T’is the season to K.I.S.S.
So you’re planning a festive gathering.
You’ve selected nine recipes… and that’s just for the appetizers. You’ve hauled up five boxes of holiday decorations… and that’s just for the dining room. You’ve pinned three signature cocktails… and that’s just the Bailys based bevvies. You’re accommodating three guests with food sensitivities, two ‘gluten freers’, and one vegan. As they say in Newfoundland…’Yer up to yer arse in rattlesnakes!
In much of the art community, there is an expression, Keep It Simple Sweetie. When planning a painting, it starts with choosing a limited colour palette, and blocking in shapes when building the composition. Eliminating all that is unnecessary and keeping the particulars is strategic. It’s not always easy choosing what the juicy bits are, but it is what makes an artist stand out from the crowd. An artist’s decision on what to keep and what to eliminate helps develop their style and make them recognizable. Keeping the shapes simple and using colour creatively creates drama and contrast that appeals to the viewer. The viewer doesn’t have to do too much work. They may not remember all the details or ‘why it works’, but they will remember how they felt when they saw it. Just like parties, we want our guests to sit back and enjoy the experience. Whether the host of a party or the artist of a painting, you make it look effortless.
So, how do we incorporate the K.I.S.S. method into our social calendars? Invite your favourite peeps over for a pot luck. Tell them to BYOB, or crack open a bottle of wine. String some twinkly lights and hang a sprig of mistletoe to complete the festive ambiance. They may or may not remember the Crab Salad Canapés, but they will remember the experience of having a good laugh with good friends with a relaxed host.
Keeping it simple will go a long way in life and in art. Except, when you find yourself under the mistletoe, go all out. PDA’s encouraged. After all, t’is the season to KISS!