There’s a reason we listen to music to relax. Rhythms lift us and carry us with them. In art, symmetry and pattern are visual rhythms, and, like music, can do wonders for a busy mind. Shapes repeated, symmetrical, or simply ordered, rest the eyes and spirit. Through repeated objects, negative space, and use of color, you can create your own visual “music.”

Patterns are everywhere in paintings and the decorative arts. You’ll find patterns in borders, in fabrics, quilts, wallpapers, and every other surface that can be decorated. They can be quiet and sparse, meticulously organized, or feel more like a random collection of images. We’ll play with pattern in this chapter. Enjoy the peacefulness that comes from making an ordered system, ...

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