My latest body of work continues to explore a discipline I have set for myself since the 1990’s: to strip a visual vocabulary down to one simple geometric or linear element, and then have that element - through repetition and layering – create an organized system. I have used a single straight line, a square, a capsule form, and now an open circle, and each element dictates a new approach for the paintings. For me, painting with a limited vocabulary is like solving a puzzle, and the results are often surprising, leading off into tangents, blind alleys, and possible new elements to use going forward.
This series of paintings begun in 2017, focuses on the circle, or more specifically an “open circle”. I begin with a grid and stencil in the first layer of circles. Each one is painted freehand from that point, creating variations in the pattern and surface. I don’t want the pieces to be “perfect” – it would be possible to draft such a pattern on the computer. I like having flaws, inconsistencies and variations show up on closer inspection of the work, which make the patterns more fragile and human.
I use a combination of water-based media in each of the works – ink and acrylic predominantly, but also watercolor, gouache, colored pencil and powdered pigments. Many of my pieces incorporate iridescent and gold paints, changing the viewing experience from different angles. I paint mostly on paper, flat on a table, and turn the composition around as I’m working on it, so there isn’t a fixed top or bottom until I have completed the piece.
This series has been heavily inspired by a recent trip to Venice, where the use of pattern and visual decoration is omnipresent in the city. The bold colors of Venice during Carnival also led me to throw vibrant and sometimes discordant colors into the mix.