Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Night Practice with May Swenson and a Family of Tangles

Lately, I have become interested in working with tangles that have certain characteristics in common, based on the theory that they are likely to create a more harmonious whole because of their family resemblance. For this tile, I decided in advance to use Hollibaugh, Hurry, Mysteria, Verdigogh, and Umble because they all have the under-over thing going on. That is, the design for each of these patterns depends on certain elements appearing to be under or over other elements. Apart from that feature, the tangles are quite different each from the others. Hurry and Verdigogh, for example, are very different, really, in terms of feeling and flow -- the former is so geometric and angular, the latter, much more related to plant life forms. And yet, the under-and-over commonality is enough to create coherence between them in a single tile. Different ideas emerge as the drawing unfolds, too. For instance, the stones in Mysteria influenced my decision to put stones in the negative space of the Hollibaugh. The stones in both tangles invoked random 'Nzepple (or Cockels and Mussels). There seems to be something to the family of tangles theory -- this tile has a certain coherence to it, I find.

The May Sarton poem came to mind only because of the shape of Hurry, which I love. The meaning of the poem is powerful and intriguing (belly breathing), but its shape is what attracts me most. It looks like Hurry in the tile, doesn't it? It's also kind of paradoxical that when you're belly breathing, you're not in a hurry. :)

with my breath
to make a mountain
with my sucked-in breath
a valley, with my pushed-out
breath a mountain. I will make
a valley wider than the whisper, I
will make a mountain higher than the cry;
with my will breathe a valley. I will push out
a mountain, suck in a valley, deeper than the shout
YOU MUST DIE, harder, heavier, sharper, a mountain than
the truth YOU MUST DIE. I will remember. My breath will
make a mountain. My will will remember to will. I, suck-
ing, pushing, I will breathe a valley, I will breathe a mountain.