Anti- Focal Point? Or just a very busy cityscape? Bending the Art Rules

"Smoke and Water", Acrylic, Karen Gillis Taylor, 12" x 16", $800.00

“Smoke and Water”, Acrylic, Karen Gillis Taylor, 12″ x 16″, $800.00, in Osmosis Gallery, Niwot, CO as of 7/24/2014.


Does this painting have a focal point? When I showed it to my sweet 88-year-old Dad (who is now in heaven), he gave it a very long and hard look. He’s often told me he likes my city paintings because he sees a sense of depth in them. Is that lacking in this one?

I don’t have all the answers when it comes to asking myself if there is a focal point in this painting I call Smoke and Water. If it has one, it might not be obvious at first glance. Feel free to comment on this, please do!

I don’t normally plan and calculate such things when I paint. I usually start with a small pencil sketch, and build from there when I go to the canvas. Striving for beautiful color is always a big goal of mine. Later on, I start looking at other design considerations. Much later, on this one! As in, it’s finished and there’s no changing it now!

Next time I will show you the painting that came out of this painting. Perhaps it pays to paint very busy compositions!

Back to the question now, where is the focal point? And does every painting need one?





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3 Responses to “Anti- Focal Point? Or just a very busy cityscape? Bending the Art Rules”

  1. Leslie Ann ClarkL Says:

    Thats easy peasy. It is whatever building you find that intrigues you and makes you want to live there. I think I shall enjoy living under the pink spire!


  2. Elaine Atwood Says:

    Lovely answer, Leslie.
    I see the smoke first –maybe because the shape is different from the buildings–and I want to climb high enough to really see it. Like Leslie, I want to be there.


  3. karen Says:

    Thanks for your comments Elaine and Leslie. Another viewer said she was drawn to the tree, maybe because it has a different look/texture than any other thing in the scene. Interesting!


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