The Flowing World by Dave Miner

Many artists capture the beauty of the world in landscape artwork, but the truly exceptional visualize the flow of elements in nature to give their pieces a living-breathing feel. These pieces truly capture not only natures beauty or power, but also capture the flow of elements as they draw the eye around the artwork.

 

This piece is one of my favorites as it encompasses several elements of my theme. The shapes of the trees and the valley in the center of the painting immediately draw the eye to the center where the small village is. As opposed to a linear flow, this piece draws the eye in a circular or spiral pattern as you take the piece in. The valley and village flow into the sky, and at the same time the eye is drawn downwards into the dense foliage of the foreground.
This piece, while more industrial than the others, I feel deserved a spot in this gallery due to it’s own natural flow. The eye is immediately drawn to the bottom of the painting, to the figures that dominate the foreground. Then the eye is drawn upwards following the organic lines of the factories and smoke. I think this is a great example of using industrial subjects to denote a very organic and natural flow to a piece.
This piece is also unusual to me, as it exemplifies simplicity while still maintaining the natural flow that constitutes my theme. I describe this piece as a whirlwind as (like the first painting) it draws the eye around in a spiral or circular pattern as opposed to linear. Everything from the trees to the figures in the foreground and even the lake lend itself to a very natural flow of elements.
This painting shows grazing animals on a hill. From the central focus of the animals grazing in the crook of the valley in the foreground we are led on a journey around the painting framed masterfully by the use of the overhanging trees, the disappearing path in the middle, to the subtle outline of the village in the background.
An exceptional example of flow of elements is in this painting, as well as great use of natural elements framing individual scenes and drawing the eye around the piece. The eye is drawn to the orange building in the center, framed by the trees and we are led to the travelers on horseback. This of course makes the eye follow the path of the travelers as we are drawn up the path and into the beautifully framed background.
Just as important as physical elements lending itself to a natural flow, mother nature also uses color and brightness to the same effect. This is captured splendidly in this painting as the eye is drawn first to brightness of the setting sun, which frames the travelers on the bridge. For a brief moment we are sent to the distant hint of a village as the dog is facing the other direction, and then we follow the path of the travelers across the bridge and into the darker tones of the forest ahead.
Another great example of brightness and color, this painting uses both shape and color to draw the eye around. The chaotic mood of an approaching storm is captured in the fact that we are not sure whether to start at the dark ominous impending storm, and where it is headed, or to the bright untainted area on the right as it is about to get some bad weather. This is a great example of natural flow, and the use of invoking an emotion to draw the eye in different directions.
This piece is a great example of “classic” landscape flow. The eye is drawn to the waterfall in the foreground, briefly lingers on the rocks as we follow the river to the left. As the river calms, we are drawn upwards by the trees into the broiling clouds, back down another set of trees, and to the waterfall again.
I wanted to include this painting, as it is a stark contrast to the previous waterfall painting. While the elements are essentially the same, you can achieve a different flow by using brighter colors and light to draw the eye. Unlike the previous piece, our eye is drawn not to the waterfall first, but the sky. This is achieved by the brightness and the inclusion of the shafts of light through the trees and clouds. It is amazing how we can guide the viewer in different ways by such subtle techniques.
Finally, I included this piece as an example as to how natural flow can keep the eye in a certain spot, or rather, have the eye keep coming back to it. In this painting we are obviously supposed to look at the young man with the horses in the center of the painting. This is further accomplished by having a background devoid of any detail, and even the dead tree suggests that we shouldn’t linger to long past its empty boughs. I think this is a great example of natural elements keeping the viewer’s eye where it is intended by clever use of natural elements.
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