Sunday, March 29, 2015

Inkblot Graphics

I have been compelled to design my own tile motifs for this current series of work. I have been including tile designs in my work for many years. Often selecting a pattern from the apartment I was living in at a given time. This isn't hard to do in Mallorca, where beautiful hydraulic tiles are abundant.

The hand(s) you see here are derived from a 'Hand of Fatima' door knocker, common in Spain. I have been using the Golondrina, or black swallow, as well. These have featured in my work off and on since 2004. You can see the reference in these early pieces. Flying Towards Center I and II.

The replication of a single graphic into a 4-way tile design creates unique forms in the negative space, which remind me of inkblot tests, a technique used in phsychological analysis that has its origin in the Victorian period.

The inkblots tend to resemble images because of apophenia, the human tendency to see patterns in nature. My ink compositions here are of specific images, it is in the negative space where unexpected forms can emerge.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Hidden Wholeness

I've continued to explore drawing the shadows, reflections, and refractions of forms. The 'golodrina' or African swallow you see here has appeared in my work before. They come to Mallorca in droves annually.

A variety of texts are supporting my experiments these days, such as...

From A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward the Undivided Life by Parker Palmer:

'Dividedness is a kind of survival instinct that helps mitigate our excruciating discomfort with uncertainty, shielding our inner lives with those protective but ultimately pernicious outer shells:

Not knowing who or what we are dealing with and feeling unsafe, we hunker down in a psychological foxhole and withhold the investment of our energy, commitment, and gifts… The perceived incongruity of inner and outer - the inauthenticity that we sense in others, or they in us - constantly undermines our morale, our relationships, and our capacity for good work.'

Source: from Brainpickings article by Maria Popova reviewing A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward the Undivided Life by Parker Palmer.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Gestation period

".... all progress must come from deep within and cannot be pressed or hurried by anything. Everything is gestation and then bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark.... and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist's life, in understanding as in creating." --- Rainer Maria Rilke 

I have spent the last 6 months, at least, experiencing a flood of images and references. Recently I've begun to play with materials and techniques to attempt to capture the discourse.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Ten years later…in artwork

Reflections written on a sleepless night, late 2014.

Ten years later…in artwork.


I felt like I was drowning so I taught myself to swim, albeit against the tide. I coached myself from a bird’s eye view. I flew away from my old home, watched the roofs blow off, all the words fly out.  Then the house itself was thrown up in the air and silently split apart. 

On the ground I found myself surrounded by empty boxes, unable to contain anything because there was no sturdy structure left. The mortar gone, the sides had now fallen to the ground.  Behind they left a pleasing shape, the plan and potential for a new form that could be erected. Alas, the boxes stayed flat, empty.

I turned my attention to the massive vacant space around me. Standing in the void itself looking up at the walls that remained. ‘Melancholy and beautiful’ was how I described my obsession with facades to others. I wanted to find the evidence that there was something beautiful there before it got gutted and covered up with something glossy, flimsy and rushed - something doomed to collapse prematurely.  

I stayed for a while, too long, and became intoxicated by the rubble, the broken things, the decay. I collected the parts, sorted, filed and nurtured them all.  I felt a responsibility to put the house back together again. I did so with a patchwork of papers and words, mostly other people’s words.


In retrospect, I realize I am still trying to find the beauty in the ruin - to finish the design of a broken tile in my mind’s eye. To duplicate it. Replicate, flip, reverse until I have a pattern, a lovely structure again.  I’m looking for the peace of mind that comes with symmetry. Yet accepting that we all have to live with the split, the fact that the broken is reflected in the whole - and the contrary.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

It's approaching four years to the day that I abruptly stopped maintaining this blog. I decided to commemorate International Women's Day by starting anew!

Three years ago I stopped teaching yoga and stopped making art. Life got in the way in a big way.

Last summer I renewed my commitment to my work and embarked on a new series. But before launching into a new direction after the hiatus, it felt appropriate to reflect on the work I had done since arriving to Mallorca. So I celebrated my ten year anniversary on the island with a retrospective exhibit of over 60 pieces of artwork made in the last 8 years here. 

I included photographs and sketchbooks in the show, painted 'live' and gave a gallery talk.  Sa F├ábrica gallery  in Esporles, Mallorca was the perfect place to sit and be with the art and contemplate the next steps.

There have been a some other exhibits since March 2011 that are not documented here. You can see them at my Facebook page Laurie Pearsall Artist.