Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Nature of Things

Time can cause one to change in both positive and negative ways.  A blizzard can also provide time for introspection.  While I have "quit" this blog and also no longer teach a section of 2-D design at Montgomery College, I read a comment by Paul Klee today that made me reflective.

"Make your pupils acquainted with nature, let them see how a butterfly becomes a butterfly, so that they may learn to be as rich and versatile and original as nature itself."

Klee was a great teacher and a prolific artist.  The myriad colors, and the repeating geometric forms that he frequently combined with sharp lines were essentially abstractions that rendered the simplification of naturalistic forms.  He sought out nature for inspiration.

Paul Klee - Flowers in the Night - 1930
Paul Klee – Flowers in the Night – 1930


The following images are student works from a few years ago.  They had learned about pattern making and also the qualities of line and shape.  In this exercise they created patterns using biomorphic shapes. 






The students are asked to work from direct observation of natural forms but in today's world that does not always happen.  Sometimes we had a break in the park adjacent to the school and would gather all manner of windfall.  For some this was their first "hands on" contact with nature.