Sunday, March 22, 2015

Vocabulary of Elements

I thought I would try creating a sort of vocabulary of visual elements, and use almost arbitrary combinations of them as starting points for a series of work.  This was inspired by images I saw on Pinterest by Olivier Umbecker.  I'm not saying that he approaches his pieces this way, just that his work gave me this idea.  It is something I'm going to try out at Big Fat Art Weekend next week, see how it goes over with the group.

Here are the pieces, some tentatively finished, others in process:
painted shapes, paint scribble, graphite scribble, pattern, collage, loose line

painted shapes and scribbles, and paint outline shapes, pattern, graphite scribble, loose line

This one might be done.

I added the green cellular thing at the bottom as an element.  This one is definitely in process, or else I will keep it as a "demo" piece.  I like the new marks.

I used that sort of cellular shape thing again in this one, but in fine pen.

The second one on the video.  Still in process.

The shape in the upper left is done with plastic wrap through a stencil.  Give THAT a try!

Work in Progress

This might be finished.  I like the spare quality, all that space around the elements.

Agony and Confusion

This is the first one I did on the  video.  It's still in progress.
As I look at these all together I see some aspects I'd like to investigate further: maybe leaving more space around the elements, maybe trying to use fewer elements in each piece.  I would also like to see how this approach works on a larger scale.  These are all 12"x12".

If you are inclined to try this, I would love to hear how it goes, and if you find it a productive way to work or get jump started.
You could tack these up to your wall as a reminder.

19 comments:

  1. Wow...I love these. I need to try this! Thank you!

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  2. These are great but the video is blocked plug-in. Lynda x

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    1. Hmm. Try again. It worked for me. Or is there something I can do to make it work for you?

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  3. I love the life and attitude of these ! They look clean and fresh ! Would love to see the finished work also.

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  4. I always love to "attack" an empty page with scribbles or loose lines. Sometimes these scribbles evolve into stamps or stencils on their own. I think this is a nice way of handling art between play and strict plans. I will definitely experiment more :)

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  5. Sometimes I think, if you do enough work, that your vocabulary becomes your 'style'. I would recognise most of your 'elements' as uniquely yours.

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    1. ha! the celadon is a dead giveaway! *smile*

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  6. Oooooooh, I love the delicacy you can get with the plastic wrap transfers! You really got me inspired, thank you. Now if I could just clear my table for space to do a series! *sigh*

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  7. I like the idea of playing around and randomly combining 5 or 6 of the elements.

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  8. It's liuke dealing a deck of cards to see what you get for a "hand"

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    1. That is a BRILLIANT analogy! Thanks. Because once you have the "hand", you have to play it.

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  9. Inspiring as ever. Thanks, Jane. I recently made a "vocabulary" of all the techniques I could think of for watercolor textures. I did each on a 4 x 6 paper and hooked them on a ring. Now they hang nearby.

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  10. If your videos went on for hours. I would watch for hours:)
    Laura

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  11. Nice, a different way to use the saran wrap is to lay it on top of the paint on your substrate, scrunch up the wrap a lot and leave the wrinkles in it, lay a heavy object on top and let the paint dry. When you lift off the wrap you have lovely wrinkled lines showing whatever was beneath them, paint or the plain canvas. it looks similar to what you did but you can do big spaces this way.

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  12. Great video! Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Thanks, these elements are good as prompts for when I feel stuck before I even get started!:) I like the earlier comment about the playing card analogy, too.

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