Mask by Jen Green
The meaning of pattern and repetition to me: Life itself contains many patterns, and I find I do better if I observe and pay attention to them. Besides the lure of patterns as a central fixture of daily life, I have many scars on my cornea from injuries and subsequent chronic epithelial erosion that create this wonderful visual effect of superimposed, seemingly swirling or dancing halos of light around objects. The effect is particularly strong if there is a brightly lit object on a dark background. So I naturally try to transfer some of what I see to what I draw and paint (it doesn’t always work).
How I use it in paintings: I use pattern to try and recreate the effect of moving air and swirling light that I see. The pattern is also a way to modify color fields within the painting.
The special challenges of using this technique: It can become too busy or dissonant and obscure the original intent behind the work.
My favorite artists who use pattern and repetition as a device: Klimt, Van Gogh, Holbein: I am a particular fan of the way he used precise and detailed pattern and repetition in the garments of his portrait subjects to enhance the sense of hierarchy surrounding his noble or royal patrons.
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