Pattern: it is about repeating lines, colors, shapes, values and sizes in a painting.
Reviewing Work For A Portfolio.
I have been preparing a portfolio of my work for submission to the print literary magazine Cascadia Subduction Zone. In the process, I was looking at some of my works that I haven’t thought about in awhile.
It’s Like Looking At Pictures Of Friends.
Take, for instance, the watercolor Lighthouse D9 (or Design 9). I am delighted to reacquaint myself with this painting. The Grays Harbor Lighthouse, Point Chehalis, West Port, WA, inspired me to create this series of work. You see, for a time I lived nearby and have always loved lighthouses.
Playing With Pattern.
When I created the design for Lighthouse D9 I was interested in exploring pattern. When I say pattern, I am referring to a specific use of the term. That is, I repeated and clustered smaller shapes in such a way that they “read” visually as one larger shape.
Examples: Grass & Clouds.
Take, for example, the cloud shapes or the “v” grass clump shapes. Together, the smaller “v” shapes and the greenish color add up visually to tell you that I’m describing a grassy area. The same goes for cloud shapes against a blue background on the upper portions of the painting. I’m signaling “sky”.
OH! A Way To Simplify!
Put another way, I’m using pattern to simplify my design. Plus, add meaning. And, it was fun!
What About Meaning?
The meaning? For me, I’ve always liked lighthouses. I grew up looking at lighthouse paintings by my father, artist John Stermer. My feelings were pretty simple; I liked them. They looked like remote places, but also beacons to the traveler.
This painting, with its festive colors and simple patterns, alludes to the brighter side of lighthouse symbolism. That is the beacon that guides the navigator through rough seas.
In closing, I hope that you enjoy my Lighthouse, D9. Furthermore, you might want to keep a look out for pattern next time you go to an art show.