Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Repetition and thoughts on abstract art

More photographs I took while wandering the strip in Las Vegas.
Besides a nod to one of my favorite painters, Wayne Thiebaud, with his paintings of deli cases, I discovered I became fascinated with this abundance of repetition and pattern.  There is an obsessive quality to the way goods are marketed - rows of identical water bottles, caramel apples, even t-shirts are marketed this way.  Every time I passed the building with those big raised dots on it, I was in love.  If you think of a number of the paintings I was doing last fall, you will understand my obsession with dots.

Here is one, in case you have forgotten.

I leave you with photos of my latest diptych. 

Now that I am looking at these new paintings, I realize that I am still obsessed with dots.  It cannot be helped.  There is just something about circles that makes me happy.  Obviously, there is more to the circles in my paintings than just an obsession with them.  For me, the circles have meaning.  I am often reluctant to talk about what my paintings mean to me, because I don't think there is only one way to interpret a non-objective painting.  They have a quality that allows them to mean different things for different people.  If I talk about my meanings, I may close off the meaning that someone else may find.  Nevertheless, I have been asked on more than one occasion to talk about what I am thinking about when I paint.

That part is difficult for me.  I think the reason I paint is because I find words to be inadequate to describe my thoughts and feelings.  What goes on in my mind is more complicated than what I can offer verbally.  I recently watched a movie called Far From Heaven, and two of the characters are looking at a Joan Miró painting.  Here is the conversation they have: 
[Studying a Miró painting]
Raymond Deagan: So, what's your opinion on modern art?
Cathy Whitaker: It's hard to put into words, really. I just know what I care for and what I don't. Like this... I don't know how to pronounce it... Mira?
Raymond Deagan: Miró.
Cathy Whitaker: Miró. I don't know why, but I just adore it. The feeling it gives. I know that sounds terribly vague.
Raymond Deagan: No. No, actually, it confirms something I've always wondered about modern art. Abstract art.
Cathy Whitaker: What's that?
Raymond Deagan: That perhaps it's just picking up where religious art left off, somehow trying to show you divinity. The modern artist just pares it down to the basic elements of shape and color. But when you look at that Miró, you feel it just the same.

My sentiments exactly.  Thanks, Raymond Deagan.


ArtPropelled said...

I'm going to have to have a midnight feast after looking at those top images. There is definitely something magical about circles and spots. Interesting to see your old painting next to the new.

Enjoyed the Miro conversation too.

Patricia said...

Another Wayne Thiebaud fan!!
Excellent post Karine. Your closing quote is lovely, and says what so many of us feel.
Thanks for sharing-

julie king said...

be still my chocolate-loving heart!!
your work is lovely as always!