Friday, October 2, 2009

worlds within worlds

a few years after i painted the sacred fish painting,

i created a much larger piece.
it was never titled.

here it is.
(all these images enlarge with a click of your mouse)

painted in acrylic paint on canvas with triple zero brushes.
(those are very tiny brushes that i love
because they carry very little pigment,
so they compel me
to slow down
because i can't cover much canvas quickly,
oh, and they feel really good in my fingers!)

it is five feet long and three feet high.

here it is a little closer . . .

the left-hand circle . . .

the right-hand circle . . .

the place they meet . . .

worlds within worlds . . .



i hope to learn how to render this in glass.

42 comments:

Dan Gurney said...

This painting reminds me of the sand mandalas created by Tibetan monks. I can see how you would have to slow down to create such intricate designs.

Kathleen said...

Steven--this is absolutely phenomenal. It reminds me of Tibetan sand paintings. And isn't the principle the same--to work slowly, reverently, spiritually?

It brings me such joy to visit your blog. The colors in your header and "Little Moments" sidebar are the the palette I'm most drawn to when I create beadwork -- another meditative art form.

Have you ever tried working with glass seed beads? Check out Margaret Gordon's work some time. I had the great privilege of working with her years ago.

http://www.margaretgordon.net/detail.php?image_id=48

Thank you for sharing your beautiful artwork with us!

Kay said...

Beautiful...I can't imagine how stunning this would be in glass..wow!!

acornmoon said...

I love this! It reminds me of illuminated manuscripts, maybe you were a monk in a previous life ;-)

It would translate very well onto stained glass, embroidery, mosaic, so many applications spring to mind. It must have taken ages, all those teeny tiny brush strokes.

Alaine said...

When I saw that little thumbnail on my blog roll, I knew it was another of your paintings!

That's fantastic! So colourful! And it's 5' x 3'? Where have you got it hanging?

Good on you, Steven; hope we see more.

jinksy said...

I had the feeling that your first photo, of the whole painting, was upside down. This was further re-inforced by your close up shots of the left and right sides, because the paler, purple points you do indeed, say are the right hand side, yet in the composite picture they are on the left! Am I crazy, or what?!

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

Oh this is beautiful Steven. I like designs and color and putting them together. I know what a small brush is like and this must have been a big challenge. I wonder if I would have had the patience for something like this. I never tried it but it looks like it would be interesting to come up with the design. You surely had to work this out on paper before you began didn't you? I am impressed.

Pauline said...

a perfect example of inner beauty expressed as outer beauty!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Exquisite work steven. The precision is amazing. They remind me of the sand mandalas created as meditations or healing rituals by Tibetan monks. And 5' x 3' - that must really make a powerful statement on a wall.

steven said...

hi dan - great to see you out and about!!! i was looking at and learning about tibetan sand paintings, navajo sand paintings, and mandoorlas at the time. have a peaceful day. steven

Golden West said...

What a lovely work of art, Steven. You've achieved a wonderful balance in the design and color choice - it is very appealing. Also, your new header - wow! Love it all!

Delwyn said...

Hi Steven

like all of the above I saw the connection with the sand mandalas and can see how the working on this piece must have been a real meditation...a losing on yourself inside the creating...

and yes...where does it hang...and is the surrounding brown a frame or what...


Happy days

ellen abbott said...

This is really incredible steven. So beautiful and detailed. OMG the detail. If you haven't looked up Richard La Londe's work yet you should. Not only does he teach but he has a book out also...Fused Glass Art and Technique.

Barry said...

My first thought was of Navajo sand paintings. My second was astonishment at their beauty. My third thought was, you'd better start breathing again or you will turn that very colour of blue and pass out.

The precision of this work is breathtaking steven.

Tammie Lee said...

This is wonderful. Your details are so appealing and overflowing with life.

Loren said...

Absolutely beautiful, steven.

The perfect combination of meditation and art.

hope said...

And it reminds me of my Grandma's quilts...all lovingly crafted with such exquisite detail.

Can't wait to see this one in glass!

Liza said...

Steven this is marvelous! The detail is incredible. I had the thought of Metatron's Cube.
What a great lesson of patience you have shared with us.
This is BEAUTIFUL!

steven said...

hi kathleen, thankyou for your very generous comment and especially thankyou for the link to margaret gordon's work which i am going to right after this. i have never worked with beads although i encouraged my daughter to. i love detailed work for the need to be very present, very in the moment, very precise and also to let in the whirls and whorls of creative energy that go with any creative work!!!! i am glad you like the new header photo. i took it of a bouquet we were given by an appreciative parent!!! have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

kay - i've thought about putting this painting into glass- lots! i have other works something like this that are equally detailed. i like the idea of ambient backlighting for work like i envision. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hello acornmoon, when i was painting this i was also in posession of a set of images from the book of kells - of course!!! i would love to have been a monk illuminating manuscripts - naturally i have the romanticized version of that task in my head as the reality was probably fairly harsh and not quit as warm and meditative as i would wish!!! have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

alaine - right now it's in storage! yep, alongside a few other works. in fact in this house there's only one of my paintings hanging and that's for a future posting. thankyou for your kind supportive comment!!! have a lovely day. steven

steven said...

jinksy - yes you're crazy!! i don't know!!!!! steven

steven said...

hi abe - yes, this was drawn up on paper then worked up in 1/8 scale and then i used a pantograph to take the larger elements from the small scale painting to the large scale canvas. the details all were drawn freehand, using templates, or with a ruler, taking measurements the whole time as it is very much about relationships using the numbers 3, 7, and 9. thanks for visiting abe. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

pauline thankyou for that extraordinarily flattering comment!!! wow i'm blushing and smiling all at the same time. steven

steven said...

hi bonnie - my dad brought some objects back from his time in tibet and working in the monastery in chiang mai that were partly inspirational in creating this piece. i had looked ata lot of mandalas for sure, including tibetan and navajo sand paintings. their work (the tibetans) is far more intricate and more directly connected to a deep mapped symbolic set, than this work is. thankyou for your kind comment. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hi golden west, thankyou very much! i am really happy with the new header - the bouquet of flowers came from an appreciative parent and frankly it was past its prime when i took this picture - which is when i like to take cut flower pictures. they are less garish, more withered and slightly decayed and so they reveal tones and hues and forms that i feel are more real somehow.
i am proud of this painting although it is now over ten years old, i know i could do better. have a lovely evening. steven

steven said...

hi delwyn, the brown i painted on because i was looking at the book of kells at the time and had this idea that this work was like a large page out of that work. i would like to create this as a painting on clear glass or as a stained glass work. ellen abbott (check the comments list) is generously firing links and names and techniques my way to steer me in the right direction towards creating art out of glass!!! have a lovely day delwyn. steven

steven said...

hi barry - that's really insightful of you. one of the techniques i developed with little tiny watercolours and big acrylics like this is to hold my breath as a i work. i did it enough that it became normal for me. but it was necessary in order to hold a line, to thread a set of dots in decreasing scale around a circle, to press pigment into a tiny space. it's very meditative, very thoughtful work. i could lose a day sometimes, other times ten minutes and then the focus was gone. the next work i do will be along these lines but in glass. forst i have to learn how, then to acquire the tools and the space, then to acquire the skill.
it will happen. i've seen it.
have a peaceful evening. steven

steven said...

hello tammie lee - when i painted the little worlds that are in the centre of the circles, i imagined them as little planets whirling with their beautiful colours. i loved painting this!!! thanks for visiting. steven

steven said...

hi loren, and that's exactly what painting is for me. so is biking and walking in the winter!! i didn't know this until my ojibway friend pointed it out to me. i always felt guilty for not having a regular morning sitting practice until he led me to see the rest of my life clearly. have a lovely evening out there loren. steven

steven said...

hello hope - i have seen some truly exquisite quilts and i have a friend who i would trust with this piece as a quilt. hmmmm. !!! have a peaceful evening. steven

steven said...

hi liza - your referencing of metatron's cube is cool because i researched sacred geometry when i was drafting this piece and some others. there are drawings waiting for me to render them up into paint or glass or whatever that are very much closer to metatron's cube than even this painting. thanks for your kind thoughts. have a peaceful evening. steven

steven said...

hi ellen - this is an old work . . . my unfinished pieces (drawn not painted) are much more detailed and refined but thankyou for your sweet generous comment. thankyou especially for your link to richard la londe and his book. anything you send my way is being looked up, followed up, filed and acted upon!!! no pressure!!!!! have a lovely evening. steven

Titus said...

steven - I can add little to what's already been said, except that moment of incredulity when you said what size it was!
Beautiful, astonishing piece of work. Well done you.

Rachel Fenton said...

I am a little late to the party! Apologies. I can only repeat what Titus said about the astonishment when you mentioned the size, compared to brush size. I completely get that painting is a laboiur of love and is, or can be, a spiritual experience. It certainly is the way which best helps me to think and to clear my mind of all surplus thoughts.

A very beautiful creation.
It would also be awesome in glass. It reminds me of the cceiling in the Auclkand War museum.

Richard Jesse Watson said...

Steven, I have to add my concurrence with what's been said. Exquisite. Meditative. This picture pulls you in but plays with your eye and mind. Wow.

Delwyn said...

Steven

today Ruthie directed me to a wonderful piece, pieces of art called Creation - a celebration, in the Bath Abbey by Sue Symons. It is a combination of painting and sewn work and is amazing, I thought of you because....well you go and take a look and you'll see why...


Happy days

steven said...

hi titus - thankyou so much for that lovely comment!!! steven

steven said...

hi rachel - i always love that person who walks in late - they're often the life of the party when it starts to fade off!!! so welcome!! i'm going to lok up the auckland war museum and see what i can see. steven

steven said...

hello richard - that's high praise to me from a talent such as yours. so thankyou very much!!! steven

steven said...

hello delwyn - thanks so much for pointing me towards the symons show at bath abbey. i'm off for a look-see right now!!!! have a lovely evening by the river. steven