Textured Life


can a leaf feel its texture?

canna-pattern1So Jay took these, what I think are amazing, photographs the other day in our yard. I have looked at them several times since, just letting myself feel them with my eyes, so much so that I think I could actually FEEL the ridges and droplets on my fingertips, though I was not physically near the actual leaves. Were there really ridges, I wondered? Were the colors sending me a mirage? I finally had to go outside and look to see what was really there! I wanted so much to use them on our blog…to share them with you. They seem like such a natural tie-in with what we are about to delve into here at Scholars during this next month in our Hands-on workshops…. as we explore texture and balance through a variety of media and venues. So, here goes.

Elements and principles of design are the building blocks used to create a work of art. The elements of design can be thought of as the things that make up a painting, drawing, design. Texture is one of those and is an obvious and important element in a painting, drawing, or a photograph. Texture is the surface quality of a shape – rough, smooth, soft, hard, glossy, etc. There are two kinds of textures: Physical, the texture you can actually FEEL with your hand…the build up of paint, slipperiness of soft pastel, layering of collage, ridges in a leaf or bark – all the things that change the nature of the paper’s or object’s surface. Then there is Visual, the ILLUSION of physical texture, created with the materials you use. Paint or a photograph can be manipulated to give the impression of texture, while the paper surface remains smooth and flat. (Thanks John Lovett, for your explanations of design elements that made all of this “click” for me.)

So what do YOU see and feel when you look... when you REALLY let yourself SEE these photos? How many textures can you see? What do you see when you look longer? What would you feel if you were touching the actual object? What things come to mind that YOU might like to photograph or paint or draw that would show physical or visual texture? What will you look at in the next few minutes in your own little world that has texture? Is there anything that doesn’t have texture? These are just the beginnings of the musings for me that involve texture. Can a thought or an idea have texture? Are there certain textures that pull us like a magnet to touch them, explore them? Others that turn us away…are prickly? Which textures are our favorites? Hmmmmm. I am on a search for textures, right here, right now!

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