The great challenge of any visual artist is to create living, energetic movement from a static form. Artworks come to life through the mastery of line, light, color, shape and space, bringing rhythm and movement to an otherwise motionless object. Rhythm in art charms our eyes into a natural pattern and flow guiding us through its beauty and purpose.
Balancing the Tempo
Mountain Trails Gallery
Ray Hare – “Dream Run”
Using rhythmic, repeating elements in a painting adds an appealing musicality and harmony. Mountain Trails Gallery’s artist, Ray Hare, presents an excellent example of creating rhythm and powerful movement in his paintings. Inherent energy and a strong tempo pull viewers right along into Hare’s vibrant depiction of horses running into the wild unknown in “Dream Run.” Soothing and contrasting color becomes another powerful draw into his work where you can almost hear the natural staccato of the horse’s hooves.
With a rhythmic juxtaposition of form and color that moves and dances around her canvas, Gallery MAR’s artist, Alison Rash, presents a beautiful fluidity not unlike the grace and passion of the tango. Her varied brushwork contrasts smooth and refi ned texture against bolder, impasto portions moving our eyes around her painting with anticipation. Rash explains, “The specifics of each system become irrelevant and the paintings move into a visual construction of compulsions, a sensual experience of form, movement, order and color.”
“Within a limited framework of shape, color and pattern I create abstract paintings that explore an environment in flux, shaped by natural forces, and a balance struck between order and chaos,” explains artist John Dempcy. In his work so aptly entitled, “Vibrations”, you can almost feel a drumbeat here, a spacing of movement that guides us through the work as the shapes and lines vibrate and dance to a magical rhythm. Th e piece may even remind viewers of an order, yet excitement found in a composer’s working piece of sheet music.
Powerful brushwork is one of the best ways to create action and rhythm as our eyes naturally follow patterns contrasting smooth and less refined textures. Areas of thicker and thinner paint strengthen the illusion of movement. As a contemporary impressionist, Amy Everhart’s artful use of brush and knife, along with an exciting vibrant palette, captivate her loyal following of collectors. Everhart describes her process, “I become part of each of my works, the unseen participant in the moment, and as the moment emerges beneath my brush, time and matter cease to exist, and I am pulled into a universe of light, shadow, color and energy, a universe of emotion where I am most at home.”
Creating a rhythmic push and pull that results in a mesmerizing artistic tension has long been a characteristic strength of the world-renowned figurative sculptor Richard MacDonald. He has a distinct way of capturing movement and intensity that makes his figures appear as if they could dance off at a moment’s notice. His use of realistic form, precise texture and alluring curve breathe life and strength into his figures so flawlessly choreographed and timed.
Pattern is another powerful force in the rhythm of art. Our eyes tend to follow natural order and pattern setting up expectations for what we’ll find next. Th en, any form of deviation from the set pattern, captures our attention with a sense of refreshment and interest. Artist Rebecca Klundt constructs her pieces using wood scraps—arranging, gluing and painting to express her love of significant line, “I have a deep passion for beautiful lines and especially those that happen naturally. I am very aware of the lines I create as I am combining materials within a frame. I love the cracks and fi ssures in the slick rock mountain of Utah and try to imitate them in my art.”
Instinctively leading our eyes down its rushing waters, David Beavis’ stunning photograph draws us in with its rapid movement, effervescent color and vibrant contrast. Beavis describes the majesty in Yellowstone National Park, “It was a very still evening with not even a hint of a breeze. I could hear the rhythmic sounds of the river and used a 4-second exposure to capture the water’s dramatic movement.”
Linear patterns created by naturally repeating rows of flowers bathed in sunlight and shadow draw viewers in and out, and then all around this magnificent photograph by C. Wayne Fox of Earthlight Galleries. It gently reminds us of the soulful, soothing qualities of rhythm in art. Our eyes are also automatically drawn to a lone tree in the distance, delicately breaking the rhythm and sure to have a story of its own to tell.
Deeply influenced by his native Utah, abstract landscape artist Charles Callis blends the familiar with the unknown to create interest and a variety of interpretations for his work. Movement and rhythm balance as our eyes are drawn first to Callis’ warm, comfortable colors, then subtly moved back by the pleasing cool areas of his paintings. Inspired by the mystery of wide open spaces, he works to express how his unique expression of the landscape draws us into the natural world.
Whether your time in Park City is short or marked by the years, whether its rhythm is counted by high-speed skiing down a pulsing black diamond, or meandering across a timeless trail, don’t miss the opportunity to soak in the beauty of our art in all its forms —and the countless ways it can guide you on a priceless journey through our mountain town.