Eric, you're right, if this were a Drawing I class, I'd be pissed.
However, the class is "Design I," and is billed as an introduction to design techniques: line, color, value, contrast, etc. It's all abstract shapes because we're supposed to be practicing tone, gradients, composition, structure, etc. Part of my problem is forgetting that and getting hung up on "meaning" instead of focusing on what the work is supposed to be about.
Work was a bear the last two weeks, and on Monday the 6th, our last day to work on the project in class, I was still stumped. At the instructor's suggestion, I built the following idea: take the two panels from #10, and have the hearts and butterflies flutter down into the petals of a flower.
I liked it a lot, but I didn't really think I could execute on it, though. The alternative was a riff on Escher's Liberation
, with component circles and squares at the bottom, combining into butterflies and separating into hearts that flutter away at the top, and I felt I could at least get something close, so that's what I went with.