I'm currently exploring mixed media abstract work inspired by the Sonoran Desert. I have a particular interest in expressionist or intuitive painting where I can meld the impressions of my surroundings with the expressions of my inner world.

receive my studio notes:

Finding my way through Composition

I don't think I've ever fully understood some things about composition. Like, how to guide the viewers eyes through a painting or how to reliably recognize an awkward design.

I've noted that I learn most by doing, so as part of my ongoing DIY art education, I've decided to devote a period of time daily to find my way through this confusing maze of information on composition.

I've found some wonderful resources to help me along the way.


Mastering Composition by Ian Roberts - introduced me to the basics of composition, along with the daily composition project.
The Simple Secret to Better Painting by Greg Albert - simplifies the overwhelming amount of rules within composition to one easy to understand concept.
Landscape Painting by Mitch Albala - Chapter 7 goes over composition as it applies to the landscape. Background, middle ground and foreground.

Online Learning:

VITAL Art Sessions with artist Kelli Folsom has helped me a great deal with still life composition, (and painting in general!) 


Viewfinder - helps me to isolate a view - especially with still life
Red Filter - helps me to see value without the confusion of color. I don't have this tool with the grid, but it's high on my wish list for plein air compositions


Daily Composition Practice - a composition sketch each day. I try to design my daily composition mindfully, writing notes on which rules of composition I'm utilizing in the design to help cement the learning.

I'm always on the lookout for good solid information on composition. If you have a recommendation, I'd love to hear it!

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