A Dancing Star


Dancing Star, 10 x 10″ Acrylic on Illustration Board

“Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.”

– Henry Brooks Adams

I like the contrast between “life” and “habit” in this quote. One of the reasons I love non-objective subject matter is that helps me avoid habit, which, for me, equates with boring. When I was painting landscapes years ago, I found that eventually they all started to look the same. There is an order to the objects we see around us, perhaps imposed by how we have created them or at least in how we perceive them. This sense of order imposed its will on me, made me move in certain directions and not in others. I’m not saying that others who paint differently create boring, habitual art – obviously this is not true! I only speak to my own experience.

By not attempting to depict this order, I am free to roam in all directions. This is both a blessing and a curse. The blessing is that it’s up to me what I create – the curse is that I have few guideposts to help me know if I’m on the right track.

This series is, in some way, all about that chaos. I’m trying to honor the chaos while offering enough order to connect with the viewer.

Nietzsche said that you need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star – this piece is my homage to that sentiment.

10 responses to “A Dancing Star

  1. Wow, wow, wow…you have just crystalized why I have become to attracted and abstract art over the years. This will be a keeper for me.

    Thanks for that. Sherrill Pearson, Montreal, Quebec

  2. I love this quote by Adams. We often (at least I do) have a negative connotation of chaos, but it is that ability to stay with what is, I believe that brings the birth, the order, whatever, out of chaos. This quote reminds me that chaos is different than the habitual way we think about it.

    And don’t you think abstracts could become boring if we didn’t venture out from our tried and true methods of creating them. You can sometimes see the “sameness” in abstract work where people are staying with what they know. It’s about moving and exploring, don’t you think. That willingness to step head long into chaos.

    Very inspiring post!
    thanks, Carole Leslie

  3. Bob,
    You challenge my outlook with each post, and I rush back to my work to see if I’m expanding, or contracting; exploring or circling; living, or repeating.

    Thanks for keeping me thinking, and I love your work.

  4. I love your style – chaos, in the zen way of thinking means change – out of chaos comes change. Your style really inspires me – I need to get way more chaotic when I paint!

  5. Thanks, all! I can see many of you relate to the concept of chaos, one of those words with some negative connotations, but one which carries so much potential as well. As with all forms of energy, it’s a matter of how it is channeled…

  6. hi

    I left a comment re one of your postings Bob back in 2009 and a Jutta Retzlaff is asking that I get in touch with her. Jutta was one of my best mates back in the early (very early) 60s.

    I am at sipearson@videotron.ca.

  7. I have always loved bright colors and movement, like dancing its healing, relaxing fulfilling and challenging as well. The bottom line is the feeling and message that I want to convey through the medium. When I paint, every attempt is to capture the feel of warmth, passion, joy and bliss in none objective or figurative composition. I enjoy experimentation of different media and subjects.;

    Have a look at the helpful blog post on our new web-site

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