Arts Awareness Monthly E-Newsletter | October 2013

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Rhythm and Movement

Recently, as I watched the water find its path around and through a beautifully sculptured fountain, the balance of water flowing over various waterfalls and then moving in well-designed pathways set up a rhythm that was captivating. I heard, saw, and felt the movement of the water. The rhythms of the water flowing through the fountain created a comfortable and peaceful feeling, yet one that was also motivating. This dynamic interplay of the sculpture with the water is similar to what artists of all kinds do every time they create or perform.
everything has rhythm. everything dances.
~ Maya Angelou
Artists understand the direct relationship between movement and emotion. They guide our eyes, ears, or senses toward a certain experience using techniques such as—
  • Physical action 
  • Manipulation of visual or tonal lines
  • Tints and shades of visual or tonal color 
  • Patterns
Rhythm and movement give us the sense of the experience—sometimes even a kinesthetic, extrasensory emotional response.
Rhythms guide our very existence as human beings. For instance—

These rhythms move us through life and are ever changing in complexity, responding to things that occur around us and to our emotions and relationships. Thinking and working like an artist, using the basic principles of artistic expression, will help you understand the important roles rhythm and movement play in everyday life.
Artists use rhythm and movement to effectively create the emotional impact of their art. They arrange images, patterns, actions, or sounds in space or time in many ways. The Van Gogh painting on this postage stamp is an example of rhythm and movement. The sense of movement comes from the colors, repeated shapes, and curved lines.  The painting has a sense of flow from left to right.
In the photograph that follows, the outline of each of the leaves forms a repetitive pattern. The eye tends to move around randomly, without pause. If you were to listen to music with these qualities, it would be fast and feel active and unsettled. 
This image of an old tree shows how the eye will follow the movement and flow of the patterns that are formed by the roots.
The rhythm of the repeated lines in the roots carries the eye to another area of the photograph. The movement is strengthened by the rhythm of the lines. 
Where do the lines of the roots take your eyes—toward, or away from, the trunk? 
Which direction has the most powerful effect?
Rhythm and movement are at the core of everyday life. Every event and activity is an opening to an emotional experience. Your home and work environments and time spent with friends and family all have a definite rhythm and movement that creates various emotional experiences. 
In your everyday life, the exact perception of what you experience comes from what you bring to it. Rhythm and movement are the qualities of how we experience life. Rhythm organizes our experiences by arranging their emotional content. Just as in creating great art, responding to and shaping rhythmic experiences are essential to leading a fulfilling life. 

Interesting—Check it out:

Practicing Gabrielle Roth's 5 Rhythms helps you become attuned to the underlying patterns in everyday life.
Arthur Hull’s Rhythm of Leadership Playshop offers experiential training to explore the power of rhythm in the context of teambuilding and leadership development. 
This blog, 6 Reasons You Need Rhythm in your Family Life, focuses on the need for rhythm that gives us time and flow and room to wiggle. The author presents six reasons why she values rhythm in her family life.
In Changing Rhythms of American Family Life, sociologists Suzanne Bianchi, John Robinson, and Melissa Milkie analyze the way families spend their time and uncover surprising new findings about how Americans are balancing the demands of work and family.
There is music in the cacophony of life. 
Saru Singhal
Contact Dr. Patricia Hoy for media appearances, to book her to speak at your event, or to engage her workshop or consulting services—

Guest Speaking—Corporate, Education, or Arts Events—that provides motivation for launching the beginning a project, keynote theme inspiration, or setting the foundation for a goal to be achieved.
Customized Consulting; In-Service Workshops; On-Site Training Institutes; Seminars; Conference Sessions; Seminars; and Round Tables—all specially designed for Businesses, Companies, Educational Institutions, Organizations, or Arts Groups.

About the Arts Awareness Newsletter:

This newsletter is meant to spark ideas and develop a deeper understanding of artistic processes and their use in leadership, everyday life, and work. Content, which comes from personal experiences and a variety of sources, is based on the Arts Awareness concepts developed by Patricia Hoy. Questions? Comments? Contact Patricia at or 901-229-1955, Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA.

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