While painting Wheel within a Wheel 104 & 105 several artists – Elizabeth Brandt, Kathleen Waterloo and Sheila Wolk – favored some of the intermediate design steps I shared online while the paintings evolved through the creative process.
Their comments introduced a break in the energy of my artwork flow – this occurred in spite of the fact that I tend to have a powerful sense of concentration. Though I endeavored to remain grounded in my own meditation, the comments proved to be a good interjection in my own conception and approach to art. And I must admit I had a bit of a “hiccup” while painting #105 (see image below).
The malleability of the medium I am working with is considerable, so I was able to resurrect the artwork and bring it back to life. I addressed the problem and elaborated a visual “re-interpretation” of the artwork. The additional benefit was a qualitative one – a subtle base of color (from the lifting off of the darker paint) and textural variance (with an added “graininess”) that lay beneath the consequent layers of paint (washes of watercolor).
The exercise proved to be a good test for me as I considered making some changes from my principal artistic focus and vision – the power of color and shape (and the dynamics in their interrelationship) – to include an emphatic use of black and white and introduce a more explicit investigation of positive and negative space (and possibly minimalism) within an artwork composition.
Wheel within a Wheel 104 shows evidence of this use of negative and positive space along with Wheel within a Wheel 101 and 103. Wheel within a Wheel 102 and 105 reveal a more subtle dynamic of positive and negative space, since the emphasis became the interplay of color and form and creating a harmonious balance within the design field.
Recently, I read a comment by Gaston Bachelard that communicates well the value of an artist’s creative intent and staying true to the process of art-making itself. “Anterior to the work, the painter, like every creator, knows the contemplative musing, the pondering upon the nature of things. Indeed the painter experiences the revelation of the world through light too intimately not to participate with his whole being in this ceaselessly reiterated birth of a universe.” (The Right to Dream: The Painter Solicited by the Elements, Gaston Bachelard)
It was good for me to take the time to re-evaluate and consider the perspective of others and “to walk (with these ideas) in my own moccasins” and navigate through this process. Ultimately, the design evolved within a schema that will add nuanced variations to the overall panel series’ composition – which I am seeing and developing on an ongoing step by step creative journey.
I will follow up on this subject of design elements. My intent is to ponder the use of color and form analogously to minimalism and the use of negative and positive space (including the duality of black and white contrasts) in a composition as an intellectual exercise with the aim of sharing my discoveries. If any changes ensue in my own creative process from this study, these will grow organically (without any contrivance on my part).