Dirty Grid #2

"Dirty Grid #2," oil on canvas by Melwell Romancito, 16x20

The second in my “Dirty Grid” series explores the five basic shapes in a nine-based array as before.

My friend and mentor Mary Ann Warner sent me a book, Signs of Life, The Five Universal Shapes and How to Use Them, by Angeles Arrien. A wonderful book, it discusses the basic forms and their symbolic meanings in anthropological shades of meaning. Right away I made my own five-card spread. I used that first ordering as the unifying theme but only at the beginning of filling in the grid with the basic glyphs.

The five basic shapes are the circle, square, equilateral cross, spiral, and triangle. Using these rudimentary forms as shape archetypes in a five-card Tarot spread, you arrange the shapes in preferential order. The order they assume give you a glimpse into who you are as an artist and person at that moment in time – like the Tarot as well.

The way I applied the shapes to the grid and how I colored in the grid was based on a checklist of arbitrary rules which I applied as I saw fit, going along. For instance, I managed, except in a few instances, not to have shapes repeating next to each other, but a couple of grids defy that logic. Another holds a tilted equilateral cross instead of the usual upright.

All throughout I applied the if / then conditions for color, shading, and overlays. First this color, then this color. First this brushstroke, then this one, and so on. As I said, the rules are seemingly arbitrary, but adherence to the rules makes it a success or not.

I’d say this is just about right for the second foray into a series. On to the next.