Extreme Composition

June 01, 2016

Y'know how on the interwebs (or internet webs as Candace says ;) ) you follow one link, which leads you to something else and before you know it you're reading someone's website or blog with little recall on how you actually got there?

Well that's how I discovered Jane Davies. I landed on her website, fell in love with her work and almost immediately bought one of her online downloadable classes, Extreme Composition.

As an aside, after subscribing to her blog updates I found myself reading this interview, from Wild Apple, wherein I learned not only had Jane grown up in Halifax, NS but also that her mentor was a friend of mine. Small world!
Anyway. Extreme Composition. I am loving this class.
I admit it's kicking my ass a wee bit.
But that can only be a Good Thing.


This one (above) is an exploration of shapes. And all the ways we can make them. We're asked to focus on a) just one or two shapes and b) neutral colours. There were many more sheets. These are just 3 random ones.


Another exploration using soft diffused backgrounds then creating a wandering line over top paying attention to, but not directed by, the shapes and edges of colour. Also attempting to work in a series. And finally adding separate shapes to create a composition.

What this one made me realize is that I intuitively do this but thinking about WHY I was doing what I was doing was very eye opening. I like balance. Unbalanced things make me squicky. As I discovered in this last photo.


This piece makes my brain hurt and my eyes bleed. But I'm showing you anyway.
The lesson was to use other elements besides, or in conjunction with, drawn/painted elements. This only uses collaged squares and circles and was intentionally left disconnected and discordant. It took everything in me to just let it be. Sometimes you need to push past the bleeding edge to discover why you prefer a certain look or feel. (I actually had to cover it up lest I slap some more connecting elements onto it!!)

How about you ... does it hurt your brain too? Would you add anything else? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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