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AWS News, October 2016, Page 1

Notes from the September Meeting, by Graham Creamer

My personal definition of composition is very simple. Composition is the skill to create an image that causes the viewer to linger (hesitate) when looking at this image. The power of the image to cause a judgement, pretty, energetic, want to be there, or not - is up to the content of the image but the ability to draw one into the image is the composition.

My personal definition of art - from Leo Tolstoy - is the ability to transfer emotion from one person to another, via a 3rd medium, be it visual, aural, taste, etc. The emotion can be joy, anger, peace etc.

People who have been taught to read from left to right (most of the world) tend to view images from left to right. All people when learning to walk learn to view from feet to horizon so they do not trip. This combination when viewing an image tends to create a scanning of the image a bottom to top, from left to right by eye movement. I believe this to be true but have no evidence to prove it apart from the fact that images that follow these guidelines tend to be more pleasing than images that do not.

Marks that create lines. A line, that is a continuous line such as a power line, fence line etc. A broken line such as a line of sheep following one another or a line of bubbles in the surf. The junction between 2 planes such as the edge of a building fold in clothing.

Interest or subject. The main interest in the image is the one that attracts the eye most powerfully, followed by the secondary and tertiary interests. To create a harmonious image I believe all the sub interests should follow the main, for example Mother child can have a feeding bottle but not an engineering wrench.

  • Cool colours recede, warm colours attract.
  • Fuzzy images go back, sharp attract.
  • Items on 1/3 or 1/5 junctions also attract.
  • Repetition of 3 or 5 items attract.
  • Items that have a harmony of colour, age,tonal range or mood are pleasing.
  • Horizontal is peaceful.
  • Vertical is powerful.
  • Diagonal lines are energetic.

A piece of research 10 years ago studie that pleasing images among people without formal education eg. (hunter - gatherer or subsistence farmers) and who do not have wall images around the world. What they enjoyed were always images of fertile landscapes with items of potential food. For example hunters like their victims and grazers the useful animals. Eskimo like Polar Bear paintings while African herders enjoyed cattle images.

Graham Creamer

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Auckland Watercolour Society will be on 10th October 2016, 1pm at the Glenfield Memorial Hall, Hall Road, Glenfield. This meeting will be a paint along session. Please bring your materials: The next challenge topics are:

Old windows



Auckland Watercolour Society Merit Awards 2016

The 2016 AWS Merit Awards will start on 15th October 2016 at the Takapuna Library. Registration and receiving day is Saturday 15th from 10am until 1.00pm. No later please as we want the paintings up on the display screens before the library closes ready for when the judges come in on Sunday. Please review and sign the entry form, which details a number of important points. The opening night is on Monday 17th from 6pm. If you are able to attend the opening/prize giving we would be very pleased if you could bring some goodies and a bottle of wine to share with our guests. We will also be having a raffle basket and we need Christmas goodies to go in the basket. We would be very pleased if members could bring along to the September meeting a small contribution to the raffle - Sheryl Davis will be accepting all donations for the basket. Grahame Longford has donated a painting to be raffled together with the goodie basket over the three weeks the art exhibition is on. There will be some entry forms available as well and we need minders for the show - a roster list will be ready for members put their names down to be volunteers as minders.

For any questions regarding this exhibition please contact Joanne (