I've been intrigued and fascinated by the colors and patterns of designs in Arabic/Turkish/Oriental carpets, fabrics and tiles. To date, I have visited a tile shop, several carpet and fabric shops and seen beautiful traditional embroideries and designs on clothing in Jordan. I am playing around with a new set of ideas which would be to incorporate these often geometric patterns into my artwork...either as a frame or eluding to the designs under layers of paint.
Today I started working on a piece, 100cm x 100cm that is maybe 1/3 done.
(Below is a photo of the painting in its beginning stages)
Looking through the hundreds of photographs I have taken since I got here for inspiration, I came across a photo I took of an old embroidered cushion on a seat at the Duke's Chapel, Um Al-Kundum. I loved the colors, not necessarily the whole design but found myself drawn to the fleur de lis border surrounding the coat of arm-like design. As I started sketching it, thinking mostly about the colors, I started to draw the border into my sketch...and I liked it. I have never really been drawn to, or rather should I say "didn't think" I was drawn to geometric patterns as a subject in my artwork.
(Below is my sketch and the photograph which inspired it)
Lately I have taken a deep interest into design and symbolism. I was listening to a song on the radio the other day and realized us humans seem to like repetition....notes, sounds, words, shapes. Why are we so drawn to repetition? In music there is a constant repetition of sound creating a rhythm and beat. In design there is often a repetitive symbol made up of line and shape to create a pattern. It does help make things feel complete, whole, contained and orderly. It must be innate. Maybe it has to do with routine being part of life.
Back to the subject...Ben and I went carpet shopping last week, and after looking at several dozen carpets/rugs, we both realized we are drawn to Kilims and similarly geometric-designed carpets. So, now I'm researching them - Visually by sketching those that I am drawn to and if I can find the information, the symbolism behind each design.
I'm still not sure how I'll incorporate these patterns into my work but I'm enjoying playing around with the concept. On the piece I was working on today, I first created a good base of color with several layers of paint. I then made a stencil out of paper of the fluer de lis pattern of the cushion. I spray painted the pattern around the frame of the painting and on the sides. I plan to paint on top of this "border" and alter the color of the pattern as well as work on the "center of the painting".
Below is the painting at the end of today's working day.... more layers and photos to come! (and that is masking tape by the way...not permanent, but I'm liking it)
What do you think?