Simplicity in art can be deceptively challenging, and while it might seem easy to create a minimalist or simple composition, it requires an understanding of balance, negative space, and subtlety. The challenge lies in conveying depth or meaning with limited visual elements. As someone who focuses on creativity and mark making, I understand that every stroke or texture choice matters.
Creating a minimalist or simple composition in art may appear straightforward at first glance, but it necessitates a profound understanding of several key elements.
Balance is one of the fundamental aspects that comes into play. Achieving equilibrium within a composition means carefully distributing visual elements, such as colors, shapes, or textures, to create a harmonious whole. Too much or too little of any element can disrupt this balance, I need to understand and appreciate the delicate interplay of patterns and textures needed to maintain equilibrium in my work.
Negative space is another critical consideration. It's the emptiness or blank areas in an artwork that contributes just as much to its overall impact as the filled spaces. Mastery of negative space allows artists to guide the viewer's eye, evoke emotions, and highlight the focal points effectively. when I am making marks, I understand that sometimes what's not there is just as important as what is.
Lastly, subtlety is the art of conveying depth, emotion, or narrative with nuance and restraint. In a minimalist composition, every choice becomes significant, and even the smallest mark or color variation can carry profound meaning. This is where experience undoubtedly comes into play, as ones' ability to convey subtlety through a chosen techniques is essential in creating minimalist artworks.
Imagine a canvas with just a few carefully placed brushstrokes or a textile piece with only a handful of stitches. In these situations, every stroke or texture choice becomes immensely significant. Each mark you make carries the responsibility of conveying a specific feeling, idea, or message because there are no extraneous elements to distract from it.
Each mark you create, whether it's a stitch, a dye application, or a texture variation, is like a word in a sentence. In minimalism, you have to carefully choose each "word" to ensure it contributes to the overall narrative or emotional resonance of your artwork. The final/finished sentence must be complete, accurate and concise - not a simple task.
All of this leads to my collaborative exhibition with Alberta based artist, Lori Sokoluk which opens January 9th at the Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. The work for this exhibition (hints of which are in these blog images) started during lockdown. They consist, partially, as a correspondance of art as we sent work back and forth to have marks, layers and imagery added by one another.
We hope you will visit the exhibtion and attend the Opening Recpetion and Artists Talk on January 25th at 4PM