Ouroboros / Evil Eye Ward Paintings
The Ouroboros, a snake devouring itself, has been used as illustration and metaphor since at least the Greek era, allowing for a myriad of associations dealing with cycles, primordial unity, and self-reflexivity.
As a painter involved with abstraction, this idea of cyclicality, re-creating, and effort of gesture is something that I have been contemplating as a matrix for inspiration. I have been using the methodology of abstract painting to play with ideas about a “distilled gesture”, of notating effort between innovation on the canvas and use of pre-determinate sources or images. These pre-determinate sources have been things such as found pattern, photographs, pieces of wood turned into jigs to trace, and the placement of painters tape on canvas. It allows a starting point that requires less special decisions and I can trust that there will be a certain synchronicity.
This is the way I work in the studio: one painting inspires the beginnings of the next, and through a process of invention and editing, the final form of the painting appears. One painting might explore a looping repeated gesture, while the next echoes what was happening in the negative space of that same composition. I like the idea of the Ouroboros as a way to describe the creative process, and the nature of abstract painting being inward looking.
Works titled Evil Eye Ward are visual puzzles. Economically composed yet filled with spatial strategies, the paintings refuse any attempt to unravel them, just as early calligraphic decoration from earlier cultures might cast away evil spirits with their unwind-able knot structures.