Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Free Form Structure

I created this piece, which I call ‘Fields III’ on a remote beach in Northern California on a gorgeous winter day while my wife and son worked on their own art and explored the cave seen in the photo. 

This artwork is a culmination of two opposite directions in my work development- order and chaos.

My beach artwork began its life from the study of geometry and drafting techniques. I realized that the geometric designs I was creating on paper could be scaled up indefinitely and that the beach was a perfect place for going large. For several years all my beach work was geometric in nature.
That dramatically changed when I moved into my ‘organic’ phase. Drawing inspiration from patterns in nature, I focused on designs that felt to have a life of their own, perhaps even arising from the location itself. While not exactly ‘chaos’ since patterns in nature take a recognizable form, they are chaotic in the sense that the exact pattern is not entirely predictable. 

For the next several years I explored other ways to coordinate large-scale designs. When the geometric has arisen, as in my mandala designs, it has acted as the framework for organic elements to be arranged upon- in a regular repeated way. For years I pondered how to bring the geometric and organic together where both could meaningfully have expression.

I consider ‘Fields III’ to be the first real integration of the two disparate directions. To make it I first created a lightly drawn triangular grid. This took most of the work time and was much larger than the design seen (a big portion got washed away). Next I let myself play with design possibilities, placing them spontaneously however inspiration led me. The result is this playful arrangement of elements that all adhere to an organizing layout. No prescription as in my earlier geometric works (in which I knew from the outset exactly what I would do), and no orderly repetition of elements as in my mandalas. Order and Chaos :-)

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