Monday Motivator: Object or Atmospheric?

“It’s not always necessary to have an obvious focal point in a painting. Sometimes, I find it better to construct an atmospheric field that the viewer needs to adjust to before they can start to make out any elements of interest. Think of this kind of picture as wandering through a swirling fog, attempting to make sense of the surroundings, seeing objects but not being able to define their exact shape or purpose. Isn’t that a reasonable reflection of how we truly experience the world, never quite knowing where one thing ends, and another begins? 

Because we are a material society, we’re inclined to be ‘object centric’, obsessed with individual things, when maybe we’d be better served by acknowledging that everything is part of everything else.”

Artist-writer Nick Bantock, Facebook 10 January 2023

Soft, blurry edges versus hard, definite edges.

Blended colour transitions versus sharp colour contrasts.

Suggested versus stipulated elements.

A composition to meander in versus one with a clear path to a focal point.

The choices are not binary: either one or the other. Pick and mix, use your favourites and occasionally try the others to see if you might now enjoy them.

If you don’t like colour fields or “busy chaos”, try compositions with a primary and secondary focal point.

Primary focus: the stairs, the part where the angles change. Secondary: the church on the top of the hill. The stone wall, tiled roof and white wall on the left provide three large blocks of relative visual calm.

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