Pattern

In the early 70’s, I was inspired by a visit to Bankok, Thailand, where myriad patterns jumbled together in all kinds of configurations. As a person who had always learned not to mix polka dots and plaid, this blew my mind. I think this marked the beginning of my interest in pattern.

In the middle of the normal chaos of life, it is grounding for me to make draw patterns. I also see them as a kind of organizational system for understanding the world. At first, my drawing might be free-hand. The marks begin to form themselves in relation to the others around them. I add colors and more marks, layer-by-layer. Sometimes a grid is added using a ruler. The drawing becomes a record of experience: time spent “meditating” and making marks. To me, it also becomes a kind of metaphor for the world in which I live: each of us humans is a unique mark, we live in shared environments, we must collaborate with each other, no one is more important than another, our lives are free and loose as well as measured and regimented. I find these patterns calming to look at when they’re finished.

Not long ago, I woke up with this phrase in my mind: “It doesn’t matter WHAT you make, what matters is HOW you make it.” This message from my dreams seems relevant to pattern-making. The process defines these pictures: I am committed to the journey, which is more important than the destination.