Formstorming: Jennifer Wenning

“Formstorming” is about finding new ways to express familiar ideas through repetition that can change with each cycle, and time.  It also talks about templates to set a base for exploration, iteration, and design planning.  “Rhythm and Balance” talks about how these two concepts are in design and graphic design.  Balance in art, and in this case, design is what allows us to look at something and see it as a cohesive unit.  A lack of balance upsets how we view design and makes it so we kind of get stuck staring at something.  Visual balance is created when line weights, colors and shape sizes balance each other out.  Rhythm is made from the regular occurrence of beats, patterns, etc…  Graphic design relies on rhythm for animations, images, and books.  Asymmetry and symmetry both play into rhythm and balance where symmetry encompasses an entire image as left and right, or top and bottom are mirror images of the other half.  Asymmetry however is “active” and draws the eye more heavily in a specific direction or area, but visual counter weight in the “lighter” area still provides a kind of balance to images.  Asymmetry is also a little more organic because of how a design is laid out with objects in relation to one another and where the visual field ends.  Negative space is also a component of asymmetry that allows balance to exist even in an asymmetric image/design.

“Lazy Gal” by Loretta Pettway, c. 1965. Made of denim and cotton.

The women of Gee’s Bend had no formal training, just the knowledge and practices that were passed down from their mothers and grandmothers, and those who came before them back to the days of slavery.  There is no template that these women follow, aside from making it quilt-sized.  Their repetition comes from what inspires them as they create their quilts, whether it be physical structure, or just the emotion of living day-to-day lives.  I chose “Lazy Gal” by Loretta Pettway because it shows how well asymmetry can work in all types of art.  The two light blue lines and the thinner dark blue edge on the left side are counter-weighted by the thicker dark blue edge on the right.  I think that if the lighter blue stripes hadn’t been applied to the left side, then the quilt would look incomplete just because of the difference in left and right edge thickness and the way the left edge isn’t as straight as the right.  The lighter two stripes just make the quilt look complete despite the uneven balance of the left to right side.

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