Motif simply means a decorative design or pattern. In my work last month, I was dealing with several motif designs, but I wanted to find a more naturally-occurring motif for the final day of the photo challenge. The late afternoon sun highlighted a perfect example on the grass of a tractor tire track. On the way through our site’s gift shop, an Aboriginal pattern caught my eye as well.
When I started thinking about the use of shape in art, I thought of three dimensional sculpture. When I was studying at Emily Carr in 2005, I was assigned to make a cube out of plaster and then “wrap it.” I put a lot of thought into this project, which you can read about in an old post here. It’s hard to believe that was already nine years ago.
The other object I photographed was one of the antique kitchen implements I have hanging in the kitchen. This was an antique from the “old house” on our property that my parents had hanging around our fireplace in the den. I like the sculptural lines and shadows it casts.
Here are a couple of my paintings that demonstrate a degree of asymmetry. On the left is a pair of paintings that I display with a space of about an inch in between. While the horizon is aligned, the canvases are not. Read about the making of these paintings here.
On the right, the slope of the landscape gives an asymmetrical feel to the painting.
Rounding the bend of this artsydefined photo challenge, I needed some inspiration for scale, so I turned to the kids for help. My six-year-old set up the cat display pictured to the left, and my four-year-old posed for the bubble-head photo.
Now these are very literal examples of scale, and do not really tie back to art. But what I did manage through this day’s photos was to teach both my children what scale means. Ever since, they’ve been pointing out examples of scale to me. When I got home from work the next day, my son had made these triangles just so that I could photograph them. As an artist and career mom, I couldn’t hope for more than to inspire my children to create art as well!
It wasn’t hard to find examples of geometric patterns around the house, but I thought I should try to make something geometric as well. My first attempt was quite pitiful: precision in drawing is not my forté.
I decided to pull out the string-and-ink technique, but this time used thinned acrylic paint so that it would be waterproof. I created a pattern using the saturated string, and after it dried painted it in with watercolour.
As an artist, It’s important to remember to do things like this as an “artist date” – just to play around and give yourself a chance to be creative using a different method than your preferred medium. My kids couldn’t be lured away from watching TV to try painting with string until they saw my finished painting. They eagerly tried it another day, but I’ll save that post for another time. My four-year-old was the winner of this painting, which he has proudly stuck on his wall.
Last weekend we had a very snowy day! We had to venture out and try to make the most of it. I loved the way this little piece of icicle snow was clinging to the school’s monkey bars, which seemed like a good example of something in the foreground for that day’s photo prompt. I also liked the background in the second photo: the rare sight of snowy trees. My daughter and her dear snowball coasting along in front of this scene was perfect. It was so cute how attached she was to this snowball. It was slightly too cold for good packing snow, so it had taken her a long time to roll it this big. We transported it from two different parks and at this one, she forgot it when it was time to go. She was so upset her daddy eventually ran back and got it for her to bring home.
These are the background scenes around my place. Living in BC, we don’t normally have a snowy forest to look at! But this is what our backyard view is. Inside, I included a photo that focuses on the background landscape of our day-to-day escapades. The fossilized rose in a bell jar, the piano, that painting of trees I made last year. These are just the normal background things we take for granted.