Just as I am interested in understanding an artist's process, I am interested in understanding how an artist develops ideas. Creative invention is an elusive thing; how does one make something out of nothing?
The above encaustic series "Resolve(d)" was created for my friend Slo, a musician. Slo has been immersed in music his whole life but he often feels shy, blocked, anxious, about his own personal music. A conversation that we had two years ago resulted in him sharing these insightful quotes:
"I love unresolved dissonance."
"The best music sits on the edge of resolution but never quite delivers until you've almost given up on it."
Things that make you go hmmm... these quotes struck a chord... Slo was unwittingly explaining his own creative block! I set out to use my artistic powers to help him resolve his dissonance. First I bound a little journal for him to use as morning pages a la Julia Cameron. The journal was titled "Unresolved Dissonance" and featured a pure contour line drawing of his favorite instruments, a bass guitar and a piano (uncanny resemblance, right? tee hee). That drawing evolved into a series of encaustics titled "The Edge of Resolution" and it dressed up his new home recording studio. (click on the links for back story)
In the past six months his life has taken huge steps forward--he left his day job and became a music therapist! He is meant for music therapy and music therapy is meant for him. However, with all major transition comes stress and doubt and loneliness, and a culmination of events has left him feeling tangled. The newest artwork "Resolve(d)" was designed to help him work through the entanglement and celebrate his new life, a life where the dissonance is finally becoming resolved--through his own resolve.
I took the twelve individual line drawings from "The Edge of Resolution" and layered them, one on top of another, to create tangled strings (above left). When flipped vertically and horizontally, they merge together into a symmetrical design (above right). Depending on which quadrant the tangled strings begin, they merge into four unique designs (below). A symmetrical design with a center point can be viewed as a mandala, and mandalas have been used by cultures throughout time to reflect upon our inner selves and our connection with the universe, and to meditate upon and resolve inner conflict.
Staring at these you are bound to get lost in contemplation, get lost in the undulation of line and energy!
I believe Slo's next step is to record an entire album of original music. He already has the CD cover :)))