Hot 100: Finding Peace in Compartmentalizing Chaos

100 paintings created within 100 (hot summer) days

Traffic jams, being on hold and misplacing the keys are unwelcome aggravations for just about all of us.

While such universal irritations are usually a creativity killer, they also challenge; how does one maintain inner peace while experiencing outer chaos? What role can art play in this? I attempted an answer by using cathartic bursts of work to paradoxically create a soothing visual experience.

These creative eruptions needed to be balanced by the comfort of routine. This planning/chaos created a homeostasis, with one spurring the other on. Preparing my materials and grounds became a mindful prelude to the explosive work to follow. Blending, scratching, rubbing, smearing, in a staccato sprint four paintings were forged simultaneously each session. Taped boundaries provided an anchor to counter the maelstrom in the middle. Removing the tape left a white border with only the occasional paint bleed though to give a hint of the organic flow underneath it all.

Creating this work to counter small tensions, I realized that they are truly only triggered by one universal apprehension; our conflicting desires to nurture and dominate. Parenthood or career? Art or family? Create or compete? What should win?


Trying to decide would be like choosing which foot to walk with. Like homeostasis, nurturing and competing need to alternatively lead in a balanced rhythm to move us forward.

Realizing that makes looking for the keys not so trying after all.