Thursday, September 06, 2007

Layered intent

Desert Cat has a burning question:
In the specific way that you employ these mandalas in your paintings, what do they represent? (I'm ruminating on that "Meditation" one in particular at the moment, but there seems to be a common theme to their use in many of your recent paintings.)
DC, for me the mandalas work on a number of levels simultaneously; each of these levels comes into play in each painting, and they are all equally important. In no particular order, they are:

1) A meditation practice, in and of themselves, in the process of drawing them. I am opening myself up to receive guidance about how to work, while working within the same stringent form.

2) A metaphor for an underlying holistic order, independent of space and time--what Bohm calls 'the implicate order'--which determines how the physical universe unfolds. Since mandalas are circular and symmetrical, they work rather like cut-paper snowflakes--one gesture can simultaneously create form in many different physical and temporal locations.

3) Chakras.

4) Celestial bodies.

5) Organic growth patterns.

Sometimes the lines of force both within and without the mandalas represent kinetic trajectories as well--orbits, currents and gravity.

Thus, these paintings can be read simultaneously as landscapes, mindscapes, microscapes, and metascapes.

And it is quite late, and you can perhaps tell that I just got in from Opening Night in Chelsea. The powers of deconstruction are upon me...


Desert Cat said...

Hmm, well that gives me something to chew on. Here I had been taking them to be a metaphor of human awareness, apart from our physical existence.

On the one hand they often overlay the images, seeming to impose a symmetry, language and order within the chaos. On the other hand, their presence so often seems to profoundly affect the surrounding chaos, not unlike the effect that human awareness has.

So, thank you for the insight.

Now, about those tendrils? Fascinating, intriguing. Dare I ask?

prettylady said...

Human awareness! There's a thought! Perhaps so!

Of course you know, DC, that I am currently subscribing to the postulate that the manifest universe is a projection of the universal Mind, at the same time as I note that most human awareness is anything but orderly, so it is natural that I might not have thought of things precisely that way. But perhaps they can be a metaphor for heightened human awareness.

Tendrils? You must know as well as I do, DC, that meditation is hard work. What is supposed to be an Undisturbed Pool of open awareness is, usually, marred by insouciant little thoughts that go maundering all over everywhere. Those tendrils, as well as being free-form organic lines in direct contrast and tension with the regular ones in the mandala, represent wayward thoughts.

painterdog said...

I am curious why you go to these openings in Chelsea. I guess if I was living in New York I would feel compelled to myself from time to time. As if it was my duty as a painter to go see some art in the what is the center of the art world so to speak.

Recently up here in the hinterland of Boston a group of artist decided to make a statement on this by picking 18 artist to dress up as super hero's for some kind of promotional gimmick.

It's one of those conceptual ideas that's funny for about 10 minutes(or less) and then it just looks like a Halloween party, a very boring one with 18 trendy people in fancy dress.

For some reason this kind of art is very popular in this city, I call it gag line art.

It's reminds me of the old type of comedians who told gags or one line jokes. It's funny for a few minutes then is is boring or you just forget it.

Google Big Red and Shiny, look up issue 67.

This came about from artist up here feeling left out of the art scene or that Boston was provincial. Which it is, I don't care how trendy your haircut is your still in Boston or that you ware the latest messenger bag on your shoulder, your still in Boston.

When people in New York think of Boston, it's not for art.
That is not to say there are note some first class artist living here, there are. Some are refusing to except the provincial aspect of it.

Well Big Red likes to think of them selves as a champion of all art that makes up Boston, but if you start reading it you will quickly see that it's mostly about, surprise surprise the same 18 artist that are in the Super Hero art promotion.

So while they think they are not provincial I have to tell them they sure do act like it.
Personally I think they should embrace this, as it the attitude wont change.

For Pete's sake it cost just as much live here as in NYC so if your a young artist why would you stay here?

I have rambled on a bit here, I was just curious as I don't go to the First Friday openings anymore(in Boston it's Friday's not Thursday)

If I want an art fix I go to the museum or look up an artist I want to see. I can't do it anymore, I guess it's age, my BS meter is to acute and I just get peeved and bored and I rather stay home and draw.

Sunil said...

Mandala... - I saw some being done in India the last time I was there and it truly is humbling...
Not too sure if I can achieve that level of sublime'ness'...

ellen said...


i couldn't respond to your comment on my journal since you're not on lj, hope you don't mind i came back here. how did you find me, did someone make an appt after reading my post? or do you have something that tells you whenever your page is linked..... (that kind of stuff is a bit over my head)


prettylady said...

Netfirms webstats, dear Ellen. Analagous to Site Meter. Most useful!