Sunday, August 26, 2012
Elements of Art, Principles of Design - all found in nature
If I were still teaching this fall, I would begin with a variety of lessons, at different grade levels, all using images from nature, in particular those that show rhythm, movement, pattern, and repetition. (Though it would be also hard to ignore some texture, color, shape, form, balance, contrast, harmony, value, etc.) The fact is, when I started editing photos I shot this summer, those particular elements I picked out above repeated themselves over and over again in the images from my camera. (Note: all photos in this post were either shot near Kennebunkport Maine, or in my little marsh in Loon Lake - one of many Loon Lakes - in the Adirondacks.)
I like to instill in students the understanding that the Elements of Art and Principles of Design are not just WORDS. We see them in nature in our daily lives. They are not something we have search hard to find, and we do not need to invent them on our own. It is all right out there waiting for us to notice.
We just need to tune up our observation skills, stay still, or move quietly. If we are always in a hurry, there's so much we will miss. The little frog below, the first I have ever actually seen sitting on a lily pad (how cool is that?!), was no more than 2" long. Look at the intricate patterns on his little body! Or on the shell or belly or neck of the turtle! I feel privileged that they welcome me to visit their home in the marsh. The photo on the right below is coastal Maine.
I found myself fascinated, on a beach in Maine, watching the tide come in gently and the patterns in the sand change over time. As a matter of fact, I wanted to take more photos of the ripples and foam seen in the photo on the left below, but 10 minutes later when I returned they were gone, all covered in water. The lily pads on the right are from my marsh visit.
I've received some questions about what kind of camera I use, and I want to tell you, I do not have anything fancy or pricey. It is just a little Canon PowerShot SX120, and while I would LOVE to have a nice digital SLR, in the meantime I think what I have performs quite well. So I'll close with a cute photo - 'just hanging out'.