Basic form

I’m kind of Charley Harper obsessed. Do you know him? He was a conservationist/artist depicting nature and animals in their most geometric form, both in sketch and paint. Texture, color, shape and pattern were all integrated into what I like to call a neat, little package- his drawings were complex visual candy cleanly presented in basic, geometric form. “Wildlife art has been dominated by realism, but I have chosen to do it differently because I think flat, hard-edge and simple.”- Charley Harper

For as long as I can remember, geometry has intrigued me. The clean lines of geometric shapes is pleasing to my soul. Lines, circles, triangles, rectangles and squares are neat and tidy; there is an order that feels comfortable to me. There is a flow of sorts when geometry works together to create a scene.

My introduction to Charley Harper started in 1987 with a poster I just had to purchase on a trip out West with my mom and sister. At fifteen, I was picky about how I decorated- not your  average teenager wanting heart-throb boys plastered to the walls. The Rocky Mountains depiction by C. Harper was just what made me happy. It was bright, it was full of energy, it was interesting, it was peaceful and it was sooooo tidy.

Fast-forward to 2016 and what do I find my 11-year-old son drawing in his spare time? Yep. You guessed it. Without revealing why I myself liked Charley Harper’s work, I asked Soren why he chose to


copy harley Harper. And though I shouldn’t be surprised, he said he just loved how simple and clean his paintings are. Soren has aspirations of being an architect, so there you go.

It’s no surprise that Carley Harper can be found decorating the walls of many Midcentury Modern homes. MCM has the same design tenets – clean, simple, pared-down form. An appreciation of nature, both in using natural materials for construction and using design techniques to bring the outdoors in, was also important to MCM architect and designers. If you are a MCM enthusiast and you haven’t yet discovered Charley Harper, I think you may want to check out his work.


(I just recently discovered that now sells iphone cases!!! I can see what my next purchase may be).


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ann arbor . michigan

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