Thought on Flow and Direction in Art

April 28, 2013 at 2:31 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I was at a local eatery the other day and they had remodeled and in the remodeling they changed everything around. All they did was add a new counter but now, instead of starting at one end of the counter, ordering there and going right to pay, you start in the middle and go to the left – which used to be the place to order – to pay. And now you go clear across the room for cups.  There’s a bottleneck of people trying to order where the tables are and a big empty space where we used to order. Phew. It was exhausting – though entertaining – to watch people figure out what the heck to do when they entered. Phew.

While I was enjoying the show, I got to thinking about flow and direction. Part of the confusion in the eatery is based on the fact that that the way it used to be reflected the way so much is in this country- left to right. We read left to right, we drive on the left hand side of the line and the cold water faucets are always on the right to avoid burns as most people are right handed and are just naturally tuned into the right as weird and ethnocentric as that sounds. If rightocentric were a word, it’d be that to.

Then I thought about flow in art – any kind of art, whether painting or dimensional mixed media.  No matter how avante garde your art, this is one of the conventions, this left to right thing we are wired into, you must stick to. Our eyes – and brains – are used to the left to right flow.

So if, for instance, you are creating a piece of art and want to convey pattern – or even just a thought about patters in art or in life – remember if you attempt to lead the eye from left to right, the eye – and mind – of your viewer is more likely to be able to follow your idea or theme easily, thus understand any underlying meaning.

Imitation is Good for the Soul

January 29, 2013 at 12:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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If imitation is the sincerest for of flattery, could it also be the kindest way to teach yourself a new art technique?

Contributors to Somerset Studio invite readers to use the techniques they demonstrate in order to reproduce their creations.  For artists who use the instructions, assemble the necessary tools, and try to re-create what the published artists have done, is this the best, most non self- judgmental way for them to learn and appreciate their own talents?  When we try to recreate or copy what has been created by another artist, we might feel a little less like our very heart and soul depends on the outcome if the piece comes out differently than the original than if we create something that is not what we had hoped, planned, or intended.  We may in fact actually learn something about how we choose – maybe subconsciously, maybe consciously – to work with certain tools.

As kids when we first learned cursive – at least when teachers used to teach it – we learned by copying letters above the chalkboard and in writing in lined tablets.  We traced, we imitated, we learned.  Is it like that in art?  Perhaps to learn, and feel comfortable that when the learning process is done what we have is truly our own, we need to imitate others first.

When we sat in class in a Zen like trance and traced letters, the teachers knew that eventually our letters would take on their own – our – personality.  And so it is with art.  When we use methods of artists with morePicture 001 experience than ourselves, we learn things that will serve us in many ways throughout our lives.

So feel good about copying for learning or self-satisfaction what has been created by others, it will help you relax into nonjudgmental learning and ultimately, develop you own style.

September 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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As the weather gets colder, curl up with a classic, gently loved  copy of Somerset magazine. Visit to choose one today!

Blog Tour- Get Caught up in Fall

September 21, 2012 at 1:28 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I’m going on a Blog Tour! I see blogs all over the place and am intrigued and inspired but just bookmark them and go on with my day.  Maybe I should make a special book mark folder and keep a date with myself, use my Yahoo calendar or something? What are the things you make a point of doing every week or so? What do you wish you did on a regular basis but have not made the time for? Go ahead and do that Now as we role on into Fall.

September 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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So after having read lots of articles on layering and the joys of layering, I finally decided to give it a try.  I had received a package in the mail with this unusual packing paper in it that was meant to be recycled but I thought was just intriguing.

I’d watched things on the Internet and read about layering but my first thugth was always that I didn’t want to cover the original image up and what if I liked what I had and wanted to stop too soon. I had seen the way artists in magazines were able to add layers but still have previous layers show through but couldn’t see this working for me.
The first nice surprise I had was that use of a medium instead of glue really did work.  It not only held on what I wanted it to but it also made it’s own little surface as it glued and puddled and settled.  So that was settled, I really believed medium would work as a glue.  Not only that but I was pleased to find that it did let the colors that were already on the canvas board show through.


But then I stopped.  I knew that one layer did not a layering project make but I was so pleased with the way it looked, I didn’t want to cover it.  So what I ended up with isn’t really a layering project, like most first timers I suppose I just became too pleased with my project and didn’t want to mess it up.


Next time I’ll get more adventurous… at least that is what I tell myself.  But don’t we all.

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