Today’s Painting for You: The Oracle
Today’s painting for you:
“The Oracle”, Oil on Canvas, 8×16 inches, 2013 (sold)
If today’s painting from 2013 looks like a forerunner to the pieces I’m working on right now, well… it is. It’s powerful to work in series of paintings – it gives a strong opportunity to delve deeply into a subject and look at it from a range of different perspectives (sometimes even literally!); to expand it, to contract it, to vary it – to really make it one’s own.
It’s also remarkably powerful to do similar work over and over again. Repetition gets a bad name, but I think that is exactly the wrong attitude. I don’t mean repetition in the sense of doing the same thing over and over again by rote. Of course that is undesirable – nothing more than hack work. I mean repetition more in the weaving sense. A skilled weaver might make almost exactly the same knot over and over again, thousands upon thousands of times. Yet the final result is a glorious, shimmering rug.
I guess the better analogy might come from classical music, where nearly all composers use the form of Theme and Variations to some degree. It begins with a Theme, which is simply a melody or tune the composer wishes to work with. It proceeds with a set of variations on that theme, which modify and embellish it in some way, limited only by the composer’s imagination. Each of the variations might be wildly different from the others (that is in fact the point), and yet they all share a common underlying structure with the theme.
There’s something very deep and fundamental about this, since we see this kind of repetition in nature all the time.
I hope you enjoy it!