Monday, December 30, 2013

Finding Inspiration In The Abstract

My mother recently said to me, after explaining to her how I found inspiration in my wife's hair, that was what made me an artist. The fact that I could look at hair and see what it is I might like to draw. A while back I found myself, as I do often, looking at some maps. I was in a friends classroom, they are a middle school geography teacher, pulling down all the various maps she has hanging up to teach with. They are the cool, multi layered kind, with many options to look at. It was shortly after that I began dreaming up the abstract art you see here, and not long into that process that I realized I was interpreting a lifetimes worth of just simply loving to look at maps.

And why wouldn't I like looking at them. There is such innate beauty to be seen. Whether that be the natural forms of land masses that have evolved over the eons, or the strange delineations of countries, and counties, that we humans have imposed on our land. Either way the shapes are wonderfully attractive to me. For example I believe I could stare for hours at what map illustrators do to depict the fjords of Norway. Some of the renderings I have seen look so strikingly similar to the carved rock that they really are that it is almost as breathtaking as being there. As I said almost. Or perhaps it is the realization that
modern Jordan is shaped like a gun. If you don't believe me please have a look for yourself. And this man made boundary, seen only on a map, was created solely to amuse Sir Winston Churchill. Yet another of his more brilliant and prescient moves. Needless to say I find endless
inspiration in looking at maps.

In addition to that I had to insert my own style upon these abstract responses to such a ubiquitous educational and reference tool. So you will also see design work that creeps up in many of my other works. Things like circle shapes and layered rectangles. Shapes that are highly irregular in nature but do contrast nicely with the organic. I have my own ideas that came to light recently for why I do this as well. I believe it goes back to my first round of college a full twenty years ago and one of the art history courses I took. However, I am not certain about that and need to ponder this path of inquiry a little further.


As an artist I am continually amazed at where inspiration comes from. I find it particularly interesting when it emerges form areas you least except, or never anticipated. Often my process starts with an idea. Something I want to make art about. It is always rewarding when the reverse of that occurs.

As always I welcome any and all feedback so please do get in touch.

I hope you enjoy the art and thoughts,

Doug.

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