Rahmlow, H. J. (ed.) / Wisconsin horticulture
Vol. XXXIV (September 1943/July-August 1944)
Wisconsin horticulture, vol. 34, no. 5: January, 1944, pp. -104
Art Principles in Flower Arrangement Emma C. Schipper T WAS a real treat to have had the opportunity of attending the Judging School in Chicago on Oct. 26 and 27, given under the auspices of The Garden Club of Illinois, Inc. This meeting was highlighted by the introduction of such well known Lzarden club personalities as Mrs. I. Wesley Frost, president of the National Council of State Garden ltubs and Mrs. Jerome W. Coombs, chairman of Judging School Ac- crediting, who was called upon to tell us something about the require- nents of credits necessary for ob- taining a National Judging Certifi- cate. "Read Pages 7 to 11 and 85 to 87 in the HANDBOOK OF FI.OWER SHOW JUDGING," she repeated several times during her closing remarks. Art Principles It was the second lecturer of the (lay. Dr. Dudley Crafts Watson, FExtension Lecturer of the Art In- ,titute of Chicago, in whom the \iliwaukee flower arrangement ad- ,licts who attended this session had an especial interest. Dr. Watson was formerly director of the Mil- waukee Art Institute and founder uir instigator of the Art Institute (;arden Club. His talk on "Judg- Min Artistic Classes in Flower Shows," included the application of fundamental art principles by use ,if charts. The Charts (harts No. 1 and No. 2, sketched here, are attempted copies of the ,ines drawn by Dr. Watson, with the exception of the center line which was added to better eluci- (late the two kinds of balance in- terpreted in them. No. 1 is sym- metrical, 4iowing a regular ar- rangement of lines and forms on either side of the center line, which is known as the axis. "Bi-sym- inetry," Dr. Watson said, "has no phlce in flower arrangement. It is ;I mechanical kind of thing, monot- CHART I onous and uninteresting Bi-sym- metry is utterly necessary in a military program. It is the power of military force. It does not be- long to the fine arts." Chart No. 2 is an asymmetrical arrangement of lines and forms arranged in such a way as to give infinite variety, and at the same time creates balance, rhythm and unity. "Forms should be echoed," said Dr. \Vatson referring to the chart, which tneans, in other words. there should be repetition. Note the gradation in size of the forms, the main movement upward and out- ward, giving a sense of growth, and also the lines at the top and bottom which are in contrast. Importance of Correct Scale Dr. Watson greatly stressed the importance of keeping flower ar- rangements in scale or in proportion to their backgrounds. "Sparse line arrangements," he said, "no matter how beautiful, are utterly lost in a very large room or hall. Arrange- inents to be placed against a wall should have an interesting silhou- ette. and the spacing should not be symmetrical. Background spaces or voids are just as important as the flowers themselves. Too often the beauty of stems is lost by too much massing of flowers at the base ,f CHART 2 an arrangement. Let there be holes in y o u r arrangement." Spaces, voids or holes Dr. Watson com- pared to the rests or pauses in music. Regarding the judging of flower shows Dr. Watson believes that a judge should tell the one who fails why. "Never in thb world give a prize to an entry which is not im- inediately beautiful, creative, origi- nal and charming." As a way toward deliberately creating fun and humor for a table decoration we were told to go sur- realistic, or as far as we liked in making a perfectly ridiculous or "nutsy" arrangement. "Use t h e toaster in the middle of your cen- terpiece or stick utensils into the arrangement. U t t e r I y irrelevant things are tolerated in a surrealistic arrangement. The surrealist's theory is that logic always leads to de- pressions and world wars, 'Let's have none of that,' they say." "Color" was the last subject to lie discussed by Dr. Watson and this concluded the program, after which we all assembled around the punch bowl for a little chat and refreshment. Everyone s e e m e d agreed and satisfied that the lec- tures were both educational and inspirational.
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