Conceptual Cycles: Part I

The easel was set up with my studio lights aimed at it to maximize the visual impact of each painting. I manually rotated individual works to gauge the prospective client’s interest. I began with my ‘Scapes series, having completed two pieces just a few days earlier that I was very satisfied with because of their subtle use of color and meditative qualities. The reaction was lukewarm so I shifted the private exhibit to show him work from my Interludes series.

Though the larger format, color, composition and content of these works seemed to draw slightly more interest from him, the client seemed largely unenthused about my Contemporary Expressionist style. He seemed, rather, to gravitate toward an older painting. I had removed it earlier from the storage racks to access other works and he noticed it leaning against the wall. It was the original “Blow” painting (pictured to the right) I had completed back in 2003, marking one of the very first paintings of the Interludes series.

The client explained he liked the Cubist approach I had taken, with its assertive outlines, breaking the form down into multiple planes of color and value. The Cubist approach intends to reveal any given subject from all sides at the same time. I employed my own version of Cubism early in the Interludes series. As my style has emerged, I have moved away from this method in favor of a more fluid treatment of the subject.

I had a good chuckle to myself over the client’s inclinations, as I had been reflecting on my cycle of artistic patterns. I am becoming increasingly aware that the seeds planted early on in my career continue to grow and feed each other. When I have learned what I need to from one particular style or series, I move on to the next and advance it until I am ready to move on again. Eventually, I return to the beginning again, renewing the cycle … sort of like a spiral that starts from a vague periphery and rotates itself toward the center, where it refines and defines itself. I will explain more in the next entry.