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Jan2015StripesBalls
There was only one ball in the still life setup. The artist invented the other two. The background consisted of studio clutter: easels, sink, shelves with stuff. The artist invented that vertically textured dark wall. In other words, all she actually saw was a crumpled up cloth with stripes and one spherical object. Cloth-and-sphere can make an interesting composition in itself, granted. But the artist pushed the composition to greater dramatic heights.

Jan2015StripesBallsNumbers
Notice how the  compulsion to focus on the spheres (2) is offset by the maze-like graphic of the stripes (1). Your eye is attracted to both and your attention moves between 1 and 2. But the dominant direction of your attention will be up, left-right, towards the spheres. Up is very satisfying. You are encouraged to land on the sphere at 2 by the sloping of the dark background towards 2 and the upward edge of the cloth, which also leads to 2. Brilliant. Hey, it’s art.
Drawing by Maggy Shell, charcoal, ~14 x 18.

(As happens so often, I neglected to take a shot of the actual still life set up. Maggy had a bigger pile of objects to look at but found only the striped cloth and the ball interesting. Selecting what to draw is a big part of the work.)
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