25 May 2009

Why Piet?

One of the smaller pieces I created in 2007 -- or was it 2008? -- is a piece I've entitled Piet_1, in honor of Dutch Neo-Plasticist Painter, Piet Mondrian (1872-1944).


Looking at a set of Google search results on Piet Mondrian, it doesn't much look like one of his pieces. It's not full of straight lines and straightforward colors. It's actually very different from so many of the square-angled works of Mondrian... at least, at first glance.

But on closer inspection, it does have some elements in common:

  • Common elements repeated -- the curved lines that intersect

  • Similar colors to many of Mondrian's works -- yellow, blue, black, red -- without a whole lot of inter-mixing. Even in the places where the colors coincide, they do not mix -- they remain distinct, even in their overlapping.

  • Blocks of single color -- the black squares and the blue areas

It's almost as though all those years I spent examining Mondrian had made an imprint in me, and then blended and swirled... gotten "swirled" by my own individual sensibilities.

In a very real way, it's as though the images of Mondrian I've absorbed over the years had turned into an optical palette of sorts... a pot of paint that, when undisturbed, has the Mondrian imprint on its surface... and my life, full of its own adventures and experiences, then reached down into the pot of paint with its own stick or brush or baster, and gave it a big swirl.

Piet_1 seems to be what happens when the undisturbed, imperturbable lines of Mondrian are given a good shake by an active, evolving life.

This is one of my smaller pieces, being 10 inches (254 mm) Wide x 7.75 inches (196.85 mm) High. It's mixed media -- oil pastel and water color and acrylic on watercolor paper. If you could see it in person, you'd catch the little sparkles that come up from the acrylic paint that's thinned with water -- one of my favorite aspects of acrylics. They turn into something different with each substance you mix into them... in this case, they have a faint sparkle to them, which makes a nice contrast with the matte watercolor paper.

This is also one of my favorite recent pieces -- I'm really happy with a lot of the work I've produced over the past couple of years (which I'm now carting out for all the world to see), and this piece has grown on me. When I first created it, I thought "What the hell was I thinking? How... uninspiring." But then I took a closer look at it, I thought about it and where it came from and what it told me about my evolving style, and lo and behold, it really grew on me.

It's for sale, but it's not framed. That's for the next owner to decide on. I'd probably go with a simple Bauhaus-like frame -- maybe something metallic to contrast with the colors. It's a subtle piece, and I think it would do well with a very simple frame. Whatever glass is used would be best chosen for its ability to allow light through to pick up the sheen from the acrylic colors.

It's a happy piece, and I will miss it when it goes. But I'm hoping someone else can gain some happiness from it, as well.

As always, if you like this work and would like to acquire a similar work of a different size or slightly different features, I am available for commissions. Contact me at kaystonerATyahooDOTcom for details.