Say THAT three times fast – anyway, this is fun! And it takes practically no time at all each day. It will sharpen your observation skills and boost your composition fluency.
HOW THIS STARTED (you probably do the same sort of thing):
So, I take walks every morning and most afternoons and often find a small object along the way – like a rock or dried leaf – that intrigues me. Sometime I put it in my pocket, sometimes I just look at it and leave it.
Last week, I challenged myself to choose one found object a day, bring it home, and see how the daily objects might fit together at the end of the week.
There’s a table inside my front door where I often drop stuff, and here was where I put the first object. (You’ll need a designated spot, too, for your daily objects.)
Monday’s object was a piece of thick layered cardboard, which I first thought was a little book. I found it in the street by my sidewalk and it had been run over a few times and flattened nicely.
Tuesday’s object was a dried leaf that had the most gorgeous rust-patina colors and was curved like an umbrella.
On Wednesday, I thought I had found a bird’s egg by the driveway of a neighbor’s house, but it turned out to be a seed pod of some kind. I brought it home to add to the collection.
Thursday’s find was a slightly grubby bird feather, which is always a nice touch.
On Friday, I brought home another seed pod thingy – this one look kind of like a bird.
Saturday’s and Sunday’s finds were rather similar for no particular reason – a rolled leaf, and a stick with no bark on either end.
Then came Sunday, which was Composition Practice Day – I started arranging the seven objects in different configurations on a black piece of paper, then photographing the experimental arrangements with my phone camera.
Important point – there is more than one right answer! This is the great fun of solving art problems versus math problems!
This one may have been my favorite, but that could change depending on how the composition was going to be used:
I also tried the objects on a white background.
It’s instructive to note what works for you – balance? Scale? Horizontal versus vertical? symmetrical versus asymmetrical? Stacked versus separate?
You can save your favorite photographs and use them as inspiration for paintings (you already know that the composition works!) or as backgrounds for digital art – here’s one example that I did from the photo on the right, above.
I would love to see examples from all of you who want to play with this idea.
You don’t have to wait until a Monday to start! You just need to choose one object a day without thinking about how it will go with anything else. Choose it just because you like it. When you start your arrangements, document them with photos, and send your favorites to me.
Go to my website (CLICK BELOW) to submit photos of your own 7-Day Found Object Challenge for Composition Competence. I’ll put together an online gallery on September 1st.
I can’t wait to see what you find!