I started this series for several reasons, but primarily it was because I had gotten the flu and I was coughing and shaking so much I felt it was impossible to do a landscape or other traditional subject matter. I needed to loosen up a bit after a two-week period away from the easel, so abstracts are my usual re-entry point.
I call this one the first in a “dirty grid” series as a reference to Agnes Martins grids of quiet precision, and there are other references, even in this first of the series.
I like to think of this particular grid as one made intentionally as part of the classical one-third compositional rule, but in this case, three has been multiplied by three, to equal nine, which is a magical number that collapses in on itself, no matter what integer it has been multiplied by. In this grid, it’s 9×9=81. 8+1=9, and so forth. I devote one grid element for a signature. In essence, it is 80 little paintings, all served by one signature.
If I were to ever run out of subjects to paint, tiring of trees, clouds, mountains, or desert simplicity, all I would have to do is delve into one of these individual paintings for a study that would make another painting.
This is at once fractal (recursive and never-ending) and sharply delineated, defined, and discrete at the same time.
I have stared the second in the series involving the same nine-based composition. I am forcing a limited palette and I have been given a book by my friend and mentor Mary Ann Warner, called Signs of Life, The Five Universal Shapes and How to Use Them, by Angeles Arrien. You can bet my ranking of shapes as part of the Preferential Shapes Test, will be incorporated in the painting.