Friday, August 2, 2013

Observation and Abstraction

The original drawing from observation:

Abstraction from original drawing using a compass:

A few years ago, I studied wood carving with an old Greek woodcarver. His specialty was iconostasis for Greek Orthodox churches. The iconostasis were made up of designs that were primarily geometric or abstractions from nature. Each element had specific steps necessary to carve it correctly, steps that had been passed down from teacher to student for who knows how long. One of the things I learned from my wood carving class was that if I wanted to become a wood carver, a good one, I would need to spend an enormous amount of time learning all the motifs in all the different major styles of wood carving - from European Baroque to all the styles of used in the iconostasis my teacher carved. The other thing I learned was that I missed the creative process I mainly used in college: Receive a visual objective and then apply all my knowledge to coming up with a unique way of accomplishing that objective. The "coming up with things" was what I missed. So, this little project this morning is my own brief and humble tribute to both the traditional decorative motifs and the creative process.

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