Wednesday, November 11, 2009

More work to be done

I've been revisiting an old theme lately: patterns. I started on a few different paintings Fall semester of 2005. I was reassessing things, reviewing my life, and remembering where I came from. When I started on these paintings, it was around the one year anniversary of my grandfather's death. Soon after, my grandma passed away. Painting was not only a welcome distraction, it really helped me cope.

I set to work, recalling the patterns at play in my own life at that time, the patterns that I got into on my own, as well as those passed down from my parents and grandparents. There were patterns of behavior that were beneficial, that helped and supported me. But there were still others that I recognized were holding me back. I had cast some of them off by then, but there always seems to be little dust bunnies hiding, needing to be swept clean from time to time. So this series of paintings was an experiment. It was a way for me to attempt to portray behaviors and habits in a visual way.

I had only ever known that one set of grandparents, on my mother's side. They were my strongest connection to Poland, and I knew with both of them gone, visits there would be completely different. Painting was a way of processing. It gave me energy and a project to focus on completing.

Then my father passed away a month later. I felt deflated and worn out. I never finished all of the paintings. But they have stuck with me. Perhaps they haunt me because there is still some unfinished problem-solving to be done. Or maybe I just don't like looking at them as they are, half-finished, undone, quiet reminders of a time where I didn't keep going. They have gotten under my skin.

So here are some some of those older paintings, as they stand now. But I believe I now have the pluck to get back to them, to finish them. And maybe in so doing, I'll have new ideas sprout from these old patterns.

What I do like about these images is that, like in our lives, some are concise, some messy, some patterns obliterate others, some grow and become more defined, others fade out of existence, some are complex, and others are quite simple.


Suz said...

I hope you can revisit and do some problem's so soul cleansing! Of course art is not my forte but there are other outlets for me. What a rough year that had to be! Seriously we need to get together.

brother bombi said...

Your patterns are bomb.

Nelka said...

Suz, you're totally right. It is soul-cleansing. And I'm doing it even though my roommates want the paintings to stay as-is. And yes, call me. Let's get together. Soon.

BB, thanks much.