What’s in a Pattern?


Intersection, 10 x 10″ acrylic on illustration board

“A repeated shape is not actually the same – the more subtle, the more poetic this repeat is, the more we feel that resonant pulse.”

-Suzanne Northcott

In the pursuit of confusing myself, I am working on two series simultaneously which have very different objectives. Recently I’ve been posting work from the series titled Universal Meaning in which I am trying to use a more fluid style with little or no pattern or straight lines. This work is from a different series, as yet untitled, in which am exploring pattern and shape. Maybe a sort of left brain/right brain dichotomy. I like to exercise as many dimensions of my creativity as possible, even at the risk of a hopeless snarl.

I love the quote above because it reveals something about pattern that I truly feel – it’s “resonant pulse”. Pattern creates a rhythm which we unconsciously respond to. By making the patterns more or less subtle we can regulate the pulse of that rhythm in the observer. Paintings without pattern (I’m thinking of the Universal Meaning series) create a feeling of floating or being adrift – perhaps not the right words. But something other than a pulse with its insistent regularity.

Somehow our perceptual system translates these marks into some type of dynamic that we feel, rather than see. All art forms impact us on more than one level. Non-visual art such as music can have color, non-kinetic art such as painting can make us feel movement and temporal art such as dance can have structural permanence.

The more ways in which we respond to the art, the more interested we become in it. Artists who cross over into other art forms benefit greatly from this exploration as it allows them to infuse each with some aspect of the others.

One response to “What’s in a Pattern?

  1. Your work is beautiful and I see each stroke is an integral part of the whole. Beautifully done and very well explained.

    So many people see abstraction as “easy”. Not so.

    (I got here form Robin Janning’s site.)

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