A sunny day forecasted. My friend Denise offers up her appartment courtyard, which used to be a garden but was paved over by her landlord’s well-thinking modernist efficiency. It is now only really used by city cats. This day I’m getting more into geometry based on the circle, using art history as my guide. She comes out to help me color, as well as supplying me with drinks and food (which is nice). I really start to feel the cyclical nature of the day, the sun moving above as the sounds of the city surround me. A neighbor plays music, smells of cooking fill the air, and many dog walkers pass by around 2pm. Later, several groups of people walk by without dogs. Then, many residents of the apartment block (kitchens facing the courtyard) start clanging dishes in their sinks and talking. Later on, one of Denise’s neighbors strikes up a conversation with me from his balcony, about his frustrations with his computer. He comments that the designs are remarkably precise despite the use of any calculations. We talk about the history of patterning and the humble tools required to make complex shapes. I draw until dizzy and then go home with a smile on my face.
This pattern I’m making was used to decorate the Capella Palatina, Sicily, in 1132. It is a favorite of mine: the convex shapes signify the exhalation of the breath while the concave are inhale. It makes me think that one’s whole life could be depicted with these tiles. It also reminds me of the expansion/contraction of the universe.
“sketchbook en plein air”, the pavement becomes my studio, a space without boundaries.