One thing I’ve learned about design is that uniformity can sometimes be boring. You might say perfection is boring. (Is it even possible to be perfect in artwork? in anything?)

When I’m designing a pin loom square pattern I often have to struggle with interest vs. uniformity. Clarity usually carries the day. Sometimes uniformity is your friend. Usually a motif looks best if it’s centered in the square. Many designs look best if mirrored on both halves of the square.

If you want to make a baby blanket, for example, you might feature several squares like hearts or elephants. But then you might want a bunch of plain weave squares to act as a complementary background.

Color is another way to add variety—weave some designs in two colors and some in a single color. Or get a little fancy and add very uniform patterns punctuated by some zingy accents. The possibilities may not be endless, but close enough.

In writing, I’ve learned that perfect characters are boring; quick solutions are boring. Characters need to have flaws, struggle with indecision, and sometimes lose. (I don’t agree with the idea of stranding her in a tree surrounded by ferocious dogs, and then chucking rocks at her. That’s so formulaic, and it’s stressful to read. Let her out of the tree, but make her need to go back there at some point for some compelling reason.)

And in art work . . .  well, there are so many things I’m learning! What makes a boring picture?

Two days ago I painted this

Yesterday I painted this

Painting #2 lacks some of the precision of the first one, but golly, it’s interesting.

Naturally I can’t help applying these lessons to life. Messes are doggone useful. Pain too. Glitches are memorable. And you need breaks from stress.

Today I’m working on this 

She’s not perfect, she’s a bit precise. Still, I don’t think she’s boring (yet). I wonder what memorable experiences I’ll have with this painting . . .


UPDATE 15 Oct 2017

She’s finished. There are always so many choices to make. I thought about giving her darker toned skin, but I’ve never painted dark skin before. I’m not sure she has the right face structure anyway.

Should I stick with what I know or branch out a little? We shall see.

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