A recent post regarding a bunch of things on subject matter, mannerisms, on high / low in the arts, on serious, not so serious, maybe really serious social commentary vis-à-vis “institutional artist and his audience” lead me to the following… (text is from the image below) from http://www.animationarchive.org/pics/
The artist’s first consideration in composing a picture is the picture area. This is simply the flat surface on which you draw or paint within the borders of your picture.
If you have ever taken a snapshot you have already worked with picture area. To take your photograph, you looked in the viewer of the camera and moved back to be certain your whole subject was in the picture – or else you moved closer so the subject would appear larger and clearer. These simple steps in controlling the space in a photograph are basically the same ones you use to control picture area in drawing or painting.
To use your picture area effectively, you must weigh carefully where you place things within it and what size you make of them. Your choice of size and placement should never be accidental or arbitrary. After you have placed an object in our composition pause and study the size and location you have given it. Ask yourself: “Does this create the effect I had in mind?” If not, try making things larger or smaller. Move them to different places within the four borders until you are satisfied with the result.
On content (with composition)
I am afraid that there are more people than I can imagine who can go no further than appreciating a picture that is a rectangle with an object in the middle of it, which they can identify. They don’t care what is around the object as long as nothing interferes with the object itself, right in the centre. Even after the lessons of Winogrand and Friedlander, they don’t get it. They respect their work because they are told by respectable institutions that they are important artists, but what they really want to see is a picture with a figure or an object in the middle of it. They want something obvious. The blindness is apparent when someone lets slip the word “snapshot.” Ignorance can always be covered by “snapshot.” The word has never had any meaning. I am at war with the obvious. W.Eggleston. – text drawn from his book The Democratic Forest
About the things that matter… you must ask yourself: Does this create the effect I had in mind ?
On point, at what threshold does the intention of making a contemporary (fine art) picture become an idea place holder rather than the embodiment?