Some Geometric Art from Thomas More College Students

0409131420Here are some examples of geometric art produced by students from Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. They are their first projects for my Way of Beauty class. They were asked to produce an octagonal tile pattern that was based on a traditional Islamic design. I asked them to design the corners and the border and decide on the colour scheme. I encouraged them to use as few colours as possible, using only what was required to give contrast and allow clarity of design. I also insisted on the shape being described by a continuous piece of tape which wove an over under pattern. The colouring was deliberately muted and downplayed as this allows for less clashes of colour. On the whole, I prefer to use natural, earth colours for the same reason. These are difficult to get in the sort of coloured pencil sets that most of our students have, which tend to have very bright, artificial looking colours. If they used these alone then the result would look something like a bad record cover from the 1960s. This might have sold music in 1967, but it won’t cut it in traditional design (if only our liturgy musician realised that the same is true for the style of folk music of period)…anyway, back to these design. To try to eliminate the impression of psychedelic kitsch, they carefully built up the colour by overlaying it with lightly shaded layers of earth brown and grey pencil. Students are Elizabeth Anderson, Theresa Scott and Katherine Blicharz.

In assessing these, remember that this is the very first project that I set them. They are intended as exercise before designing a church floor.

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David Clayton

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David is an Englishman living in New Hampshire, USA. He is an artist, teacher, published writer and broadcaster who holds a permanent post as Artist-in-Residence and Lecturer in Liberal Arts at the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts. The Way of Beauty program, which is offered at TMC, focuses on the link between Catholic culture, with a special emphasis on art, and the liturgy. David was received into the Church in London in 1993. Visit the Way of Beauty blog at thewayofbeauty.org.

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