Notebook

Notebook, 1993-

ELEMENTS

Form










As Guide, Procedure, System, Manner, Means. . . . In Volume, Arrangement, Style, Approach, Measure, Conduct. . . . An Idea, Order, Structure, Spatial Element, Fashion. . . . A Coordination, Practice, Pattern, Placement, Image. . . .

Form may imply volume and dimension in addition to the visual shape or content . . . .


C  O  N  S  I  D  E  R  A  T  I  O  N  S 
"That which allows us to experience imaginatively lived meanings. . . ." [Brooks, Cleanth and John Thibaut Purser, Robert Penn Warren, Eds. An Approach to Literature. Fourth Edition. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. 1964.]

Condition, Character, or Mode in which something appears: water in the form of ice

Manner or style of arranging and coordinating parts for a pleasing or effective result

Relationship of basic elements so as to produce a coherent image.

Manner - Technique - Organization - Placement - Formality - Ceremony - Conduct

Orderly arrangement of parts - Structure - Pattern

Essential nature of anything

Idea

Species or Kind.

Abstract relations of terms in a proposition, and of propositions to one another.

Formal structure of a work

Assemblage of things of a similar kind constituting a component of a group

A set, prescribed, or customary order

Method

Guide

Procedure

Three-dimensional quality or volume

Sense of Mass or Volume

Clearly defined area, as distinguished from color or material

Configuration

Shape of a thing or person

Three-dimensional quality or volume, as of a represented object or anatomical part.

An object, person, or part of the human body or the appearance of any of these, esp. as seen in nature.

A particular shape as it occurs in a specific context........ Mold - Appearance - Cast - Physical Condition or Fitness - Cut - Model - Pattern - Jig - Sort - Kind - Order - Type - System - Practice - Formula - Forge - Cast



TO:

Outline

Create

Systematize

Teach

Educate

Train



TO:

Construct

Frame

Make

Produce

Compose

Constitute

Place in order

Draw up in lines or in formation.

Order

Shape

Fashion

Mold by discipline or instructions.

Stand in Relation to (a particular derivative or other form) by virtue of the absence or presence of an affix


R  E  F  E  R  E  N  C  E  S 
Form - [ME forme < OF > L forma form, figure, model, mold, sort, ML: seat].... Form, Figure, Shape, and Outline refer to an appearance that can be recognized. Form, Figure, and Shape are often used to mean an area clearly defined by contour without regard to other identifying qualities, as color or material. Form often includes a sense of mass or volume. Shape usually refers to a flat area of definite outline; even when used with reference to the human body it connotes a silhouette of a particular character. Outline refers to the line that delimits a form, figure, or shape: the outline of a hill. [Urdang, Laurence, ed. Random House Dictionary of The English Language. New York: Random House,1968.]

Principals of Two-Dimensional Form: Form - Broadly speaking, all that is visible has form. Form is everything that can be seen--everything with shape, size, color, and texture that occupies space, marks position, and indicates direction. A created form can be based on reality--recognizable--or abstract--unrecognizable. A form might be created to convey a meaning or message, or it could be merely decorative. It might be simple or complex, harmonious or discordant.

[Form, on the one hand, can be treated as the fundamental aspect of design [it is often the starting point for experiments in a basic design course]. On the other hand, form is the ultimate concern of the professional designer, who sees design as part of the process for achieving a form that communicates to the viewers.]

In a narrow sense, forms are self-contained, positive shapes that occupy space and are distinguishable from a background. . [Wong, Wucius. Principals of Two-Dimensional Form. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1988.].

Principals of Two-Dimensional Design: Form - All the visual elements [elements of design], constitute what we generally call 'form'....the primary concern in our present enquiry in the visual language. Form in this sense is not just a shape that is seen, but a shape of definite size, color, and texture. The way form is created, constructed, or organized along with other forms is often ^governed by a certain discipline which we call 'structure'..... . [Wong, Wucius. Principals of Two-Dimensional Design. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1972.].

Vision & Invention: Form - Form is used here and elsewhere to designate mainly ^three-dimensional or ^sereometric structures, solid or hollow, actual or virtual. By ^virtual is meant that even a drawing or a painting can be said to have form. A drawing by Degas, for example, may appear to have more form than an actual object, so carefully did Degas perceive the turning, the rising and falling of contours, the articulation of planes, and internal thrusts. [Harlan, Calvin. Vision & Invention, An Introduction to Art Fundamentals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.]

In Literature: Form. . . . The 'truth' of literature takes the form, not of abstract statement, but of a concrete and dramatic presentation; which may allow us to experience imaginatively the lived meanings of a piece of life. We have just said that a piece of literature of any type depends for success on the imaginative penetration into the material--or to put the matter another way, on the imaginative realization of the possibilities of human meaning in the material. . . .

A great deal of our study in this book will lead us, directly or indirectly, to the question of form; and the only way to approach the general notion of form is through the examination of individual stories, poems, essays, and plays. But at this stage we may allow ourselves one general statement: A piece of literature exists in its form. We shall be constantly concerened with the implications of this fact. We shall be concerned not only because questions of form are in themsleves important, but because without an understanding of, and feeling for, form, we can never grasp the human significance of literature. To say this, however, is not to bind us to an empty formalism. We are, as human beings, inevitably interested in content, for content, if thought of as the stuff of human experience, is made available and is interpreted through the form, and only through the form, which the artist creates. Form, in this sense, is meaning: it involves the selection and arrangement, the ordering and emphasis, without which the raw stuff of human experience would not be comprehensible. [Brooks, Cleanth and John Thibaut Purser, Robert Penn Warren, Eds. An Approach to Literature. Fourth Edition. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. 1964. p. 8]

In Literature: Form. . . . The arrangement of various elements in a work of literature; the organization of various materials [ideas, images, characters, setting, and the like] to give a single effect . . . It may be said that a story is successful--that it has achieved form--when all of the elements are functionally related to each other, when each part contributes to the intended effect. Form is not to be thought of merely as a sort of container for the story; it is, rather, the total principle of organization and affects every aspect of the composition. It is the mode in which the story exists. Structure and Style are also used to indicate the autherÍs arrangement of his materials to give his effect. Structure, however, is usully used with more specific reference to the ordering of the larger elements such as episodes, scenes, and details of action, in contrast to the arrangement of words, for which the term style is ordinarily employed. In the fullest sense, both the terms become synonymous with form, but in this book style is used merely to refer to the selection and ordering of language [For metrical form, see 'Mechanics of Verse'] [Brooks, Cleanth and John Thibaut Purser, Robert Penn Warren, Eds. An Approach to Literature. Fourth Edition. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. 1964. p. 912]

The Biologist's Definition of Form '. . . . The diagram between the inner urge of a body and the resistance of the (physical) medium.' [From J. E. Cirlot, A Dictionary of Symbols (NY: Philosophical Library, 1962/1983), p. 116.]

Consider form as the true shape of content.

Planar or Quadrilateral forms - [These are] associated with man-made or crystalline forms--those that often reveal their structures openly..... [Harlan, Calvin. Vision & Invention, An Introduction to Art Fundamentals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.]

Outline - Passive Form - But line, because it is so active, tends to create forms that are themselves rather passive in character. Their interest often lies more at their edges than at their centers, from which energy is usually expected to assert itself. [Harlan, Calvin. Vision & Invention, An Introduction to Art Fundamentals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.]

Internal and External Forces at Work between Form [or shape] and Environment - The term outline would have more significance if used along with its functional opposite, inline. The two together would foster a more lively appreciation of the internal and external forces at work between form (or shape) and environment. [Harlan, Calvin. Vision & Invention, An Introduction to Art Fundamentals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.]

The Conjunction of Form with Other Elements - If there remains any doubt concerning the ability of line to represent the conjuncture of form (or shape), space, and movement, the student-artist may start this series of studies by using line to record his or her experience of an interior.....[Harlan, Calvin. Vision & Invention, An Introduction to Art Fundamentals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.]

From the Center Outward - Shape and form may also be attained from the center outward [a more sculptural and painterly approach as opposed to a 'graphic' approach.]. The results will be assertive rather than passive, in contrast to an undisciplined linear approach. A shape created from the center outward seems capable of alteration from within, as is true of living things. We could start with a point and allow it to 'grow,' to extend itself slowly to the limit of its energy. If it develops as a perfect circle, it will exert pressure equally in all directions from its center. If its development is less than equal in all directions, it will appear to yield to the pressures of its environment along parts of its frontier. We could diagram these forces by means of axes radiating at several degrees from the heart of the form. The counter-thrusts from without could be pointed out by means of arrows. [Harlan, Calvin. Vision & Invention, An Introduction to Art Fundamentals. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986.]




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