Archive for the ‘Watercolor’
These spiral images were produced last summer during my first Baltimore stay at Maryland Institute. These are the last watercolors I have produced as of this writing. I really liked them for their expressive immediacy, and may want to return to this series. At any rate, I had to pull together some of these for an upcoming show, which forced me to frame them and make them presentable. Glad I did as it reminded me of where I was at the time I made them and has motivated me to continue exploring this series.
This is a piece I wrapped up last week, a little different from what I’ve been working on and not something I have plans to continue into a series. This was more of an exercise and I’m glad I did it.
I started with a large sheet of polyester, about 32-ish by 40-ish, and picking a spot began scribbling a tight knit line, switching colors as I went. It was meant to be a meditative process through repetition balanced with a need for slight spontaneous variation. The paper produced a measurable goal to work within, a defined space that would slowly get filled until covered. Initially I thought this would be cool to focus and complete in a sitting. It ended up taking four days.
The repetitive lines are broken up here and there with blotches of watercolor that actually dripped from my brush while positioning myself. I left them on there as artifacts of the process. They added a little variety to the surface.
It does not translate well to the screen because it is a fairly large piece, but here’s a detail including one of the accidental blotches.
I’ve played with the composition of the circles theme, which is easy to do when you have a repetitive pattern like this. On these I’ve revisited an idea I had worked on previously in which a strong horizontal creates the instinct to read a piece from left to right (maybe it would be right to left in other places, who knows). Perhaps “narrative” would not be the right word here, but there is the intention of having the work absorbed in a sequential fashion, creating new opportunities to play with from my perspective.
The previous circle works appear as overall, non-focal patterns to be understood as a whole. But the whole is only the invitation to view the pieces with closer inspection. That’s where the intricate natural patterns of the watercolor come into play. The full page becomes a playground for the pigments that have the whole page to traverse around given the criteria of the preordained pattern. Same here, but by limiting the pattern further to a strong horizontal, the pattern itself comes into play as a system of stages. The stages begin, from a reading standpoint, at the left and work their way to the right.
What I found interesting about this reduction is that it does appear to be a coded message, a language of some kind that is indecipherable, but a message nonetheless. It almost reminds me of morse code.