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."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The "People's Art Fair" in Detroit and some wood assemblages

While visiting the People's Art Fair in Detroit last week-end, I came across some wood assemblages that I had seen on Flickr. The artist is Chad Davis and the link is to his flickr site is here. I asked him where he found his wood, as there is no beautiful driftwood to be found in this part of Michigan (possibly on Lake Michigan). He replied . . "oh, on the street, dumpsters, garbage cans, trash pick-up sites." I love the symmetry and symbols (circle, cross, star) . . and the combination of weathered wood and rust.

Chad Davis

Chad Davis

Chad Davis

I may have first spotted them on Robyn Gordon's tumblr site (and followed the link to Flickr), which I thoroughly enjoy following. I'm becoming more and more fascinated with wood. When I first spotted them, my mouth dropped open. "I saw those on Flickr!", I thought. It made all my internet art viewing (which seems a little de-personalized) shift a little . . to see one of the artists behind all the art I view on flickr, in person. I can sometimes spend an evening (instead of watching tv) wandering through flickr images. 

These are some pics I found interesting at this fair . . very colorful. The people were also young and very colorful (hair, piercings, attire) with colorful art and LOTS of loud music. The fair was situated between three old industrial buildings that house artists' studios.

hhmmm. . .quite a statement

These assemblages appear to be
drums with celtic designs. The
wood pieces are drumsticks . . some
wrapped in black tape.

Part of a booth display

Another booth display decoration . . a "kuba-like" pattern

There were a number of booths similar to this
in support of Detroit. Unfortunately Detroit has
suffered a lot in the past 40 years due to crime, drugs, and automotive layoffs. There are many people committed to revitalizing Detroit . . and there are feelings of defensiveness with Detroit's current image.

I was born and raised in Michigan but lived in two other states for 30 years. After I returned I drove up and down the main street in downtown, Woodward Ave., with tears in my eyes. I have memories of working in Detroit during the summers, when I was in college. Unfortunately, the decay was overwhelming. It seemed as if I was looking at a city that had been bombed. I did not live in Detroit or close to the city, but one thing I remember, and still love today, is the music of Motown, then called "the motor city." This music most likely paved the way for my love of jazz and the blues. Having moved back rather recently I'm starting to learn about the artistic and cultural "goings-on."