Monday, November 16, 2009

Not Lavender or lavendar - but Equiangular

Toto 2
With your dangerous beauty you
are like unto a tornado,
touching down,
laying waste to trepidation...
I am drawn, into your world,
seeking an Oz of my own.

Let me trade silver
for your ruby set in gold.
I look for you in the yellow moon -
while the wind and City keep you,
I keep this to hold.

... for Peter, 2006
c. ply

Logarithmic Spirals, 24 x 24 - Acrylic on deep cradle panel

My fascination with storms and whirlwinds likely has much to do with growing up in "Tornado Alley," an area of the Midwest whose borders shift with ever changing weather patterns. Though I now live in the foothills of the Appalachians, I long for a big, big sky, full of mystery and the promise of a story borne on the wind in whispers and murmurs - and deafening roars.

The images I paint arise out of stories read and weather footage viewed, as well as memories, dreams and imagination. Sure, the Wizard of Oz is a fantasy, but as a child I fully expected the next tornado to carry me to a place where horses changed color and creepy monkeys carried off little dogs! (To this day I can't abide monkeys...)

The science of twisters fascinates my left brain as well. Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, galaxies, and the Chambered Nautilus are all examples of logarithmic spirals, which often appear in nature. Spira mirabilis, "the marvelous spiral" was first described by Descartes in the 1600's. Marvelous spirals, indeed...

The "Pop" art of the 60's, classic " hypnosis wheels", the boinging eyes of cartoon characters - each made much of spinning spirals.

Wow - Four equiangular spirals (hurracanes) seen from satellite orbit.

And my personal favorite spiral done by an artist?

Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, 1970

And here - by way of Stu's comment, is a piece by another of my favorite conceptual artists: Richard Long.

Lots of circles, spiral and targets...


Paul said...

That's very cool. I also like spirals, a type of infinity.

Roy said...

What a cool tornado painting.

Yeah, I like spirals, too. Their circular but open-ended, not closed like a circle.

Paula Cravens said...

OOh, I love Smithson's work. Makes me want to go out and make spirals in the Kootenay River...yeah, maybe I'll wait until next summer. Awesome tornado painting. I love how the use of darkness and light evokes a feeling of hope and power.

Patrice said...

Thanks, Roy.

Paul, I do like the idea that the spiral is infinite - but I also like the finality of a circle within a circle, within a circle.

And Paula, It's true. One just wants to go out and get busy making Earthworks!!. Oh, if I were younger and had heavy equipment...

Sheila said...

I LOVE this Patrice!!!! Powerful, mesmerizing, beautiful.... more please!

Stu said...

Hi Patrice,

Loving those logarithmic spirals!

Last year I saw an exhibition by Richard Long in Nice - his work certainly owes a debt to Smithson.

Here are some examples of his work:

Patrice said...

Thank you, Sheila - more stormy skies a'comin'..

And Stu - You are so right. I've added a Richard Long piece and link in your honor...

DJ said...

Wonderful depiction of wind in your painting, Patrice!
Not everyone can do that, kid...Keep going...

mansuetude said...

a wonderful post; love the power of the spiral in the top image painting...

Patrice said...

DJ - Thank you.. I do love to paint "the wind" - or at least the evidence of its existence.

mansuetude - thank you.. The natural order of things is beautiful as well as practical.