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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Balancing Act...

Mary in Polka Dots   oil/canvas   30 x 24 x .5
Yes, indeed it is.  For almost everyone.  Finding that median in the land of polar opposites.  Work:Play.  Self:Others.  Visual balance is important in my work....and I have noticed that most people are highly sensitive to balance and can tell when, in any situation, it needs to be improved.  Being off-balance is disconcerting.  (There are cases, when asymmetry is very exciting and helps to tell the story.  In that case, imbalance is intended and purposeful).  Mary was a tall and lanky young model.  And then she did that pretzel thing with her legs wrapped around the rungs of the stool.  First of all, painting the human figure on a standard size canvas is difficult at best.  If the standing figure is painted in its entirety, the proportions of the surface are wrong to me, leaving far too much negative space.  O.K.  In this case, the lankiness was offset and balanced by some emphasis on the horizontals.  In the working of these horizontals, the relationships of shoulder/shoulder; hand/hand; knee/knee and boot;boot became even more important.  In this particular scenario, the stool had to be included as it was inseparable from the legs.  The horizontal rungs also helped to balance this extremely vertical situation.

I have watched people straighten a barely-crooked painting on a wall as they walk by.  I believe that a need for balance is deeply engrained in our physiology.