Drawing 1, Part 2: Compositional Terms

Research task: Compositional terms

For this task we were asked to choose some images from the course which struck us as ‘composed’ or ‘organised’. We then had to assign terms from a list to each artwork.

I chose the following:

Egon Schiele, Autumn Tree

For Autumn Tree I chose: empty, quiet, asymmetrical, textured, sparse, off-kilter, tense, natural, uneven, rough, and harsh.

The Passion: Number 57 (1997). George Shaw.

For The Passion: Number 57 I chose: quiet, geometric, rigid, careful, blocky, repetitive, architectural, hard, and urban.

Female Figure Standing By A Heater. Euan Uglow

For Female Figure Standing By a Heater I chose: quiet, poised, soft, immediate, asymmetrical, textural, sparse, thoughtful, pensive, intense, uneven, and rough,

Jumping Shadow, Boxing Shadow (1983). Richard Hambleton

For Jumping Shadow, Boxing Shadow I chose: rhythmic, free, improvised, immediate, loose, silhouette, chaotic, interesting, tense, jagged, unpredictable, intense, harsh, uneven, and rough

Jeune Negresse Assiese (1855-7) Camille Pissarro

For Jeune Negresse Assiese I chose: quiet, asymmetrical, soft, poised, deep, immediate, free, lyrical, gentle, delicate.

Delta (1998) Wayne Thiebaud

For Delta I chose: asymmetrical, soft, gentle, quiet, lyrical, spacious, and delicate.

Some of the paintings and sketches share the same terms.

‘Asymmetrical’ occurs in four of the paintings: Delta, Autumn Tree, Jeune Negresse Assiese, and Female Figure Standing by A Heater. I enjoy paintings that are asymmetrical. I do not feel so comfortable with symmetry as it feels too predictable. The asymmetry works well in all four images, as the subjects are leading in towards the centre, from their side placement. This leads the eye into the painting, and feels comfortable.

‘Poised’, I attributed to Jeune Negresse Assiese and Female Figure Standing by a Heater. I feel like the figures in both images are almost posed, as though they are aware they are the subjects of a piece of artwork. They look composed and peaceful.

Five of the images I had labelled as ‘quiet’. Delta, Jeune Negresse Assiese, Autumn Tree, Female Figure Standing by a Heater, and The Passion: Number 57. Perhaps these images appealed to me as I am a fairly quiet person who enjoys a lot of peace and calm. I do not like noisy situations, and these images felt peaceful. All but one, Jeune Negresse Assiese, also have an emptiness about them.

One image stands out for me as being totally contradictory in nature to the other images I have chosen, and that is Jumping Shadow, Boxing Shadow. This image is chaotic, powerful, strong and in your face. It has a darkness and tense quality about it that is unnerving and unpredictable. It is striking, and effective in its imposing presence.

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