So … What’s the Point?

Sometimes I am moved by a feeling of awe or peace and want to depict the scene that created that sensation. A sense of peace can come from a landscape that is pleasant but unfortunately unexceptional, with little or nothing to suggest a focal point. What’s a painter to do? For one thing, an artist is not just a painter but a creator. An artist creates with aesthetics in mind.

120506 Still Morning

So I create a focal point. Is the scene a vaguely defined hill against a clear sky, with a lake in the foreground? Try to imagine the picture, “Still Morning” (#120506), above, without the moored boat. Bor-ing!

However, I can create a more interesting sky, with clouds reflected on the surface of the water. Or I can create ripples in the water to suggest a bit of movement. Or I can add some element, such as an animal or a boat, that will draw the eye. The idea is to create a break in the monotony, to provide a purpose and a point of interest for the viewer to seek out and think about.

If I can’t find a focal point already in the scene, it’s time to create one to build the rest of the composition around.

… But what if there’s too much in a scene to choose from? What then? Check back next time when I address the problem of overabundance.

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