There is only one journey. Going inside yourself. Maria Rilke The topics of the past few blogs, abstraction and circles are combined in the paintings completed in the last week of February. While I work abstractly and therefore do not try to dictate what the viewer will see in my work, my work does contain non-verbal metaphors. I use formal elements to produce an image that is transcendent, one that others will recognize and respond to. The viewer's experience is a critical piece in the life cycle of a painting. When the viewer connects and has an "Aha!" moment, discovering a truth within themself, that is when the painting is completed, truly completed. Over and over again circles emerge in the daily work. Typically, the circles grow organically and where there are multiple shapes, the space between is energized in an organic way. In this case, the circles are nearly geometric, the repeating forms set up a rhythm, and the movement is lessened resulting in a defined and somewhat static picture plane. There is a strong reference to planets and moons and orbits. The use of symbols confers an "aboutness" to the picture. As people have attributed meanings to planets and stars for a millennia, these objects reference the possibilities of human experience. What the artist must render is a living moment somehow, a living moment actually in action or an inward experience.
Joseph Campbell The exploration of color, brushwork and marks in these two paintings is as important as the shapes and the relationship between the shapes. In both paintings there is a transcendent presence evoked through the articulation of rhythm. The indication of light emanating through the transparency creates both beauty and strength in this painting. I trust the symbol that is arrived at in the making of the painting. Meaningful symbols aren't invented as such, they are made or discovered as symbol later.
Richard Diebenkorn I have reflected on symbols and metaphors this week because these paintings seem to call out for that type of analysis more than most of my work. As a traveler on a spiritual journey I remind myself to realign with the "all", and move away from protecting my ego when I notice reactions against something someone said or did. My life has meaning only in relation to others. Each of us has a richness within us, because we are part of a whole. For me, personally, the external cosmos serves as a metaphor for the depth of the internal space, the observed activity out there reflecs the internal activity. While the cosmos is a personal metaphor, I have a basis for my expectation of a shared understanding. For example, the publication of the photograph of the earth taken from the moon on Christmas eve in 1968 had a profound impact on many people. Suddenly, people were aware that we are a minute part of a vast creation. That photo gave us a new perspective, literally.
As an artist, I ask how can I communicate to others on the same journey? (and I believe we are all, somewhere on this journey). I strive to access shared consciousness, sometimes I do this using explicitly or implicitly rendered metaphors. That said, I become aware of the meanings that resonate, only after the paintings are completed.