When I first look at Separation, my eyes instantly fell upon the patch of light on the blue cloud. The 3 patches of light all stand out, but the blue one caught my attention first. From there on, my eyes slowly wandered on, from left to right, to the patch of light on the red cloud and the one on the yellow cloud. This follows with Arnheim's notion of left and right, where people are much more likely to have heightened attention to the left side, while having more articulate vision of the right.
The patch of blue light feels very ice-cold, and yet at the same time has a sense of beauty and glamor to it. As my eyes moved over to the red cloud, I felt a sense of grim foreboding, almost as if something bad was about to happen. My attention did not instantly shift over to the red light, but rather, they seemed to follow some sort of invisible path from the blue cloud to the red cloud, heading right through the darker regions first and then, almost as if drawn to the light, heading straight up. It feels like a journey through the art work, and this part of it felt tense. As I looked at the red patch of light, I definitely felt a darker breed of emotions at work here. It seemed almost alive with energy, but dark and stormy at the same time. As my attention moved on, my eyes once again were drawn to some invisible path from the red cloud to the yellow one, going right to the top right area of the photo and then heading down to the yellow patch of light. The yellow cloud is interesting in that despite going through the darkness to reach the light as well, there is a warmth about this path. It feels like the climax of a story. Perhaps not a happy one but there is a sense of finality and resolution, and acceptance with it that and my spirits felt almost lifted as I looked at it, especially after the red cloud.
As I take in the photo as a whole again, I definitely see the idea of a journey being played out across the photo, with the blue and yellow clouds representing the start and the end respectively. The red cloud seems to connect both and extends throughout the background, giving it the role of the body. Overall, it almost feels like a depiction of an epic saga of sorts.
Unification was a wildly different experience. My eyes were instantly drawn to the only source of light, the main point of yellow shining brightly in the center of the piece. It almost seemed like a mini-sun, with the same blend of colors but its size made it seem more like the moon instead. As I look at the cloud surrounding it, I get a sense of grandeur, calm and storm. It feels counter-intuitive to have both calm and storm but the contrasting effect of having the light blue and volcanic-red clouds diagonally opposite one another results in such an outcome. The orange clouds below the red and blue clouds have an interesting effect of seeming to both be emitted from and heading into the light. It feels like the orange clouds are both giving energy to the light and feeding off its energy. The light in particular is interesting because when I remember the song and play in back in my head, the light looks and feels animated, pulsing with energy as I look at it. Perhaps this is an effect of being surrounded by the various colors that it is, especially the orange, thus affecting my perception of it. Either way, I could relate the strong elements of the song with the light by the end. The rest of the composition seemed like a buildup to the light, almost like a storm around it, giving it power.
At this point, when I look at both images, I can feel the emotions and the sense of grandeur they convey. Before this semester, I think that those same feelings would have be invoked in me. However, I would not have been able to give a concrete explanation as to why. When it comes to Separation, my eyes would most likely still head from left to right, following an unseen path from the blue to red to yellow lights. I think the blue cloud would have the same chilling effect and the red would seem dark and stormy to me. But the yellow cloud might have seemed out of place to me back then, as I usually associate yellow with happiness, but it does not feel like a happy journey or narrative at all. Now, I would realize that the warmth coming from the yellow does not signify a happy ending but rather acceptance and resolution. There is still darkness in there, symbolized by the darker regions of the cloud, but light as well at the end of it all. I would also have believed that the picture as a whole looked like it was in balance, but I would little to no idea why. I would not be able to realize that the interaction of the colors, the placement and visual weights of the clouds, and the triangular position of the lights all contribute to this fact.
Unification would be a similar story. I would look at it as a whole and see the center light source as the main focus of the piece. I would then look at the clouds surrounding it and view them as complementary to the light, meaning to give it substance. As a whole, I would come out with the same feeling that the light represented the strong element of the song somehow, but I would not really be able to answer how. Also, I might feel that the blue cloud was a bit out of place with the colors of the other clouds. I would not have associated the red cloud as a contrasting counter-weight to the blue one.
The reasons for this are pretty simple when I think about them. Previously, I had no previous experience to draw upon when making these observations, nothing to compare them to. I didn't know many of the concepts such as weight, the importance of balance, the interaction of colors, and many more that have now increased my visual literacy. Now on the other hand, I can see the meaning behind shapes and colors, why certain components of a piece might be composed in that manner and I can glimpse into a bit of the intent the artist had behind that composition. I can decrypt such compositions with greater depth and accuracy than before as a result of the class, and that has also helped me to encrypt my compositions with my intent in much more abstract ways than before.
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