Archive for May, 2011

Here Come the Bands

May 14, 2011

Recently I have had several questions about the (for lack of a better term) “bands of color” that I have used in my last several paintings.  To be honest, it started out as a purely compositional element, but it has now morphed into something way beyond that – something that I’m not even entirely sure how to explain just yet because I am not far enough removed from it.

Anyone that knows my work knows that I work on round canvases – mandalas, if you will.  I also love to include rays of light that beam from a person or heaven.  I know other contemporary artists (Alex Grey, Fred Tomaselli to name a few) that use large colorful streams of light or energy successfully, so I thought I would try that in my own work.

Sometimes an artist will employ a “painting within a painting” to further enhance the composition by basically repeating the rectangle shape that is already the shape of the canvas in the actual painting.  I thought, hmmmm…my paintings are round, so maybe I will try to create some round shapes within the painting to make the overall composition stronger…

The result was this painting.

"The Greed of Provided Quail", 16'' diameter, 2010

As I was painting it, it started to look like a rainbow, so I broke it up a bit so it wasn’t too obvious.  It was still pretty obvious.  Oops.  Then the challenge became, how can I use these shapes to reference a rainbow but not actually BE a rainbow??  Weird.  Here was my thought process:

The original presence of a rainbow is found in the Bible in the flood account where God promises to never flood the earth with water again like He did with Noah.  The rainbow then becomes a symbol of the promises of God.

Somehow, over the course of several paintings, the “bands of color” started to appear overhead, and with light emanating from them – representing the presence of God, and not just a rainbow (hopefully!).

"Joyous Weight", 30'' diameter, 2010

The bands of color began to take content as well as form, and soon became a signifier for the presence of God and the promises of God.

However, they are still morphing.  Lately I have been using them more stretched out – with Psalm 104:2 as inspiration: “The LORD wraps himself in light as with a garment; he stretches out the heavens like a tent.”

"Truth (after LeFebvre)", 30'' diameter, 2011

I’m sure the bands will keep morphing, and may someday disappear altogether, but right now I find them an important part of my style.  Plus, it’s a very meditative part of the painting for me – not a lot of thinking – just pure painting.