"Nautical Compass", Copyright Margaurita Spear, Mar. 2012. 4.5" square. This is the compass inside its wooden display box. The hinged box is unfinished wood with a viewing window. The box brings the total dimensions to 6" square and about 2" deep.
This latest design is inspired by a nautical compass and was created to submit to an art show opening this Thursday at the Bear Gallery in Beverly, MA (Bear Gallery, Maritime Exhibit). The exhibit is a collaboration between the gallery and the Beverly Historical Society. This is the first time I have actually started with a literal design idea and not let the design develop on its own. I looked at several images of nautical compasses online and chose elements that I wanted to include. I began with the directional points and ended with them as well (the finishing touch was adding gold paint to the edges of the white paper of the letters). I tried to mimic the idea of wood grain, but not so literally. I also stuck to what I perceive to be a nautical palette for the colors.
"Nautical Compass" viewed without the box, giving a better view of its edges and details.
Now, the question may be why a compass and not a ship, etc. Well, truthfully I love to look at the ocean in person and I appreciate the art of those who choose to paint seascapes, but seascapes and landscapes are just not my thing. I am much more interested in creating images of objects because I feel like some objects embody stories. Besides which I don't think any painting or work of art can truly express the beauty of nature as much as the real thing can. So I chose a compass. It is an object and it keeps with my love of circles and my recent obsession with rotational symmetry.