The shapes used in the Visual Arts can be compositional and constructional. Artists use the compositional shapes as themes driving the symphony of their work. Within that theme are the smaller pieces, the pieces that link this visual language to the real world. They hold it together, each piece working on its own but nothing without the whole.
In symphonic music, a piece revolves around a period, generally eight measures that define the theme. In its most abstract form it’s a shape of sound. This shape will be used throughout the piece: stretched, twisted, turned. Always returning us to the delight of the original theme.
When thinking of color, too often ideas about the “local color” interfere. We think too much about color as a rigid construct. The sky is blue, the grass is green. These thoughts are meaningless. When thoughts of local color take over, we have paintings of things. Looking to other artists for knowledge, we find many thoughts and solutions to color.