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 born...my 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 trees...at 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.

3 comments:

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.
B

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

little mention of you in a post....