Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Sometimes Rambling Pursuit of Pattern

The creative process: 

While recently cruising a marble collector’s website, I was intrigued by a comment from one of the collectors.

Here is a partial quote from it.
“Problem with Brad is you never know when he is going to crank out a new batch of marbles and of what design they will be. He doesn't seem to revisit designs very often, so usually with Brad if you snooze... you lose. ………………… Also, Brad seems to utilize many different colors, patterns and techniques that seem to appeal to different groups of buyers at different times depending on his creative mood. So he may go for months working on a style that does not appeal to me, then he goes through another spell for a few months where almost everything he makes appeals to me.”

For some reason this comment lodged in my brain.  It was interesting to hear an opinion about my body of work from the outside looking in.  From the inside looking out, all the work is the same. It is all about dots, lines and the pursuit of patterns.  It does not matter if it is a skull, a bird, or wavy lines, it is still all about the pursuit of the design. I am on the quest for patterns and interesting new ways of making them. For me, the need to create pattern is a primal element, one that is found in every culture, from every time period. You can find repeated patterns on cave walls and on the finest Ming vase. It can be found in a native Turkish rug and Maori tattoos. 

In looking back over my photos from the last few years, I can see what he is talking about. For some artists, their careers are a linear progression from one idea to the next, constantly using the last item to make the next on better, Much like a vine slowing creeping forward. I view my creative process as a tree with many braches. The trunk is all about dots and lines. Each branch is a direction in which to study dots and lines. They may at first seem very different, but they all have that same “trunk” of the tree in common. I guess I return to the trunk often and start a new branch, but that seed idea of pattern design and repetition are always there.

 I just thought the view from outside looking in was interesting and worth pondering for a few minutes.  

Both the beads below are the same shape,  and the underlying theme is pattern, just two roads taken to explore that direction.

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