Love and Hate

Warburton knew I would never be a great designer. So he tried fundamental things with me—white space to balance designs and rule of thirds. Being he was an ecclesiastical carver, he was very concerned that I understand the traps you fall into when your block limits you to a constrained and stiff composition. There is no rule that he taught me that I have not broken on my own until I, finally, said, “that’s what he meant.” Well, at least I learned the lesson. It is the curse of the self-taught that our learning process is irregular. Good designers know when and how to bend and break the rules. I think that’s one of the things that makes great art and craft. The rest of us stumble until we get it right.

Kingfisher II

The photo I am showing here is one of my favorites, despite its apparent flaws. It was a practice piece that I liked. After it kicked around the shop for a couple of years, I decided to frame it. Being that it was an odd size, I made the frame from scrap around the shop.
The frame overwhelms the carving in color and size; and the piece ( being meant for practice) never was designed to have a proper border around it. Every time I look at the carving, I get reminded of how pleased I was with the effects of carving in cherry, and how much I liked the steam fishing vessel it represents. I also get irritated by the lack of compositional balance caused by the lack of space around the ship.
Because of the good and bad of the design, it’s a piece I love and hate.

5 Replies to “Love and Hate”

  1. What a great ‘practice’ piece! Cherry is so beautiful.

    I first learned about the rule of thirds from my husband, who indulges in landscape photography every now & again.

  2. I’ll have to beg your pardon here, Lou. I see no flaws whatever and the framing is perfect for the piece. It does not take attention away from it, it enhances it. We are always our own worst critics. I’ve done the same thing with things I’ve made. My quilting group jumped right in and ask if the flaw could be seen from a galloping horse? I said I didn’t think so. They said that I should ignore it and move on. I see the flaw, no one else does unless I point it out. Good thing you didn’t point it out. I like it very much and the one with the flag in your header.

    1. The flag is the “burgee” of the Corinthian Yacht club. As my wife’s aunt used to say – “very puka puka” ( snooty). Nice to hear from you. One of the really nice things about blogging are the interesting people that you associate with.

      1. That’s what I’ll miss most. Not a lot of bandwidth these days. I think the state of the world is taking a large tole on most of us. Keep making beautiful art.

  3. interesting self-critique. i think i agree with you; the frame overwhelms, distracts. i love the carving and subject matter though.

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