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Making an abstract collage that focuses on shape and repetition

Cosmic Flowers

This one almost got named Lucy in the Sky with Flowers, but that seemed too cutesy. Cosmic Flowers is a fantasy abstract that I created when I was fooling around with repetition of shapes. I would recommend reviewing my post on creating an abstract, where I quoted Nita Leland’s explanation that the elements and principles of design are what an abstract is really "about". To add a bit to that here, let me share another quote with you from Nita’s Creative Collage Techniques:

The elements of design are the tools with which you construct the framework for your collage….The principles of design are the rules that you apply to the elements of design to organize your collage into a unified whole.

Keeping all that in mind, the elements that I primarily focused on were shape, size, and color, and the principles that I primarily used to create the piece were repetition, rhythm, and harmony. The color scheme is an analogous one, with a few splots of the complementary colors thrown in. This usually results in a very harmonious color combination, but not one that is static or boring. Secondly, I played with the size of the circle shapes, from single beads up to the largest (about 1″ across) punched circles. The repetition of the circle shape across the various sizes helps to unify the piece. The paper circles were cut from floral images in a catalog. The placement of the clusters of circles, looking like flowers themselves, was designed to develop a rhythm as your eye moved around the piece. Single circles and smaller ones were placed around for balance.

I wish I could give you the "Three Simple Rules for Making An Abstract", but I really don’t think they exist. Most of this design work simply happens without too much thought as you move your potential pieces around and make decisions about what stays, what goes, and what gets moved. Still, I think it’s helpful at times to look at your piece and analyze the design elements and principles that you see in effect, and consider whether tweaking them somehow would create a stronger piece.

Copyright 2008 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Julie said…
"Cosmic Flowers" is really gorgeous!!! I love it so much!!
Beautiful work!!!

Cyndi L said…
Thank you, Julie :-) It's a little more color than I usually do, but it makes me happy!