While looking through my artwork, I located four paintings that I believe are the direct precursors to the Wheel within a Wheel series. The paintings are from 2002 and done in acrylic. These are 48 in x 36 in. Each one is interrelated to the other. At the time I was focused on primary colors and complementary color arrangements. Johaness Itten’s books were critical at this time, both The Art of Color and Design and Form: the Basic Course at the Bauhaus. These first works I called Butterfly Wings and Spirals, and these were designed following my study of Itten’s writings along with those of Faber Birren’s and Josef Albers’ on color theory.
The other two paintings Petals and Ovals were compositions based on primary colors.
At this time, following the recommendation of Peter Frank, I located a copy of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s exhibition catalogue The Spiritual in Art: Abstract Painting 1890-1985, by Maurice Tuchman. It was instrumental in my early immersion into the study of the abstract art movements that were chiefly connected to my own aesthetic and conceptual inclinations.
Prayer, Acrylic, 24 in x 20 in, 2002
I would also include Joseph Stella’s works such as A Child’s Prayer and The Voice of the City of New York Interpreted: The White Way I & II, along with Jules Schmalzigaug‘s artwork as key discoveries at this time along with the exhibition catalogue from the Musée d’Orsay At the Origins of Abstraction (1800-1914).
Amongst these movements and artists for which and whom I had developed an affinity, as my artist statement indicates, were geometric and organic formalism, constructivism and the artistic movements advanced by the Bauhaus school, the Abstract Creation and Blue Rider groups, alongside the Latin American Geometric Abstraction artists of the early 20th Century.
Artists of particular interest to me from this historical time period are Sonia and Robert Delaunay, Auguste Herbin, Frantizek Kupka, Kazimir Malevich, Carlos Cruz-Diez and Jesús Rafael Soto, Stanton MacDonald-Wright, Joseph Stella and Victor Vasarely.
The following two paintings are from this time period of study and experimentation.
Arch on Hill, Acrylic, 24 in x 20 in, 2002
NY, Watercolor/Colored Pencil, 10 in x 8 in, 2001
The paintings Arch on Hill and NY are glimpses into this passage point towards geometric abstraction.