As my ideas sheet of paintings nears completion I am finding a structure to my work. The images that I have produced most recently reflect the story told in the embroidery, of objects, creatures and places important to the people. This is somewhat of an assumption as no words link the objects; rather, it is a conjecture using the visual clues in the embroidery.
Using friends and family as a starting point, I am going back to basics, and drawing and painting ideas for larger compositions. I am documenting the method of my practice, and using my photographs to animate the production of certain paintings.
Some inspiration was taken from this watercolour by William Blake, a copy of which has been lying around in my studio for some time. I feel sure, but have no proof, that Marc Chagall must have seen this image as it is so evocative of his work.
This painting is an example including members of my family as well as important moments past and present. I have taken a series of photographs showing the progression of the painting.
I decided to investigate the connection between Blake and Chagall further and found this section in the book William Blake and the Productions of Time*
William Blake’s painting Visions of the Daughters of Albion
Marc Chagall’s painting The Birthday
I also recognized that it could just be a fact that people come up with the same idea. This is called ‘Multiple Discovery’. The first image I I found when researching this was of a mandala, on this website** Inspiration: Where Do Artists Get Their Ideas? This was meaningful to me as I recently came across the word ‘mandala’ when I was looking at flags for one of my paintings. Not being familiar with the word, I had found its meaning on Wikipedia***:
Mandala (lit, circle) is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the universe. In common use, “mandala” has become a generic term for any diagram, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically; a microcosm of the universe.
The psychiatrist Carl Jung wrote:
I sketched every morning in a notebook a small circular drawing… which seemed to correspond to my inner situation at the time… Only gradually did I discover what the mandala really is… the Self, the wholeness of the personality, which if all goes well is harmonious.
Jung recognized that the urge to make mandalas emerges during moments of intense personal growth. Their appearance indicates a profound re-balancing process is underway in the psyche. The result of the process is a more complex and better integrated personality. — Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, pp. 195–196.
So, in accordance with Jung, I have decided to use the mandala structure in a textile piece inspired by the painting of the basket. To be continued…
** https://www.sophia.org/tutorials/inspiration-in-visual-art-where-do-artists-get-the ***https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandala