For the next couple of months, a set of my recent drawings is on display at Herron in Indianapolis. (They will rotate partway through the semester, so if you’re in town you can stop by again near the end of the semester to see a different set!)
Patterns continue to intrigue me both as tools for learning and an analogue to spiritual practices. Whether written or drawn, the daily ritual of mark-making creates patterns which lay the groundwork for further intuitive exploration, and build a visual record of time spent.
This spring, I worked with Etta and Aaron (both seniors in the printmaking department) to create our joint thesis show, entitled Fine Lines. Completing a painting thesis at Herron includes several elements: an exhibition, oral review, and paper; the pieces displayed at Fine Lines represent several years of (conceptual and visual) idea development. Creating this show helped bring together components of my art practice which I’d previously seen as separate and difficult to reconcile. It provided space to consider the works in relationship to each other, the typically unseen elements of my art-making process, and real people who interacted with them. In the end, this portion of the thesis work was simply an extension of the rest of my years of Herron – art as process, as teacher, as connector.
The photos / statements below recap the visual part of my thesis work as seen at our show, which took place on April 15, 2016 at The Oilwick.
Show Statement: Marietta Miller, Aaron Green and Lynnette Sauer’s thesis exhibition is a celebration of line in drawing, printmaking, and painting. The work is thematically varied but unified by their love of mark making. Fine Lines references the idiom “There is a fine line between x and y.” It is in the fragile in-between, the gray areas, that Marietta, Aaron, and Lynnette find inspiration for their work.
In which the art taught me something, like it always does, and that something was a reminder rather than something new. It’s the same lessons – love, be not afraid, trust, stay – over and over again for this self who is by grace becoming a tiny bit more well-integrated.
In seeking to better pay attention, the art principles of pattern and repetition emerge as useful tools. Much of our learning relates to the recognition of patterns, whether biological, aesthetic, mathematical, or otherwise. By pointing out things we may have missed the first or second (or third) time around, they help us to notice.
This work1 maps, tracks, and presents as evidence some of the repetitions in my life. It takes advantage of the power of pattern in several ways: as documentation, remembrance, meditation, points of empathy, and studies in aesthetics. The physical processes inherent in art-making demand that embodiment accompany mental-spiritual presence, and embodiment is always relational.
“I am stumbling in pursuit of grace2” – wholeness, healed-ness, holiness – for “out of wholeness we make good things.3”
The fall semester begins in two weeks and I’m trying to find a starting point/points for art-making this academic year. (It’s my last one, which means thesis time.) This is what I was thinking about/where I had landed by the time my end-of-semester review came around last spring.
I. new glasses
In first grade, I was prescribed glasses for the first time. As Mom drove us home in the green minivan, I remember raising and lowering the frames from my eyes and reveling in the newfound crispness as it passed by. There were trees and a field of tall grass and telephone wires, and all of a sudden this world of soft color had brand new sharp edges. Continue reading “learning to see”→