TYPES OF PAINTINGS
Generative using rules to generate surface forms from underlying, abstract forms.

These structures are generative, tools which are themselves components of creation necessitated by a larger system.


~John Muir
Nature chose for a tool, not the earthquake or lightning to rend and split asunder, not the stormy torrent or eroding rain, but the tender snow-flowers noiselessly falling through unnumbered centuries. 
OTHER IDEAS ASSOCIATED WITH SYSTEMS OF ACTION
Knowing fluidity by rigidness.

Construct n. a model devised on the basis of observation, designed to relate what is observed to some theoretical framework.

Lattice grid, sense, order

Rheology is the study of the flow of matter: primarily in the liquid state.

SUPER FLUID Superfluidity is a phase of matter in which viscosity of a fluid vanishes, while heat capacity becomes infinite.

~Emerson. There are no fixtures in nature. The universe is fluid and volatile. Permanence is but a word of degrees. Our globe seen by God is a transparent law, not a mass of facts. The law dissolves the fact and holds it fluid.

Brace Something that steadies, binds, or holds up another thing. Something that holds parts together or in place. Anything that imparts rigidity or steadiness. For supporting or positioning another piece or portion of a framework. An appliance for supporting a weak joint or joints. A position of attention with exaggeratedly stiff posture. To fix firmly; make steady; secure against pressure or impact: to make tight; increase the tension of.

Facilli -FACILITATED DIFFUSION can transport substances in either direction across the membrane. Compare with ACTIVE TRANSPORT in which energy is expended to move substances against a concentration gradient.

As abstract expressionism dealt with the "Objectness" of paintings, my paintings are
Life Forms
Entities
From the first multi-celled Trilobite to the more evolved bird, fish, mouse...

The Illuvial Fan is also Self-Similar, both a physical action and a life-form like an undersea fan.
These paintings or objects show Component Features
Constituent
Elemental:
Cellular
Organelles
The Spleen painting shows an
adjunct element
appendage
Anomaly
The Trilobite
A successful and adaptable design out of which many forms evolve. Trilobites are the single most diverse class of extinct organisms, persisting for 300 million years.

Rooster
The hole in the canvas, the heaviest point of gravity, shows the most dense pigment where matter disappears to, and in another way, radiates from. It is curious to me how this nexus often becomes the eye of animals appearing in these flows of energy.
Cuttlefish 80"x48"

"Nature centres into balls, And her proud ephemerals, Fast to surface and outside, Scan the profile of the sphere; Knew they what that signified, A new genesis were here."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

M Theory
This painting was inspired by theoretical physicist Edward Witten's "M" Theory which might stand for Mother, Matrix or Membrane and the idea of sister particles in different dimensions. Reading about these dualities paralleled the fortunate appearance of the elements in this composition.

Nature, the universe, is a Totality, unlimited.

~Albert Einstein
"I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details."

~Pablo Picasso
God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant, and the cat. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things....


Recently, I have been setting up paintings from the ideas of reality having a fundamental structure and also being soft or fluid, which also parallels my efforts to control and let go for new life to enter. My interests have been of Abstract Expressionism evolving out of Surrealism, the Automatic Writing and streams of consciousness, followed by the physical actions of painters using materials in spontaneous ways.

The super-soft visions of Salvador Dalí show a fluid reality where characters are often propped on stilts or braces as if the material is flexible or even infirm. Frida Kahlo, who denied she was a surrealist, claimed that she painted her reality, was herself held together by braces and underpinnings. These examples have helped me further question the structure of my reality and experience.

I see the medium we are in as fluid, supported by a more fundamental structure, varying from a relationship to the physics we are effected by in this reality to intuitions and insights of the ways multiple realities relate.

After spending a week in the dark, I saw a plane of time above my bed, as fabric, a rolling grid with hills and valleys. Later, out of necessity from my limitations working with a liquid medium, I began to build tables which deform masonite, a seemingly rigid surface, to that of a fabric canvas. Like Einstein's nonuniform time, the heavy points on these tables become the lowest, bending the particles of pigment to them. The weighted hole is where the most dense matter disappears to, and in another way, radiates from. It is curious to me how this nexus often becomes the eye of animals appearing in these flows of energy.

The table, as an underlying structure, can be seen as a principal of organization. The fluid medium, mica flakes sparkling in water, is where I meet with nature and open to intuitive decisions.

I find life craves edges and grows here. From the first lipids, and hydrogen bonding with oxygen, the edges are where we find our attractions, where new unions are made.

The peristaltic rhythm of life distributes matter into groups with space between, producing more complex entities and further relationships.

Or as my sister Shelley calls it, "The Baby in the Bathwater."
We are part of the universe revealing its truths.
Through the dark surface of a magic pool come ducks, fish, birds, plants, continents, cells, and the cosmos.


The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.  ~e.e. cummings
When I know where I am, my movements become routine. My familiarity slows me and from this position I feel my moves are planned, creating motion only to move in the same place, not to travel. I have learned the importance of taking chances with my movements. I accept that the majority meet with humiliating err, but a golden few are precise, and surprise even me with their accuracy.
 
I cherish the pain in my shins and toes as it places me in my travel, giving me an unexpected opportunity to acknowledge my life and these sacred places toward which I blindly stride.

Jesse Higman

An accumulation of marks: Laying down a field of dots in as close to "final" a pattern as possible, I establish a good foundation. Consecutive layers of dots introduce risk as the minute, uncontrollable impacts collude to produce relationships and the compositions of life.
-- Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)
A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe... He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us... Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.
Some are Physical Actions
(Paintings as events).

Some are Life Forms Entities

All are Quantum, Phenomenal
An unexplained realm which may be life, the work or the studio, Art, "God," String Theory, etc.

~Paintings as pictures of events
~Enactments of elemental forces
~Embodiments of physical laws
Physical Actions
Life Forms
All Are Quantum
Phenomenal
The unexplained realm of existence which may be metaphysics, art, God, String Theory...
Planet first, then the map.
Paintings come from action, words & titles come from paintings, statements come from words.
Photo by Chris Murphy
Photo by Chris Murphy
The work

An azimuth is an angular measurement in a spherical coordinate system. An example of an azimuth is the measurement of the position of a star in the sky. The star is the point of interest, the reference plane is the horizon or the surface of the sea, and the reference vector points to the north.The concept is used in many practical applications including navigation, astronomy, mapping, mining and artillery. The word azimuth is derived from an Arabic word which means direction, referring to the ways or directions a person faces.

Home
I see a relational azimuth including the art and the viewer.
I built this table to help me direct a flow of paint in the shape of a spiral, or wave. The bottles act as weights to pull the back of the pliable Masonite canvas onto the rigid fins which descend in height. The canvas becomes a sculpted landscape ready to receive a pour of paint which will flow downhill in a tapering stream until it is pulled to a hole, the lowest point on the surface, draining out the bottom of the table into a receptacle. more

The Wave painting is self-similar, a wave-shape made of smaller waves.
This painting is named illuvial fan.

It has the charactoristics of a fractal, but I like to refer to it more directly as a physical action. Or another term I use for some of these NASA-like perspectives is a Geological Progression, or a SYSTEM like an eco, weather, or vascular system.

"My interests as an artist and as a human being are the rules required in meeting with nature on its terms and how that relationship creates elements of life and beauty."
I build a landscape for each of my paintings to form over. This 8 foot table has 144 bolts which can be adjusted up and down to deform the surface of the masonite boards I use as canvases. Hanging large weights off the bottom of the canvas creates depressions which conduct the water and paint mixture into “black holes” on the surface. Here is a link to my newest tables designed in 3D using Maya.
"I pour paintings on large, flat, black canvases. I call the technique "illuvium" for the geological term of particles settling on flood planes. The paint, which is colored mica flakes diluted in solutions of water, is poured from measuring cups."
ACTIONS

The most fundamental element of life is the wave. From the moment of inception bringing mater into a void, the peristaltic rhythm of change, of flow and arrest, distributes matter into groups with space between, producing more complex entities and further relationships.

Rhythms ~like this painting below, Rhythm Triptych in which rhythm is broken down to a component structure.

These are pictures documenting various states of flow and their formations to make visual statements of energies involved/ applied.
Some are created by gently rocking a lake of water, repeatedly sending waves though the solution like in this painting Burgess Shale.
Burgess Shale formation located in the Canadian Rockies of British Columbia, is one of the world's most celebrated fossil fields.
Inception.
The first painting using this technique I discovered accidentally in 1999.
Nascent Coming into existence; emerging. Relating to the state of a chemical element at the moment it is set free from one of its compounds. Beginning to develop. Relating to an atom or substance at the moment of its formation.
Saturn Devouring His Children
Creation, change and destruction.
Recursive pertaining to or using a rule or procedure that can be applied repeatedly.
Bone Orchid 96"x48"

If there can be one void, there can be two and I picture them relating.

All art is Relational.
My paintings are products of relationship.
Relational Aesthetics (within this term, these paintings and life-process terms also apply)
member parts
constituent
composition


From the Smithsonian show Revealing Culture. "Higman's work, with its communitarian and convivial ethos, exhibits many of the tendencies associated with Relational Aesthetics, a theory of art practices that takes the whole of human relations and social context into consideration as a point of departure for the production and presentation of the work of art."
~Leanne Mella

"Because people are pouring a liquid, they can feel the energy they are expressing in their individual gestures. They see what shapes that makes and how it interacts with what the other people are doing. Looking at these compositions together creates a sense of collaboration and neighborliness, which goes hand-in-hand with democracy and compromise."

Unlike in science, I feel in art that the conservation of energy can be transcended, that energy increases by an amount greater than the work being done.

~Consciousness transforms the world it perceives.
~Here perception is a transformative power.

~Optimism and creation are similar actions.
~The creator is a person or thing that enlivens.

  ~Osho
Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars... and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful.  Everything is simply happy.  Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance.  Look at the flowers - for no reason.  It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.
Following the evidence that certain actions produce beauty, I developed a method of action painting using water as a medium, pouring solutions of mica flakes over black landscapes.
What follows on this page is my writing around this show, finding words to define the statement.
This is the place where I refer to the words I collect, from my notes to the comments of other people who naturally enjoy naming the phenomena they are seeing. This dialog is a big part of the art, maybe even bigger than the material of the paintings. The same physics are everywhere in the universe. Our recognition of their presence, and desire to name them, especially as we do in relation to each other, is where I begin to define beauty.


The things I have written are in a serrifed Times typeface. Quotes from other people are in grey italics. I put the keywords in an Orange, and a bold white font. The photos all enlarge and are here to be used. Please take and repost them and please give the photographer credit where you can.
Photos by Chris Murphy
Rhythm Triptych 80"X48"