Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The artist as engineer

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Sunday, Women Drying Their Hair by John Sloan

Design is an engineering problem. The well-articulated design has the same unity, proportion, and dynamic structural excitement as a fine bridge. A fine design has scale. It could be reduced in size or enlarged, and still retain its beauty of measure. This is because of the proportion between the large masses, the minor masses, and the details. It is compact, yet spacious and easy to see. It may be comprehended at a glance, and read continuously…

All lines tend to keep on going until they are stopped, or continued in another direction by another line or form. Lines that move out of the picture frame must be balanced or checked by others that bring the eye back into the design. A composition that radiates from the center is hard to control.

The eye tends to rest at the center of an area. Any form in the middle of the design will tend to arrest the flow of the composition. A symmetrical balance of forms on either side of the central axis of the design will also check the movement. A long narrow space needs to have two centers of interest, held together by some positive rhythm.

John Sloan, Gist of Art

Written by nevalalee

December 7, 2014 at 9:00 am

Posted in Quote of the Day

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