Art background? Me? No, not in any sense of the word. Art classes and I have never met. I’ve always done whatever I felt necessary to achieve an art piece I was eventually satisfied with. Sometimes that process works and sometimes it doesn’t.
Several of my five children were art majors in college. They are often my harshest critics because they KNOW what is needed in a composition and feel free to tell me what’s lacking in my latest endeavor. Two words I’ve heard so often are “focal point”. It seems every successful piece has a focal point.
In desperate need of a creation that included the color purple, an ARTAA theme for a 2016 exhibit, I tried and tried and tried again to achieve something that was visually pleasing. Part of the difficulty was my dislike of the color purple. While I totally enjoyed the creative process and found my completed work satisfactory, there was something missing, but what?
Off I went to an ARTAA meeting, piece in hand, looking for advice. We are a group of women artists who have agreed that an honest criticism is always welcome because we are there to help one another achieve our very best work. Unlike me, most of the members do have backgrounds in art and I value their opinions.
Upon showing my artwork, most of the comments were surprisingly complimentary. However, my buddy, Joanna, had me hold the piece up while she studied it carefully from across the room. Out came those words once again. “It lacks a focal point.” Not everyone agreed, but, in my gut, I knew she was right.
I’ve spent the last two days, needle in hand, creating a seed bead starfish, a focal point. Since the piece in entitled Adrift on a Purple Sea, having my “focal point” bobbing on a wave works for me. Now, if it works for Joanna, all is right in my world.