At times I'm the pot calling the kettle black. As I stumble my way through creating things I often see my mistakes and realize that I've done exactly what I warn my students not to do! Take the seashell picture below for instance. At first I wondered why it is not a big seller for me, even though typically my Florida art sells well. Maybe I was having a hectic week and craving order, maybe I was secretly dreaming of a clean, white beach cottage away from my busy life. Either way, I created a piece that is grouped into a very dull and static scene. Unfortunately, I had failed to take a lesson to heart that I teach. It's called The Gestalt Laws of Grouping. The laws suggest that it matters how we arrange and group objects.
The shells are often considered and compared alongside one of my best sellers, Surprise Catch. In this painting below, the Gestalt law of proximity was satisfied because the crab and the shrimp are placed close together. The interplay between the crab and the shrimp tells a story. Their position in the scene invites the imagination to create a reason for their closeness. The viewer can imagine a story that might have taken place involving the two creatures. I created this watercolor of a crab because my son kept catching him with the shrimp while we were fishing in North Carolina. It tells a story.
I'm often asked what paintings I have that can be grouped with the crab. I've had several requests for starfish, so I gave it a go this week. I made sure to include at least two of the Gestalt Laws this time, proximity and similarity. In this case, the 2 objects, while different types of starfish, do look similar to one another. Viewers will perceive them as a group, a family or a pattern. They might even imagine that there are more starfish beyond the borders of the painting. While the 2 starfish are both different, they will appear as a single unit because the two shapes have similarity. We just have to remember that there is a delicate balance between similarity that gives interest and sameness that brings boredom.
There is also the additional Gestalt law of proximity at play. They are placed close together so the viewer might subconsciously wonder why. Is one a mother and the other a baby? Do they know the other is there? Will they be friends even though they are different types of starfish? You get the point.
I'm always amazed at how much composition theory like this can improve a painting! Learn more about the classes I teach and the upcoming summer art camp.
It is that time of year! Registration is now open for the 2015 Summer art camp. Plans are underway for projects that may include collage, painting, sculpting, decoupage, drawing and edible art. Each day we give one prize per table to those students displaying the character trait of the day. We will discuss the values of hard work, gratitude, patience and helpfulness. By the end of the week each child will have received a prize.
The camp will be held:
June 15th through June 18th
Monday through Thursday
Ages 6 through 12
Materials and supplies are provided
We will meet from nine to noon with breaks for snacks and outdoor play.
I always have creative helpers working along side of me so the kids will get plenty of individual help and attention. We plan to have fun and get messy so let them wear casual clothes.
The last day of camp we will have a parent art show complete with refreshments. The kids can take their parents around and show them all of their creations! It is a special time for everyone.
The art camp is hosted by Caryn Dahm and Holli Luther and is held at Metro church in Winter Springs just off of the 417 overpass.
- $105 Early bird registration (before April 1st)
- Cost will be $115 per child after April 1st
Register Online Here
Or to physically mail in your registration form with a check, download the form here.
We can't wait to inspire and encourage your child's love of art in a fun-filled, comfortable learning environment! e-mail email@example.com with questions.
For those of you parenting teenagers, you get me when I say that the highs and lows can be far more dizzying than parenting a toddler! Sure, you should be physically less tired, but the emotional battles can drain more quickly than an apple juice sippy cup.
Having a teenager, a tween and a 1st grader, I'm wearing multiple hats. One thing I see in both the youngest and oldest is the desire to be independent and served at the same time! The 7 year old wants to pour his own milk from a full jug that I take down from the fridge just as much as the 14 year old wants me to drop him off places and then make myself scarce. It's that age old dance between neediness and independence.
I especially find the teenager wanting to be self-sufficient and at the same time wanting to be babied. Perhaps that is more a function of being the first born. It's no doubt that his love language is “acts of service.” More than once a day I find myself saying to him, “If it is something you can do for yourself, you probably should do it for yourself.” Yet all the while I'm doing a dance in my own head, thinking, “I might only have 3 more years to do for him.” Consistency was never my strength, but I do know in my heart that over-serving him would be a disservice. If not only to him, then to his future roommates and wife.
It was just Saturday morning while I was making scrambled eggs, that my oldest son requested pancakes. I suggested that he go ahead and make them since I was cooking the eggs. One huge mess and some grumbling later he was serving hot cakes to his little brother and sister. Batter was on the counter, he used the wrong spatula, some were flipped before the tell-tail-bubbles appeared, but bellies were full and a sense of satisfaction was shared by all! I'm always glad when I've nudged him gently toward independence. I think in the end he will be, too.
We all know it goes by so fast. My friend and colleague, Nadine Nasby has helped me document every-day family moments with natural, relational photography for years. Her tagline, Comfy. Candid. Completely You. says it all! When she told me that this time of year she is busy taking Senior pictures, I thought I would give you the simple gift of her name.
Here are some photos from her most recent senior picture session.
If you have a senior and want to have something memorable created, Nadine is booking now. 407.340.2990 firstname.lastname@example.org
Whether I am painting custom artwork, creating a water colored logo for a client, or teaching art students, I hope to refresh and inspire others with my work. Read more ...