind a story from a literature book from my college German classes a hundred years ago. The story was about a sad woman who had sad geraniums, and no man, but at least her two pots of geraniums were symmetrically placed, on the window sill I think. The Sad Geraniums  You can link and translate to read. As with all things German, it's way deeper than a story of two flower pots. After all these years, I've not forgotten the importance of Symmetry.

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All the best,

Gail Kent
Gail Kent Studio

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