Rainbow Fractals

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My Rainbow Fractals are not fractals. They are simply miniaturizations and repetitions of segments of Rainbow Belt. But the principle of scale is at work across the different versions. With each further miniaturization, the image changes significantly. I think of these as potential desktop wallpaper for those who take a little vertigo with their e-mail.

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Minoan Designs

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My Minoan Designs are a mixture of original images in what I hope is a Minoan style and stolen images. The Minoans I stole the stolen images from, however, I think are past caring. Minoan frescoes and pottery are treasure troves of design. We have so many evocative, expressive images from their culture and nothing else to go on. It is like watching an exciting silent movie with a complicated plot, big chunks missing, and no subtitles.

Thunderbird Wings

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Another very minimal work, a study in triangles, my Thunderbird Wings compositions use standard Paint shapes, but, as with my lozenge compositions, I just eyeball them, I don’t measure them or regularize them. The result: imperfections. Japanese chawan, or teacup, craftspeople, I understand, make sure every cup they make has a flaw. So do I. Sometimes not on purpose. I just called them Thunderbird Wings because the triangular effect reminded me of them. Thunderbirds strike some subconscious chord in me. I hope to make some more, maybe some closer to the American Indian-style image.

Cool Pools

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The Cool Pools are my most deliberate attempt at depicting some aspect of chaos theory. In this case fractals. They aren’t really fractal of course, any more than the works I call “Fractals” are, or Rabbit Dreams. But there are three or four different scales of mirror images of the central image within and surrounding the central image. Thus implying, if not truly achieving, a certain recursiveness. After three or four miniaturizations, the image pixellates beyond recognition. Consider it a non-fractal work inspired by fractals. I call them Cool Pools because they remind me of nuclear control rods in spent fuel pools. Fukushima again doffing its exploding hat. Not that I know what control rods and spent fuel pools look like.

Radio Rug Prints

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I was trying to be as minimal as possible with my radio rug prints: nested rectangles, triangles, circles, ovals, color palette. I started out just to make rug patterns. After I looked at the finished product for a while, though, it reminded me of some art deco or futurist symbol for radio, not that art deco or futurism looks like this. I was surprised to discover the optical illusion that the four black diagonal lines create. They seem to enclose different planes that aren’t really there.

Lozenge Compositions

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Yes, the inspiration for my lozenge compositions was The Jetsons. The elemental shapes. The bold, children’s playroom colors. I used standard Paint shapes. But they are disposed across the work randomly; and they are not measured and foursquare but warped and lopsided, reminiscent of the irregular freehand elementality of a Jetsons cel.

Rainbow Belt

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I got the idea for Rainbow Belt from a photo in a great book about handicrafts in colonial New England, The Age of Homespun, by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. The photo depicted a strap of Native American design, woven in 18th-century New Hampshire of linen and dyed porcupine quills by Rachel Meloon, a European-American woman who had grown up among the Abenaki, for her neighbor, Peter Kimball, who carried it, I understand, throughout the Revolutionary War. For Rainbow Belt, I re-produced designs from Rachel Meloon’s strap, but I skipped some, made some up, and colored them differently. I have always liked pure, traditional designs, Islamic and Indian carved latticework screens, Minoan pottery and fresco, Neolithic cave painting, Anasazi and Mimbres pottery, American Indian design of whatever provenance. Most such art is non-representational, or, as with a Mimbres hummingbird or a Levantine rock-art spear-man, abstracted. I do not remember the original inspiration for separating the bands of images from Rachel Meloon’s strap with bands of Rubin’s vases in color spectrum sequence. I suppose it had something to do with the cross-cultural nature of the artefact symbolizing the unity of mankind. Or maybe I made that up after the fact. No tracing was involved. I drew the strap designs by hand, one by one, on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper, using mechanical pencil, ruler, protracter, square, compass, and Michaelangelo-style pounce stencils. The ranks of Rubin’s vase-faces were all drawn free-hand, which is why none of the faces really match, what I like to think of as a my low-rent variation on Shi Huang Ti’s Terracotta Army.