Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Recently a friend said to me after looking at some of my new work, “You know, less is really more.” I wasn’t sure how to take that remark. I know the saying and sometimes think I should apply it to my life. I tend to be a “go big or go home” kind of person. If one is good then a dozen is so much better. If I love to go to a new restaurant, then I want to go there every week. If a pair of shoes looks great in red, then, I want them in every color. Lately we have been renovating our home. We are trying to keep things on a small scale so as to make the environment balanced. Balance has always eluded me. I work out every day at a heightened pace, or, not at all. I am either on a strict diet or I eat with reckless abandon. I am not good at balance.
So, how does this apply to my art? My art is definitely bold. It screams of pattern and color. My favorite artists are Matisse and Klimt and Van Gogh. They are known for color, pattern and repetition of lines and shapes. In my art I implement the same principles. To me, the negative space is boring if it is not filled with shapes and lines. The more color the better. There is not “quiet space” in the composition. That is why I don’t just paint. To me, every space needs to have something going on in it. I choose to add texture by adding collage in the mix. When that isn’t enough, I sew. It is just what I do and I like it. Sometimes I love it.
The subject of yesterday’s sermon was living in a safe place. Rev. Shirley Hutchins discussed keeping things at arm’s length so as not to take risks. She talked of her sister’s cherished dishes inherited from their mother. Her sister does not use them but keeps them in a safe place so they can’t be broken. The plastic seat covers on her family car caused the upholstery to outlive the car. With that philosophy, her family never really got to enjoy the use of those cherished items. Do you keep things in a safe place? Shirley suggests that we live extravagantly and risk everything so that we live life fully. Be generous in our daily life. Help others. Love God. Be grateful for the bounty of our world. I couldn’t agree more.
So, having thought about my friend’s suggestion that “less is more,” I respectfully reject that notion. I plan to continue to fill my work with my celebration of life. I don’t apologize for my exuberance. With that in mind, here is a painting that celebrates the coming of spring. It is called “Spring is in the Air”. I hope that you like it. I do.