Art In History Art Blog
It is not a new idea that nature herself is a rich source of abstract pattern and design. Examples of pattern are all around us, in the forms of flowers, the lacework of branches against the sky, and the geological expressions in rock. In the last hundred years, we have been able to see the patterns of nature at the macro and micro scale as well: The fabulous swirling forms of nebulae, and the intricate ordered patterns of crystals.
I have always had a powerful response to these natural patterns, while never having a strong urge to work abstractly. My compulsion in art is to record what excites me in the outside world. In the last eighteen months, that has often been rocks and rockfaces. Most recently, I have found myself responding to the most abstract examples I see. This has led to a series of works in which the primary impact is on the level of pattern and design, but which are still a faithful recording of what is in front of me.
The most interesting aspect of rockfaces is the intermingling of two independent pattern agents: color and form. This can be seen very well in the work above, which I have titled "Cross Purposes". The granite is striped with color based on the layering of its original formation. This design is overlaid with the fissures and facets worked by a millennia of wear and tear. The resulting double pattern is rich in complexity.
Two other examples of this highly abstract double patterning are seen in "Cracking up" and "Bullseye", which I am showing with the photographs from which they were done. It should say that the bluer tonality of my works is a function of the color palette of the laptop image from which I paint, which brings out the blues. I have chosen images where the conflicting patterns come into compositional balance; I am then recording that balance with limited adjustments or invention.
I will show two further examples, with the accompanying photographs, where I have found associations in the patterns, which are recorded in the titles. They are from two very different rock formations, a marble upthrust and a deep blue formation which I have not identified, perhaps basalt. "Jaws", the golden marble formation, has a non-directional color variation, overlaid by a crisp straight-line fracture pattern. The result it much less complex and subtle than the granite patterns.
The last one, a work I have called "Drowsy Dragon", shows a formation with a deep color which appears at first to be unvaried, but does have color variation within narrow limits. The fracture pattern is similar to the marble but with more three-dimensional projections and cavities. The result is that form dominates, with color pattern as a grace note.
I suspect hat this is either turning you on or leaving you completely cold. What can I say? You have to respond to natural pattern in general, and to LOVE rocks.