I realized when I was working on my last piece (see above) that I'm a big cheat when it comes to doing my artwork. Because my art is generally unbalanced by color, as the setting is black and white and the figure is in color, I have to find a way to throw some balance into the piece. The easiest way for me to do this is by throwing in patterns that repeat throughout the piece.
It's so easy. Obviously, millions of artists do this same thing and have been since the beginning of drawing (that's another blog). But it's so very easy that it makes me feel like I'm somehow cheating. I wonder if any other artists feel this way about a device they employ in their art. Any artists out there that may be reading this please comment. I'd love to know!
However, I can (and do) often turn my cheat into a challenge. What new pattern can I add to the next piece? What old pattern can I add in to link my new piece to a past piece? In the piece above I used the old line pattern and the old small circle pattern but I used the swirl for the first time.
The swirl is fun. Don't believe me? Try drawing some swirls. I'll wait.
Although it is an easy way to balance a piece and link a body of work those are not the only reasons that I use patterns. I also use them because I like them. They are ancient. They add another language to the piece; they add another way to read the work. A person might first look at the piece and notice the color, the contrast, and the story, but did they notice the patterns? Did they read the piece in that way? Did they ignore all of the easy ways to read the piece and look for the harder parts?
Here are a few of my pieces that might be fun to look at while just thinking about pattern:
I'm not sure how many people actually will read this blog but this has helped me tremendously. I can't wait to thumb through some art history books and reexamine my work with nothing but pattern in mind!
I love art!