One day I was thinking a lot about relationships. It was the anniversary of my marriage, when one naturally thinks about the relationship one has with one’s partner. Also that morning I had taught a lesson on composition focusing on the relationship between objects in a painting. With these thoughts about relationships still swirling in my head, I rounded the corner of my usual walk to see the lesson made visually real.
I have many favourite trees, and many of them have inspired paintings. On this particular day, one of the trees that had inspired the painting “Embrace” was now in pieces in the back of a truck. As I considered this change to the composition, Henri Matisse’s words came to mind: “Composition is the art of arranging…the diverse elements at the painter’s command to express his feelings.”
Indeed! As there were no longer two trees, the intimate conversation between two forms had ceased to exist. Without that compositional (physical) push-pull relationship between objects (or elements), there can be no expression of the painter’s emotions.
This entry was first posted on October 13, 2014.