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Comments on abstract geometric paintings

These paintings are executed in the hard-edge colorist tradition, meaning that they are composed of discrete regions with sharp boundaries, and that each of the regions is filled with a uniform color. Brush strokes are minimized.

The intent is to focus the viewer's attention on the interaction of shape and color in adjacent regions of a painting. Comparisons of these neighboring regions are used as depth cues in the visual cortex, as the brain attempts to decipher the image as a three dimensional object. For example, the vertex of intersecting lines may appear to be a receding corner or a protruding corner of a solid object. Brighter regions may appear to be closer than darker regions. When brightness is uniform, red hues may appear to be closer than blue hues.

Repetition of consistent depth cues can reinforce one's interpretation of a texture. Conversely, inconsistent depth cues can have an unsettling effect. This is a form of optical illusion in which multiple configurations are seen simultaneously or in rapid succession. As the image is examined thoroughly, changes in the interpretation of depth cues can create an illusion of motion, making the painting take on a life of its own.

Overall, a common feature of these paintings is their use of shape, color, and patterns to present ambiguous or inconsistent depth cues. They can be difficult to look at, even painful if you fight it. I find they are most pleasing when I let go.

During this time period, I was deeply immersed in technical work as a graduate student and an engineer in industry. Although the paintings appear to be highly technical and precise, they actually represent a significant creative departure from these "day jobs."

Many of the patterns in these paintings are inspired by my technical work. All of the triangular patterns are related to my research on network elasticity and methods for generating computational meshworks. Some of them have appeared (in outline form) as figures in published technical papers.