Day 230: Little Big Blue, a diptych
So I asked a good friend of mine to give my body of work her honest “Simon de Pury” opinion the other day, and she remarked that much of my art is “safe”. This was really important for me to hear because it got me thinking. I’ve always made my art with the intention of adding beauty to the world. I love color, I love exploring the connection between man-made forms and those of nature in my paintings, and I love making work that makes people smile. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Alan Watts, a philosopher, lately, and it’s brought me to the realization that if I make only beautiful things, I risk making them one-dimensional. Everything in the world is informed by its opposite, and including a bit of “ugliness” might give my work more depth, might make it more evocative.
So I asked myself “if you weren’t worried about making work that is beautiful, or salable, what might you make?” and it’s led me so far to some exciting ideas that are pretty different than what I normally do, including some sculptural explorations which are taking some time since I’m having to learn as I go.
Today’s art, two paintings I’ve been working on for a few days, are much simpler than anything I’ve done before, but I really like them. I created these by slathering a thick layer of gesso on to some 24” square canvases, laying some yarn into them, pressing the yarn down into the gesso with paper (which I saved and plan to use for complimentary pieces), and later dropping some slate blue liquid watercolor into the grooves left by the yarn and blowing it through the dampened grooves. The image of the blue string in the white field makes me think of DNA, and the simple elegance of nature. Here are some detail shots, hopefully this will help you see the texture.