The “don’t run with scissors” commandment of art is the Rule Of Thirds.
The Rule Of Thirds is a rule of perspective in visual arts. Imagine two parallel horizontal lines and two vertical lines across the image, thus dividing it into nine equal squares, three up and three across. The idea is A) assure that each of the squares are visually interesting, something that is among my weak spots, and B) assure that the focal point of the work sits off center, roughly in one of the crosses, so that it is placed just above or below and to the left, or above or below and to the right. Any vertical or horizontal lines across the image, such as a horizon, should be placed directly on one of the vertical or horizontal lines, rather than through the center which would cut the image in half. Thus, the rule goes, the artist has created greater interest and balance than if everything were simply centered. It’s application dates to Euclid’s Golden Ratio first calculated around 300 BCE., so it likely has something subliminal going on.
The rule seems more authoritarian among photographers and filmmakers. In my opinion the reason is that photography is most often exhibited in roughly 2x3 scale, and film especially so; even widescreen still suggests the Rule Of Thirds.
But change the scale. The Rule Of Thirds gets tricky in 1x1 scale. I mean, it can – the Wikipedia link above and again here demonstrates the Rule Of Thirds in a 1x1 landscape that works quite well. Also, go back to my March 25 work 'The Dreamer', one of my favorites from this year – the outline of the leopard’s head roughly falls into these lines, and the nose is perfectly just off center. It’s harder to spot in my Valentine’s Day work 'The Lovers', another of my favorites, but it’s there. Now look at my March 10 work 'The Jurist'. Any other crop would have created dead space – Rule Of Thirds doesn’t work. Does that mean the work itself doesn’t work? Is the Rule Of Thirds the predominant power in the universe?
Go the other direction to the 1x3 scale, as I’ve used in today’s work. In this scale, there are no vertical thirds. Imagine two vertical lines creating three squares across - fine. Now try throwing a horizontal line or two across and small rectangles are created – doesn’t work. For today’s work, the centers of three of the flowers sit just off center of the three thirds of the image. Go back to my July 25 work 'Vidette', an extreme example. The statue sits perfectly off center of the far left third, while I’ve allowed the sky to bleed off to the two right thirds – Euclid’s perfect Golden Ratio, although I’ve left myself open to criticism that those thirds lack interest. But, you see, now we’re applying the Rule Of Thirds not to the entire image but to different sections of the image – The Rule Of Thirds turned onto itself.
And you thought “Art” was about emotion – who gave you that idea?
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I haven’t altered colors in this work – this is a climbing plant of some kind, perhaps a clematis, with bright orange and yellow flowers. Positively gorgeous, and I left without finding out what it was. So if anyone knows, please holler me!
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.