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Friday, 30 October 2015



Blog 43


I am not sure how many of you are true Halloween enthusiasts, and go out of your way to convert your front lawn (and yourself) into a scary Halloween display, which looks like a scene from a horror movie. However, I assume that most of you will put out carved and lit pumpkins to let children know that your door is open for trick or treating.


The month of October (and especially Halloween) is definitely the month of pumpkins. Therefore, I would like to tell you more about my 16” x 20” acrylic painting “Magic Pumpkins”, which is one of my favourite paintings.


Most of us have heard the story of "Jack and the Beanstalk", in which the young boy Jack exchanges the cow he was supposed to sale on the market for some magic beans. His widowed mother desperately needs the money from the cow to be able to provide for the two of them. When Jack comes home with the beans instead of the money, she throws them out of the window in her anger. However, overnight the beans grow into a gigantic beanstalk.


When I saw those huge pumpkins next to the forge at the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum one fall, I immediately was reminded of the story of the magic beans. I had never seen pumpkins that grand before. I was so mesmerized that I wanted to capture this image.


In the background of my painting, you see one of the walls of the forge. I am quite happy with the way the pumpkins, which are my focal point, turned out. They look really three-dimensional. This painting is also a good example that many painting rules can be broken. In the case of “Magic Pumpkins”, I broke the rule of odds. The rule of odds originates from the opinion that it is more interesting and pleasing to the viewer to see an odd rather than even number of objects in a painting, especially if you have a small number of objects. Often you find groups of three as they form a triangle. As a triangle is one of the strongest compositional shapes, it can add a sense of unity and help the eye to move around in your painting.


In my painting, the wagon wheel behind the pumpkins is a repetition of the pumpkin shape. It almost feels like the two pumpkins and the wheel create a unity, one big circle. This makes the bright pumpkins the focal point of the painting. In addition, the leaves create several triangles which make the eye move around.


Do you agree with the rule of odds? Do you find it generally more interesting to have an odd number of objects to look at, whether it is in an arrangement of flowers, or a grouping of artworks or other collectibles? Or do you prefer the stability and symmetry of even numbers of objects? Maybe, there are some areas in your life where you prefer even numbers which allow us to group them in pairs, and other areas where you find it more pleasing and interesting to have arrangements with odd numbers. I am interested in your opinion. You would like to encourage you to leave a comment below the post.


Have a happy and safe Halloween tomorrow! For our family, it will be the first year without participating in the activities. My kids are too old to go from house to house, and because we live in the country, we have never had children come to our house. I am sure I will feel weird, like something is missing.

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