ARTisSpectrum Vol. 31, May 2014 - page 86

ARTisSpectrum | Volume 31 |
Artists are ALWAYS on the lookout for new sources of inspiration.
One of the secrets of some artists is how they internalize and then manifest the infinite patterns that cross their paths.
Perceiving / scrutinizing / examining patterns that surround you can provide unlimited starting places for art.
Right this moment, take a quick look around you.
Do you see patterns in your clothes? The ceiling? Your dog’s fur? Your cat’s stripes? The branches outside your window?
The shelving behind you? The tread in your shoes?
The concept of ‘patterns’ is boundless because the world around you never stops changing.
How could you use the following exercise either
on your own or with a group of artists?
I teach Integrated Arts for the Faculty of Education
at a university in Canada and on the first day when
students walk into our classroom they see giant
words right across the front of the room saying:
Big pieces of blank paper and markers are on each
The first words the students hear are…
“Paying attention to what surrounds you is the
essence of being a great teacher/artist.
It creates an acute awareness and puts you
in the
the art of now
Immediately… go into a mode where you write or sketch all the patterns that surround you.
Then, if you’re working with a partner or a small group of other artists, turn to the person sitting next to you and start
talking about observations. Eventually partners share with other partners then you generate a list of observed patterns
from the whole group.
You are now more aware of your environment and each other than you were 10 minutes ago.
As you can see from the image above the students responded to environmental patterns by constructing newspaper
sculptures. Becoming aware of the infinite
number of man-made and natural patterns
surrounding us leads to other discoveries of
designs/blueprints/configurations. Where can
you find patterns that will inspire your art? Let’s
look at a few suggestions.
While walking by a storefront, marketplace or
street vendor you might come across a display
such as this whose distinct lines and colors
draws your eye.
Could this inspire an installation on a huge scale
by continuing to repeat the patterns?
Could it be used in printmaking?
Can you see the possibility of collage?
The Art of Now: Observing Patterns
by Lynda Pogue
Interpreting and creating patterns through newspaper sculptures
… finger puppet display, New York
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