December 29, 2013

Messages Not in Every Bottle

Not everything requires a verbal message, I said to myself as I finished up my painting series, “Messages in Bottles.” After painting single bottles with messages, I had started painting multiple bottles with complex prints and messages. The last two of these were painted in bright color triads of red, blue and yellow, one of which is featured below. The painting at the top was the last in my series. For this one, I used only stamps that were designs and not actual language, although they have an ideographic look The central stamp on this orange bottle was influenced by my recent readings of ancient Chinese bronze vessels. Despite the fact that it doesn’t have a particular meaning it became one of my favorite stamps and I used it in other works as well. It had an appearance of some kind of ancient bird deity with a pleasing streamlined design.

My original intention for this series of acrylic paintings was a pragmatic one. I was using up an old box of recycled frames. But as these things usually pan out, I ran out of frames before my ideas were exhausted. So I started removing old drawings from frames, putting them into folios, and re-using those frames as well.

After the bottle paintings I counted up the works for my “Small Works” exhibition and they came to over 75, with ten more in progress. This changed my concept for hanging the exhibition. Many of the works will now be in constellation groups, installation style. But more of that later.

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