Interruptions attract attention. InterrRuptions like this extra “R” here compel attention. We anticipate a flow pattern. When it is interrupted we pay heed. But, to interrupt a flow pattern you first must make one.
Example 1 is from Philip Ball’s book, “Patterns in Nature”. Here we see the leaf pushing against the surface motion of the water. See how rhythmic patterns are constructed around the break.
Example 2 presents a tree’s growth pattern around a knot. The knot disturbs and rearranges the flow pattern. This is reminiscent of the broken flow pattern in example 1 with its floating leaf.
Artists use flow pattern cues to have us experience movement and its interruptions. Example 3 presents a late painting by Vincent Van Gogh from 1849 near Auvers. See how he presents undulating flow patterns in the foreground grasses. He then breaks their flow by introducing a geometric matrix of farm fields. These fields are interrupted by the horizon which supports a horizontal cloud flow.
In my next three examples notice the step-by-step progression as I set up graduating color transitions, receding shape patterns, and perspective flow patterns. The image gradually evolves into a broader flow pattern.
My final example presents “River Pool”, an oil on brushed silver Dibond, 36×36”. Here the flow pattern ascends from a dark foreground toward a light background. Shapes diminish in size over distance as they lose edge acuity. The myriad shapes are arranged to suggest a broken but, unified field of motion like a mad school of fish. Their flow pattern carries you into the painting. The colors and their respective values graduate through blended bands offering a demonstration of color recession.