casein on paper
7.25 x 7.25 in.
My working process is one of construction, destruction and reconstruction. By overlapping multiple designs, I assemble a chaotic mix of intersecting lines and shapes, out of which I take away elements, emphasize particular events, and rebuild an order that makes sense to me. When I paint, I have a need to be both precise and spontaneous in my mark-making – loving hardedge lines and structures, while at the same time attracted to the playful and at times happy accidents that occur in moving paint around. Combining these two near opposite qualities, and finding the right balance between them often drives the work in unanticipated directions.
I am inspired by ornamental designs from many cultures. In particular, I have been interested in designs from Islamic architecture and art; I find these designs beautiful and ingenious in their use of shape variation, geometry and repetition. Of recent interest to me is the Topkapi Scroll – a late 15th or 16th century document from the Ottoman imperial treasury collection. The scroll is a series of geometric drawings made by master builders and intended as blueprints for wall surfaces and vaults in mosques and palaces. These lovely and delicate linear drawings have become the impetus for a series of small paintings I’ve made this year.
© Penelope Jones