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Technical knowledge, artistry, sensitivity
With all this talk about Mr Amono's work I will take
the chance to throw in some of my thinking. Some
people think that the technical side of the hobby is
strictly the chemistry, physics, botany and gagdets.
Well their is a great deal that is regarded technical
in developing the artistic aspect of the tank. I am
both a sculptor in stone and I draw well enough for my
purposes. So for me the aquascape is a form of
sculpture. The eye travels through and around the
presentation in the tank as "vector lines." The
plants have weight and density based on the lushness
and compactness, or spindliness of growth and the
richness of colour, as well as leaf shape and overall
plant shape. The open or void spaces can add depth to
a shallow depth tank or frame groupings in the
aquascape. The spacing between each specific leaf,
node etc is also a factor -- making the plant a thin
veil or perhaps a wall. The same plant repeated in
groupings or as scattered growth can unite the
composition or break it up into many peices. The
positioning of one plant next to another plant or
group of plants is part of the vector analysis I call
juxtapositioning. And the penetration of light down
to the substrate level in specific places can add the
level of intensity that transfixes a viewer beyond
their concious reasoning. Shadow also is as important
as the lighted surfaces of leaves and substrate.
All the above and more comes into play as I work over
the months on an aquascape. Often the best artists
are very knowledgable of the characteristics of their
medium, called craftsmenship,(botany, chemistry, etc
in our case),and may not come off as great techinical
geniuses because that knowledge is so taken for
granted in the service of the artistic expression.
For me, when the artistic and the technical come
together harmoniously things start to work. As both
the artistic technigue and the technical knowledge
develope the aquascaper becomes more refined in their
expression. This refinement is what is so admired.
So, for those who think that science and art are
mutually exclusive think again when next you go to a
movie and have your emotions bashed, twisted, soothed,
etc by the power of visual artistry using the tools of
technical, physiological, psychological, optical
sciences. The beauty of our aquariums is no less
impactful for those who are sensitive enought and
interested in them. It is not for everyone.
I was very amazed to have won second place in my
category in the AGA contest because I was purposely
breaking one rule that was too obvious for anyone to
have missed. I put a very large plant out front,
Barclaya longifolia. But it was my test of my skill
to see if I could develope a composition that worked.
And behold it did. I am not after developing or
trying to copy a style. But, breaking rules set by
restrictive, beloved, styles are part of artistic
license and expression and where something new can
emerge from what is known, often called progress.
OK, thats it for now folks.
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