Saturday, September 24, 2011

On the Circle and I . . my conundrum

(I had completed a whole post, somehow mistakenly pressed a button, perhaps "delete" (which is also the backspace button), and the whole post disappeared!) I've been having some uncertainty with my painting surfaces, and my tendendcy is to withdraw and not work. So I thought I would post about what has been going on. IF you scroll down old blog posts of my paintings, you will see that I have circles in all of them. The following are images I have seen on Tumblr, that my eye is drawn to . . all with circles. The first ones are old diagrams. The later ones are works by artists. I don't know if what I will write will be understandable, but I thought if I post it, and "put it out there", perhaps this will propel my evolution in discovering why I put circles in my work . . why I have this . . compulsion . . and even why I have to "know" why.

? . . found on Tumblr
(probably a depiction of someone's idea of the "cosmos")

Robert Fludd (1600's)
This has symmetry, geometry, yet because
of the tonal differences in the surface.
I see this as more "organic".

Something to do with astrology . .
the cosmos . . ?

Alchemical (spiritual) chart?

Come type of astrological chart?

The next ones are images that I find organic but based in a kind of geometry (grid, circle, intersecting lines, symmetry). 

Eva Hesse drawing

another Eva Hesse drawing

artist unknown to me . .
. . getting closer to the more
"organic" geometry I'm speaking about.

Jose Antonio Fernandez Muro (1920-?)
(this is based in geometry, but I see it as
much more organic)

What I know and experience intuitively doesn't always pass my intellectual "judgement." In other words . . what on one level comes from my "gut" . . on another level, my analytical, thinking process  "steps in" and negates it. So there continues to be a dance between a knowing, that following my intuitive sense
(e.g. allowing the symmetry, lines, and circles to be in my work) is the real answer, which contrasts with my thinking, analytical mind, as it searches for an explanation as to why . . what's happening . . where does this "compulsion" to put in circles, etc. come from (?).

My experience with math, geometry, algebra, and most technical, mathematical information (e.g., the workings of my digital camera in a recent photo class, high school algebra, geometry) is that my right brain can't process them, and therefore my mind goes into a "haze".  This "mind-haze" has prevented me from understanding books (and the web) with explanations of quantum physics, the golden mean, the fibronnaci numbers, sacred geometry, etc., etc. and led me to feel like my left brain doesn't work very efficiently! I have always had a strong curiosity about what underlies the order or structure of all existence (Truth), but I've not been able to understand the technical (i.e., metaphysical) explanations. So when an artist uses the terms: based on "the golden mean" or "the fibonacci numbers", this "mind-haze" occurs. I can visually picture a diagram of the golden mean and understand the fibronnaci numbers in a very simple way, but how this is connected to the artist's work . . or mine . . I'm clueless.

I very strongly believe that art comes from inside. I have seen over and over again, that a finished painting of mine, months later, was indeed an expression of something that was within myself; that I wasn't aware of at the time I was creating it. My recent thoughts about why these circles, lines and symmetry "want" to be in  my paintings is that perhaps some childhood experiences (fear and chaos) may continue to reside within my personal energy field, and that there is a need within me (that I don't understand) for an expression of organization and/or structure.

Below is a photo of a part of an encaustic and collage that is unfinished. It may be part of a series of four that were inspired by African kuba cloth patterns . . 

As much as I'd like to post successful, completed paintings . . one after another . . on this blog, I am exploring my own evolution in painting. I'm reminded of the Emerson quote on the upper right . . "Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience."


  1. JG - go with intuition - if it feels right to you it is right for you. That does not meant it will feel right or appeal to someone else. I am a person who likes squares and multiples of squares; a circle on its own does not appeal; but a circle within a square - well that is another matter. It can't be explained band maybe it does not need to be. Do what you like. B

  2. Some wonderful circle art here. And like Barry my first hit was why do you need to understand why you paint circles? I think that's just another question of the mind. Mystery, intuition, going with what feels right, these are the territory of what comes from deep inside, from the heart.

    And I do understand that inclination to "not work" when things don't seem to be going well. That's a big one for me. I'm an avoider, that I know. And how to negotiate that without being pushy and aggressive with the part of me that resists, that's the work.

    I look forward to seeing more of your wonderful circles, until you're all circled out!

  3. Hi Carole, Barry, and Zen Dot . . I was told that since I could speak, I wanted to know what everything was . . "what's that!!" The trick for me is to let go earlier before "what's that" becomes an obstacle (resistance) . . posting this "inner" process. Have also been told I'm a "deep" thinker. Balance and "the middle way" is best. I'm surrendering to my intuition! It's good to pay attention . . "it" won't be silent! :-)
    Thanks for stopping by and commenting!