Painting: Wall Versus Closet

In my recent painting class, we learned about composition, as well as color and contrast and values, light against dark, lines, marks, focal points.  It was a lot to take in and consider all at the same time as putting the paint on the canvas.  I have painted a lot in the past but is was textiles and garments.  As I am consuming this class, I realized that textile design/decorating and painting a canvas as it were, are as similar and disimilar as playing jazz music and classical,  or rock.  There is much overlap.  The technique and skills are the same, but there is a difference in focus and purpose.

A painting on the wall is, artists correct me if  I am wrong, designed to capture your attention and your imagination.  Your eye should linger in the painting, taking in the story, the composition.  The focal point–the place your eye goes to over and over–is the point of the painting.  The colors sparkle or soothe, the lights contrast with the darks….

When I paint a garment, I am thinking many similar things to the wall painting, but I am also considering the focal point, which is not the garment actually, but YOU.   No matter how amazing the art is, if it doesn’t look good on YOU, you won’t  buy it.  Though you want to show off your painted, one of a kind unique piece, what you really want to show off is you.  I know,  but your secret is safe with me. An animal eye shouldn’t be right on a breast for example.  Focal points can’t disappear under an arm or a side seam.  If the complex part of the design is thickly painted over your belly, consider you just gained 20 pounds. And I didn’t make a sale.

To me, at this stage of my contemplation and digestion, art for your walls needs to tell a story through composition, design, color and technique.  Art for your body needs to tell a story too, but the main character  in this case is YOU.

Photos by .  Thank you.

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