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Easter for Laura - Working with Artistic Limitations

When the artist activates his being, awakens to his surroundings, and sets himself the task of creating, connections are made out of conscious awareness that return coalesced as inspiration. (Eric Maisel)

This week I am writing about a painting which was created at the request of someone close to me. I was asked to create a painting about Easter. Typically my paintings grow from some interior reaction. From visual stimuli, that I have noticed and been attentive to. The images and emotional responses incubate for some period of time. Then when working in the studio, I recall and render what was unconsciously absorbed. To create a painting about a concept without having any image stimuli to inspire me, was a challenge. I do not have any of the earliest stages captured, so I can only describe the process... My goal was to create a painting that would speak of the resurrection and its continuing impact on believers, without creating an illustration. What images come to mind when thinking of Easter? An empty tomb? In prayers describing Jesus we are told that Jesus is the light of the world, the alpha and omega, the light dispelling darkness. I began by painting light glowing from an opening. Then of course I needed darkness around that light. so I painted various shades of blue surrounding that light. Then orbs emanating from the light. Water is a living symbol with a long history in the western and other cultural traditions. I painted water, to reflect the light, and in keeping with our common understanding of water as a life giving element. At this point it looked just like an abstract painting similar to other abstract paintings I have made before, except that the water while abstract clearly represented water. I began to impose structure.

I needed to then find some middle ground between representational illustration and complete abstraction. First I cut into that white light to make it look like a human form. Unhappy with that i scumbled the paint, obscuring the figure. The image you see here is from around that time. I thought of using the concept of the "Golden Spiral" found commonly in nature and considered a symbol for perfection and beauty. The shape follows the Fibonacci sequence, also represents the golden mean: 1.6180339…, which goes on until infinity.

I drew the Fibonacci spiral very clearly , then obscured it. As I worked, I kept adjusting the color. I used color to draw the viewers eye around the canvas . I incorporated contrasting colors, increased the movement and flow around the canvas, layer upon layer of sheer translucent color. Until completion

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