This painting is almost complete but before I go any further, does the composition work better this way (above)?
Or this way?

The second photo shows the original orientation.


Anonymous said...

I like it like it is shown on the first picture.

Michele Fraichard said...

I prefer the orientation in the first photo...nice one!

Pete Hoge said...

1st photo, because our
western eye responds to
the horizontal axis of
left to right. This shape
is glyphic so the viewer
will be drawn into the
picture plane via their
mental association with

david weir art said...

top one
and i love pete's thoughts

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

Thanks, everyone.
This has been most helpful. Pete's comment explains why I kept turning the painting around (as in top photo). Something about that orientation felt "right".
I'm going with that first one.

pam farrell said...

i'm no help; i like it both ways

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...

it's ok. that's exactly how i got into this dilemma; i liked both compositions.
when i was turning the panel during fusing, i thought "hmm...it's quite pleasing this way, too..."
it rarely happens that i change a painting's orientation after i've already planned, sketched and applied paint. last time it happened to me was, honestly, in 1996. funny that i remember that.

Tamar said...

I like it both ways--it just reads differently depending on the orientation. When I look at the second one, there is an immediate architectural association for me--a doorway and window.
In the first photo, the image remains more abstract for me, without literal reference points. I guess I prefer the orientation in the first one.
I face this all the time in my own work, rotating the paintings during the first few layers until the painting finally tells me which way is up.

Stephanie Hoff Clayton said...


I do see the architectural association in the second image. It's unintentional; however, these features have very directly informed some of my previous work (many years ago).

I like what you said about turning the work "during the first few layers until the painting finally tells me which way is up." In other words, letting the work lead. I tend to pick the composition during planning, before any paint is applied, and that rarely changes much. That said, perhaps there are smaller changes along the way that I forget about, which may occur mostly during the layering processes; regardless, the work usually reverts to the original composition by completion.

By the way, I checked your website; your paintings are beautiful- the compositions and color palettes are compelling.

Thanks for your input.