Thinking With Pattern


Although I grew up in a family of artists it often puzzled me as to why my parents, who frequently explored the locale of New York City and the neighboring areas of New Jersey  for subject matter, chose one view or another to create their water color landscapes. Insofar as complex patterns are concerned, any view of the city and its environs seemed to me to be equally interesting for form and color.

As I matured and started working in graphics this vague puzzle pursued me and it combined with the limitations I had in accurately rendering form which many artists pursued. I could perform in these areas but not with a good deal of ease. I discovered that it was a good deal easier to recognize images than to create them from scratch on a blank surface. This led me to a somewhat different approach to creating what might be interesting. Instead of consciously assembling a pattern I experimented with various pigments based on both water and other liquids such as oil or laquers that dissolve or reject dissolving in a variety of thinners such as alcohol or acetone. After first wetting a surface with water or another liquid I could apply various based pigments or inks using a brush or a bit of foam plastic or merely spattering in various ways.  The wetted surfaces permitted the colors to move amongst each other in various intensities to form very interesting patterns. After they had dried I could copy them into my computer through a scanner and thus make several copies for experiments and retain the original for further exploration. I could also take a pattern and play with color variation and intensity with Photoshop.

Thus I created a base source for future work with recognizing images in these random forms and intensifying that recognition with whatever skills I could manage with my basic artistic skills, a kind of Rorschach process wherein it is much easier to recognize an image than to create one originally. It is quite surprising how photographic  some random patterns can be.


This same pattern turned upside down created a new image


And here are further images using the same approach.



















One thought on “Thinking With Pattern

  1. I can’t express in any way my deep appreciation for your art. Today it is the cow’s head which affected me emotionally, knowing about your profound love for animals. Thank you for opening – once again – the door to your private section.

    Liked by 1 person

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