Then, when I started to have more time in my own studio, when my children were older, I began to experiment with other subjects. Landscapes and Still Life paintings, collages with torn, hand-colored paper and sometimes with re-cycled figure paintings, became my regular activity.
But then the desire for a subject ebbed and I started to do purely abstract work. Inspired by artists such as Agnes Martin, Robert Ryman and Sean Scully, I began experimenting with lines and shapes in different media.
Long fascinated by color, I made hand-drawn small irregular grids, each exploring the nature of a different primary color, using watercolor.
A few years ago I made some “simple grid” paintings, or drawings, in black and white on paper. Using oil sticks, the action of hand drawing lines becomes intensely personal, a reflection of my own body’s movements. Grids are just intersecting lines, and a computer can do that better than a human- if what you want is consistency. But my hand creates inconsistent lines, with wobbles and uneven spaces. Filling in between the grid lines produces another quality reflecting human action. The shapes which develop in-between the lines are different from each another. Oil sticks are blunt and about ¾” thick, not easy to do fine work with. I use my fingers to move the paint around in each space, each “cell” of the grid. The “fill-in color,” white or black, intrudes onto the lines, giving them more irregularity, more individual personality.
I continue to make them on different substrates – some on canvas, more on paper. Often I mount the paper on panels, creating a 3-dimensional object. While they are “simple” in concept, visually they possess more complexity as the edges change shape and the areas between the lines develop textures of their own. Each one is different, each has its own personality.
Grids have become my underlying organizational structure, on top of which I have layered other shapes, sometimes dots, sometimes mountains.
I continue to work with watercolors, exploring color relationships. Lately, I have done a series of layered dots, very small, which are beautiful to me. Again irregular, with no intentional patterns, the dots of color layered on each other, usually from light to dark, form lines or shapes. The last layer is usually white dots, sometimes larger in scale. That seems to finish the little paintings, give them a conclusion.
Next may be more grids, more dots, more dots and grids together. I’ll wait and see.