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Circulation of the Body & Soul

Broadway Boogie WoogieBroadway Boogie Woogie
Piet Mondrian (Dutch, 1872-1944)
1942-43. Oil on canvas, 50 x 50″

This painting by Mondrian was a huge influence on my evolution of my image (right), Trees Squared. The use of squares to create movement, the pulsing life, and the the varied colors all found their way undulating through my subconscious as I made it. In Mondrian’s piece and piece and my own, the circulation of the life in both the city and in nature as represented by the tree and my showing the vitality pulsing beneath the bark are captured. My organic picture however uses organic lines; the Mondrian masterpiece uses the geometry of architecture.

Trees Squared

It is fascinating and endlessly inspiration to me to note the overlay of images I have as an artist as my images emerge. The references that I become aware of, and the many that remain in my subconscious have a huge impact on my art, although none of them were consciously selected. I guess that I could here assert that ‘art is plagiarism’ but I can also assert that, in a reverse syllogism, that “plagiarism is NOT art”.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • 0whole1 June 8, 2009, 9:52 pm

    Seems like the Mondrian piece uses squares to portray time in a single dimension — like cars on a road or people on a moving sidewalk — whereas you piece involves two dimensions — the whole square of the canvas — and implies movement in 3 — the whole of the actual 3d tree.

    Of course the time dimension in your piece seems to be of a limited duration — leaves fluttering during a few moments — as opposed to the changing light over an afternoon or the changing tree over a year. Maybe those are better addressed over a series?

  • Alison June 9, 2009, 12:36 pm

    Interesting thoughts ~ the suggestion of capturing a full day’s passage of movement is intriguing, and would be quite beautiful. On a single canvas, is it possible? I plan to capture many different light-styles and colors over the next paintings. My next one will be purples golds and yellows ~ they were on a fringe of trees in the far North of Texas, alongside a private ranch, and immediately reminded me of Klimt. I have in my minds eye inky purple-greys…

  • 0whole1 June 10, 2009, 3:20 am

    > On a single canvas, is it possible?

    Anything’s possible. Think on how comics, graffiti, and tattoos deal with time — the difference between time and space blurs. The action in a single comic panel can encompass any stretch of time, as one moves right to left. Or, you can play with the unspoken comic rules of time by depicting a charcter climbing out of his current frame and into one in the future (further down the page) or the past (back up the page). You could mimic the Australian Aborigine’s concept of time (further away in space == further back in history) by fooling with perspective: small things == stuff in the distance == stuff in the past. Or you could have a blur of things — images piled on top of each other — to indicate a thing’s travel through a stretch of time sort of smooshed into the singularity of the canvas like a bug on a windshield.

    All that and more. 🙂

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