Thursday, January 20, 2011

Asymmetrical Balance 2

Yesterday's exercise was about creating an asymmetrical situation. It required holding a sense of the objects and their relative placement. It was all about "balancing asymmetrically five positive shapes or weights to create a shift of attention from one area to another."

The second exercise works with the very same previous images but now we are to imagine the objects are holes. Think of them as nothing at all. Another spin is to imagine "looking at a piece of solid white wood full of empty black holes".

Another quote from Notan, The Dark-Light Principle of Design:

"The visual exchange--the perception of a shift from things to no-things, from no-things to things--is a characteristic of Notan."

So in the first exercise, the black blobs were objects. It was all about them. Background wan't really a consideration. With today's exercise, the white is the object and the blobs don't exist.

One final quote:

"Do not hurry with this exercise. Like plants and trees, we create at the same rate that we grow--very slowly. Though we are always trying to force ourselves to rush at the rate of machines, our pace n this work cannot be rushed."

Hopefully not in too much of a hurry, we'll wrap up the Asymmetrical Balance exercises. I'll bet you know where this is going... :-)


  1. Hello John! Haven't been around for ages. No internet in Geneva, here till early Feb, then off to Windsor ... just wanted to check in briefly and see what you are up to. (Sitting behind library which is closed till this afternoon, when I'm working!) These exercises look exciting! I am going to get the book from Amazon and sift back asap through your posts to see what else has been going on. Vicarious art is great. But it definitely spurs on one's own activity, which is even better.

  2. So nice to hear from you, Katharine! I followed the Mathaf opening while thinking of you.

    Bridgewater is buried under piles of snow.'s snowing... again!

  3. I'm along for the vicarious ride, as well as the introduction to Notan.As Gretchen said earlier this week, there is so much to learn and one lifetime is certainly not enough.

  4. Very good, Judith. I will forge ahead!

    By the way, I find your watercolor work so inspiring.

    For anyone who may have missed her blog:
    Do check it out! :-)

  5. Thanks for that mention,John. I am away again this weekend and have spent the afternoon playing with fountain pen and water brush, in the absence of anything else. Another byway of art, and so expressive, I discover.

  6. I look forward to your posts on this. I love the look of ink and watercolor--both when the ink stands firm (dip pen) and when it blends in (fountain pen).