Not so much a grid as a universal lattice of some kind, I’m thinking of these studies as looking more closely at all of the boxes we create for ourselves or involuntarily find ourselves within. An aerial photograph of any human settlement will reveal a pattern of change imposed upon the landscape. The same kinds of patterns are employed inside of our technologies, embedded in social structures and modes of thinking. We compartmentalize information, emotions, nature and reality inside of billions and billions of known quantities, but miss all of the spaces in between. I think there’s more out there, and I’m using these as a way of visually digesting this taxonomy of experience.


The featured image includes the Pleiades star cluster, above, an American Hobo sign.

Along with testing varying arrangements of grid and lattice structures, to describe the ground on which each symbol is contextualized, I’m also playing around with signs and codes as the diffused focal point of each image. Constellations, ideograms, wishes encoded into sigils, all appear etched into the foreground. A halo of color sets the mood and bridges the singularity with the universal backdrop on which it occurs. These are meant to live in the mundane, without demanding much attention. Each visitation with the image subliminally suggests a concept encoded in a particular sign or symbol floating in the foreground. By encouraging contemplation of it’s meaning, an incrementally deeper understanding of the truth embodied in each cipher is gained. The image gently works on the intuitive side of the brain, encouraging further exploration into the shadow self.


This image incorporates a curved grid rather than squared and a sigil. Perhaps too much?

I’m finding that appropriate color choices are very important to setting the right tone, that the patterns made by more complicated grids make for more complicated execution of the piece, as well as contributing to overworking the surface by accident. Using acrylics, the depth in color isn’t quite where I’d like it to be, and the line quality of the grid and symbols themselves need some improving, but I’m feeling good about the direction they’re headed. Starting from a grey or buff ground, instead of white, is next on my list of things to try. Also, applying this algorithm to wearable enameled surfaces in the near future. Even with all of the rules being imposed here, there’s still a lot of variables in design, materials and interpretation that are feeding my constant need for forward momentum. I think this will provide enough to gnaw on for a long, long time.


Some more successful than others, but learning a lot about overworking this schema.

The last thing I want to mention about this series is that they seem to only turn out well if I’m able to work on them from a certain kind of head-space. I’m finding that if I get too linear in my process, the results suffer. If I get out of my own way, things just kind of sort through themselves. Symbols plucked at random happen to relate to each other, intuitive color mixing lends itself to resolving formal conflicts in a way that imposed ideas can’t. Something like a moving meditation, this practice of mindfulness in art making is becoming more and more important to me and my work. The challenge remains to successfully bring that sentiment to fruition in the rest of my life, but it’s all part and parcel.


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