This one, Sanctuary
(72"x24") should arrive in Scottsdale today at Wilde Meyer Gallery
. It has very subtle layers of rich color, more visible by clicking on the photos for a larger view. It is one of my more quiet, minimalist paintings...aside from the contrasts between panels in color, value and texture, and the I Ching symbol for earth embedded under several layers of paint in the lower panel, there is little to draw the eye to any particular place. Instead I hope to invite a lingering gaze, contemplation without words or labels.
This is one of those paintings in which I acknowledge a debt to abstract painter Mark Rothko.
It's not that I give him much if any conscious thought while I paint, but his work is there in the mix of ideas and visual impressions that bubble around in the brain. I can remember seeing his work at various times and in different museums, starting when I was a teenager, and I was always drawn to examine them closely for their nuances. I think what impresses me is how much he evoked about emotion and states of mind without the use of imagery. I also find the progression of his work through abstract symbolism to his floating rectangles interesting, as he eventually found what he considered essential to express.
Right now I'm working on another painting with a minimalist aesthetic similar to this painting's, in blue and white...alongside others that have more obvious references to nature--sky, twigs, and rock. It is an ongoing inner debate for me, how much readable imagery to use, how far to push the purely abstract.