Posts Tagged ‘grid qsquare sheets’

Repeat Units in Grids

Sunday, April 22nd, 2018

This morning I was reading a lovely catalogue I bought on Pacific tapa cloth  when I was in Auckland 10+ years ago.  I was shocked to find I’d never even dipped into it, and feel a bit less ignorant now than I was at breakfast time.  Lots of the photos feature designs on grids.  There are hundreds of islands in Polynesia, Micronesia and Melanesia where it is made, and tapas from the main islands show enormous differences in patterning and in painting or printing techniques, sometimes combined. One pattern from the island of Niue caught my eye and I diagrammed the content inside the squares.  The patterning over in adjoining squares is my doodling…

If I have a grid/block unit in mind, I’ll diagram it out on one of the sheets of paper I’ve printed off with approx 5cm squares especially for this, and always have some handy; after all I do love grids and when you look around, so do lots of other people too; the artist Agnes Martin for example, said  ‘When I first made a grid, I happened to be thinking of trees, and then a grid came into my mind and I thought it represented innocence, and I still do, and so I painted it, and then I was satisfied.  I thought ‘This is my vision’.  I can’t claim to have had such a lightning bolt experience, but I have definitely been influenced by learning traditional American geometric patchwork back in the late 80s, before I veered off into the original and non traditional.  About 20 years ago I was given a catalogue of an Agnes Martin exhibition in Madrid, with text in spanish and english – by someone here in Uruguay who was able to see how important grids were to me.  The paintings in that show included many of her grids and lines, most in the soft colours from the New Mexico desert she favoured, and I fell in love with her work.  

I also diagram out more complex things in the pages of a nice cloth covered sketchbook given me by my creative son many years ago – it’s approaching full, but there is another to hand.  I sometimes go back and carefully look at the pages from years ago – occasionally I have another go at ideas in ways I’d never have done when I first drew them up.  It’s an interesting record – not always dated or strictly chronological either, but today I thought I’d enlarge on the first two diagrams that are top and centre of the page, and did diagram #3 dating it.  I know to ‘do something’ with it I’d need to consider the lines and their shapes more carefully, and I think the resulting units need to be bigger than I’m enjoying working with at the moment (units of ~8cm finished) so scale’s a problem.   So I’ll leave it sitting there on the page – I might never use it, just as I haven’t #2 and #1, but this is definitely not a waste of time as my mind will be on it in the background and something quite unexpected might emerge the next time I look through that book 🙂

 

 

 

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