The balance between simplicity and complexity often determines whether or not objects are pleasing to the eye. If the item is too spare, it may appear boring. If there are too many complications, it may appear cluttered.
Experimentation with this balance takes place in design studios for consumer products, artwork, and florists each day. The process of finding some sort of middle ground between simplicity and complexity is part of the enjoyment of creating something.
The small planter with the figure of a dressy boy is complicated by the shape of the figurine, the various glaze colors, and the gold highlights. Because the planter is so small, and busy, I chose to use just a few blooms. I selected the color orange to compliment the boy’s ginger hair.
The pastel pink Ikebana tray has a stark, geometrical simplicity that calls for a somewhat more complex arrangement but I didn’t want to overdo it. In this case I balanced the industrial Dutch plastic container with a series of purposeful organic shapes.
The tall cylindrical Japanese vase is already well balanced regarding shapes and colors. It’s a modern piece that can stand alone, unfilled. The goal was to compliment this balance with an arrangement that took this balance to a new level. In this case bold, large tropicals work with the primitive theme of the vase.