Wednesday, June 10, 2009

It sits in the center and knows

What's up with the spiral imagery in my paintings, anyway?  I get asked this all the time at the Farmers' Market.  It's kind of complicated and organic, so here's a cliff-note style summary of how the spiral fits in my personal iconography.

The first time I really became aware of spiral imagery was during a family vacation to the west coast, where we stopped at some petroglyphs in New Mexico.  There was one image of a line of people dancing under a huge spiral.  This resonated with my worldview and faith, and stuck with me.  Next, a few years later I was painting a chair for a friend of mine in Oregon, and had some extra paint, so I signed the piece with my handprint on the underside, and noticed that a spiral would tuck nicely into the space in the palm.  Hmmm...a logo is hand and my creativity in one image.  Then I started seeing this hand-and-spiral design everywhere, in many native traditions around the world.  THEN I started putting it into my paintings, usually under some point I realized that in these paintings the spiral meant the life coming from the earth and growing into the trees.  On a more shallow level, spirals simply make a really nice design element, sometimes art just looks cool and doesn't necessarily have a deep meaning.

I make one of these stone spirals on the lake beach outside my cabin in Michigan every year.

In other news, I've been back from vacation since Friday night, after a long drive, a tiring evening of packing for market, a busy weekend of selling cards, and now a few days of generally getting my house, garden, business, and life back in order (shedding cats!).  Took down my show at Korova on Monday too.  Summer is here!  I jumped in a creek yesterday.


Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

you got back late Friday and spent the weekend at the market, wow!

Anonymous said...

Glad you had a good vacation. So, do you have a preferred spiral direction? I've noticed you go both directions, and open up or open down. We'll have to catch up soon.

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

little mention of you in a post....