The Laws Of Artistic Disorder

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The Laws Of Artistic Disorder
The Laws Of Artistic Disorder

Video: The Laws Of Artistic Disorder

Video: The Laws Of Artistic Disorder
Video: When Art Breaks the Law 2023, December

We feel them intuitively. We immediately notice their absence. We are experiencing, having lost the line beyond which a living easy disorder becomes chaos.

Everyone has a sense of harmony to one degree or another. Actually, the sense of ear for music, measure, tact, rhythm, and so on are special cases of the sense of harmony. Consonance with nature. So in the garden, consciously or not, we always copy nature. Or we idealize it. So, a mixborder is created according to the forest edge scheme, rockery - a rocky exit.

The laws of harmony are universal. Whether we embroider a napkin, pick up leather scraps for a bag or lay a flower garden - we are guided by the same rules. Only the conditions of their application change.

When everything turns out as if by itself, we don't need laws. The need for them arises in response to the feeling that "something is wrong here." And two main questions arise: what to do? and where to start?

Law of simplicity

Expressiveness should be achieved with a minimum set of visual means. This is an axiom of any applied artist. I'll make a reservation right away: we are not talking about minimalism as an artistic direction. (I am convinced that he cannot take root in Russia. Our mentality is not the same.)

Congestion is the first enemy of artistic disorder. Removing everything compositionally superfluous is a psychologically difficult task for a grower when it comes to flowers. But if we are talking about the design of the site, the choice in favor of individual plants at the expense of the rest will still have to be made. The accumulation phase should go into the comprehension phase. This law of political economy also works in a single garden plot.

The first, of course, would like to liquidate what is least pitiful. In the fight against yourself, you can offer the following trick. To re-do some piece according to all the rules, without being greedy, without planting something that is impossible not to plant, but there is nowhere else. Then the next piece. So, meter by meter, the site will be transformed into a garden, and the worldview will change.

Eclecticism, that is, a mixture of artistic styles, is a rather disastrous undertaking in a small living space. As a rule, the style is set by the already built house. And also a barn, a bathhouse, a garage, a well, which must either be somehow beaten or tried to disguise.

Don't try to grasp the immensity. When you want variety, it is better to reduce garden style delights to the scheme of "green rooms", as all flower-growing magazines have repeatedly written about. And arrange a Japanese garden somewhere near the garage, in an invisible area.

It is just as harmful to mix different colored stones and pieces of wood. From random ones found in the vicinity or brought to the site by friends who completed their projects, it is unlikely that anything decent will be created. Such "forced recruitment" will emphasize our poverty rather than fantasy. You have to buy good stones, and in sufficient quantities.


Rigid geometry (circles, straight and sharp corners) creates unnecessary tension, like everything that is not found in the wild (for example, boulders of the same size, beads lying on the edge of a reservoir. Moreover, they visually eat up an already small area.)

Straight, parallel lines are also the enemy of artistic confusion. The larger the smaller the area. A clear row of identical plants along the fence accentuates it more than it disguises it. The path from the gate to the porch, passing near the fence, looks especially painful if they tried to close the fence with a green wall. The simplest way out is to make the path winding by playing around with its bends. For example, plant a bush that you have to bypass. Or make the track of variable width by using the surrounding colors. And it doesn't matter that you will still walk in a straight line. And you can plant flowers so bright with a smoothly curved line that they will take on the main visual load.

The main rule of garden geometry is: a curved line must be meaningful. It must have a beginning, an end, and a logic. This is worth remembering not only by laying a technological path through the flower bed, but also by planting seedlings in spring. By the way, placing early border flowers directly along the path is not at all necessary, and maybe even harmful. They may well maintain their play of lines and spots in the depths of the flower bed. Photo 1 shows an example of dividing a flower bed with a size of 24 × 5.5 m. For the scale, a person with a height of 1.78 m is standing next to it. The paths form one pattern, the primroses are another, more elongated. Bulbous plants are also planted with lines and spots. It turns out, as it were, a grid thrown over a grid. In summer, the flower stalks of tall plants close up, forming their own colorful carpet, and the first "floor" becomes invisible.

Dominant law

Or, more precisely, the law of subordination and dominant. The theme of the king and his subjects. In any work of art there is a main and a secondary one. Any action is played out in a specific setting. In the garden, these are vertical and horizontal.

The layout of the garden begins with the definition of dominant places. Monotony is tiring. We break it with verticals of trees and pergolas, bright spots of flower groups. But the tension is no less tiring. There shouldn't be too many exclamation marks. When planning a dominant, you should consider a simple but important rule. The brighter the spot, the more neutral territory should be around it. The sizes are selected experimentally.

Moreover, the dominant may not be the most expensive that you have. On our site, located in the zone of the reserve, where the planting of trees and shrubs is prohibited, the most ordinary sunflowers successfully act as a dominant (photo 2). All guests love to be photographed next to them.

By the way, church bell towers have always been dominant in the practice of urban planning in Russia. When they were demolished in the twenties, Moscow became as flat as a frying pan, and Stalin's skyscrapers were called upon to destroy this spatial monotony.

On the site, the lawn usually acts as a background. However, a lawn can be king if it is surrounded by a respectful retinue of discreet flowers and shrubs. In music, this technique is called a quiet climax.

Triangle law

One way or another, everyone has heard of the proportions of the golden ratio (the whole refers to the greater as more to the lesser). For approximate calculations, an equilateral triangle is taken, the height is drawn, divided in half, a line is drawn parallel to the base, and a triangle and a trapezoid are obtained in an approximate area ratio of 3: 5. For a three-piece system, the height is divided into three parts (fig. 1). So we can clearly see how much each material will need to work.


The main rule is universal: do not take the original components in equal proportions. When planning a flower bed of white and orange flowers, you must immediately decide whether it will be orange-white or white-orange. And the third color (say, purple) will be added quite a bit. With such a simple technique, it will be possible to avoid color chaos, "vinaigrette".

The rule of three is ubiquitous. Three shapes, three colors, three sizes. Large, medium, small. And no more. I could handle three. Laying out the path, you can pick up three sizes of flagstone in a ratio of 8: 5: 3, alternating large stones with medium and small ones (photo 3). It looks much more interesting with the same labor costs.

Three is generally an interesting number. Psychologically, it makes us feel secure. The tripod does not wobble, unlike the four-legged stool.

Try to turn two identical objects into an art form. It doesn't matter, two trees or two flowers. Without the third, you are unlikely to succeed. Two flowers in a vase will require at least a beautiful branch and a little something else. Two thuyas will visually need a gate or a bench between them. It is easier to place two identical bushes in different corners and arrange two unlikely cute corners than to combine them harmoniously in one place.

Three colors - yellow, red, blue - give us the entire color spectrum.

Circle law

The color wheel is also familiar to most (Fig. 2). Yellow is applied to the grid at the top, red on the right, blue on the bottom, green on the left. If you add red drop by drop to the yellow paint, you get the whole gamut of orange, from egg yellow to warm red. Adding blue to the red, we get a range of purple, from cold red to blue-violet. Etc. That's four quarters. White is in the center. Strictly speaking, it is not a color at all. Adding it makes the color lighter. The first quarter with the addition of white gives shades from tea roses to phlox, the second - from pink tulips to lilac viols. The third and fourth quarters are represented mainly in the color of the leaves. Those wishing to understand how color works, I strongly advise you to mix live colors. Take gouache from children or grandchildren and try. An exciting activity!


All colors containing yellow are called warm. All colors containing blue are cold. All colors in one quarter are said to be related. The color combination of one quarter is perfectly colorized, but it looks boring in a flower bed. It needs an exquisite geometry of greenery and stones.

All colors of one semicircle are called sibling contrast. In the example of a color triangle to white and orange, the third color was not accidentally chosen related-contrasting violet, and not contrasting blue. In photo 4, blue forget-me-nots are side by side with lilac phlox spread out and lilac tulips, which in this combination seem pink. Look at the circle: the colors of the second and third quarters are taken, close in lightness.

Colors in opposite quarters are called contrasting colors. Once there, they reinforce each other. The blueness of your host will be emphasized by something orange blooming nearby. Conversely, a bright blue lobelia will visually turn bluish leaves into green ones. Yellow-leaved plants need lilac-lilac neighbors to show all their beauty. The brick wall will appear redder and brighter from the neighborhood with bright green foliage and visually dim next to the silvery one.

In addition, each color has two characteristics: lightness and saturation. Lightness is the difference of color from white and black, saturation is from achromatic gray of the same lightness. Thus, we have three contrasts: in color, lightness and saturation, each of which contributes to the common cause.

Light contrast is stronger than color contrast. Try replacing the pink tulips in photo 4 with dense raspberry ones. Colorization will remain, but the mood will disappear. A flower bed of pink and blue petunias will not look as colorful as from white and blue. The greater the light contrast, the more accurate, the more targeted the spot drawing should be, because the laws of painting here conflict with the laws of graphics.

It is possible for a long time, by flower, to collect a pale pink nuance group, and then lyhnis will bloom nearby and destroy all the works overnight. Fortunately, the eye is a very imperfect optical instrument. He sees only thirty degrees wide, and he is glad to be deceived.

Extremely saturated tones are designed for accents and dominants. In large numbers, they create unnecessary tension. And we still create a space for ourselves to relax. By the way, if the pink group fails, you can either add whites that go well with everyone, or plant something bright and darker next to it. The group will become just a background.

The best plants to soften all contrasts have bluish or silvery leaves.

Square law


This is an account of the four cardinal points. North, south, east and west make their own rather harsh adjustments to our wishes and intentions. First, there are certain biological requirements of plants for lighting conditions. Some love the morning sun, others the evening. You will have to come to terms with the requirements of flowers, because it is impossible to re-educate them. It's not just sunflowers that turn their heads to the sun. Consider this, otherwise it may turn out that your neighbor will admire the lush flowering of your clematis.

Secondly, the same color in different conditions looks completely different. White shimmers in the shadows and glows out of the fog. In bright light, it loses its mystery. It can also look ugly if there is a lot of it. Last summer I saw a large flower bed of white petunias set against a beautiful lawn. From a distance there was a complete feeling of foam or uncleaned snow (this is in July!).

In general, the bright daytime sun visually eats up the nuances, "pushing" the color to a more primitive spectral (yellow, blue, red). Therefore, a flowerbed in constant sun is most reliable to make in a yellow range, or at least with a predominance of yellow. Or red. Only this is very tiring for the eyes. (By the way, even taking pictures at noon is not recommended. It will obviously turn out worse than in three or four hours.)

When planning a flower garden, you need to take into account the ability of the blue color to visually expand the space. For the owners of small plots, "bluing distance" is not a poetic metaphor, but a direct guide to action.

The other is “purple twilight”. In the sunset spectrum, red is the last to disappear. This is physics. Therefore, the west of the site asks for a red-burgundy-purple color scheme. With large caps of white flowers that will quietly burn out in the deepening twilight. Here, if conditions permit, it is best to arrange an evening recreation area.

Of course, you can talk about the laws of composition and colorism for a long time and more than once. The main thing that I would like to draw the attention of readers is a simple fact: the closer the conceived landscape is to the wild, the easier it is for us not to be mistaken in its embodiment. For all our civilization, we still remain children of nature. Therefore, swamps, streams, forest glades, in a word, everything that she offers us as a role model, are perceived by us so naturally and organically.

Sad & Sadik Magazine, No. 2, 2007