How do you see shapes in art?

Today’s Topics:

  • What do Shapes Mean?
  • The Abstract Art of our Natural World
  • Art is the Combination of Abstract and Shape

What do Shapes Mean?

One of the many childhood development processes that children go through is learning about shapes.

We know what it’s like to see a baby with little wooden blocks trying to match the shapes and play around.

But it can’t be possible for the simple shapes that are a circle, triangle and square to mean more than its face value right?

Shapes are shapes, and that is the only thing that they can be.

That is the perception that I grew up with. I always found it challenging to see the deeper meaning of what a shape could accomplish.

I took art classes from elementary school all the way through high school. But it wasn’t until high school where I managed to realize the concept of math and art coming together in a way that represents our built environment.

The Abstract Art of our Natural World

Before there were man-made structures, we just had nature. Plants, trees, mountains, water and much more.

But how do these all fit within our natural order of basic shapes?

There was always a division between abstract and concrete.

The connection between nature and its relation to the way we design can be so easily lost in translation. The thing is, nature imitates abstract form, while shapes are concrete figures.

Some would see abstract as the lack of mathematical and geometrical information. But diving deeper, you will see it as an infinite amount of information derived from small but certain changes in the way they vary from one side to the next.

In math we learn what is right from wrong with certainty, but through art we learn to speak the language of expression through the stroke of a brush.

Art Is the Combination of Abstract and Shape

Evolving from the idea of a shape as a square or circle, you begin to see how it manifests different forms and styles.

What happens when you have multiple shapes? Both abstract and concrete. Then you bring them together?

The masterpiece of a simple strand of grass turns into a whole field of grass, creating volume in numbers, and complexity that changes with scale.

Upon this scenario, we arrive at architecture. A word that in a million eyes can mean something completely different.

Architecture addresses the fulfillment of our ability to use both of these forms. We design with curves, spirals, and straight lines aligning with the way in which we see math and geometry as an artistic portrayal of what our world is.

It takes multiple sets of geometry to capture the true way in which we design and create It is amazing to know there are endless possibilities in the way that something can artistically appear and the influence that we have by seeing things in a different way.


Thank you for tuning into this week’s blog post, I hope you enjoyed it! If you have not seen, I have created a new Google SketchUp course to help students learn architecture software! If you have any questions don’t be afraid to reach out to me! As always, Dream Big!

Published by Alonzo Colon

Architecture Student at Virginia Tech

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