Focusing on geometric shapes and patterns, artist Patricia Bingham creates assemblages and mixed media paintings that highlight the magic in the small details around us. Discover more about this artist by visiting her website.
As young children, we find the smallest things fascinating, but at some point we’re all handed lampshades and most of us wear them dutifully our whole lives. They serve to mute the magic, making mundane the small miracles that would be visible if we only really looked.
As an artist, I feel I’ve been assigned the task of tipping those lampshades just enough that the invisible becomes apparent again. I want to share my inner dialogue of “Wow!” and “Look at that!” and this is why I make art.
Lately, my process involves a paring down of details, a simplifying. This may be not only due to an evolving preference, but as I get older my visual acuity is not what it used to be, so in place of particulars, I portray generalities, i.e., birds and buildings become geometric shapes.
My eyes are drawn to repeating patterns and colors, and they’re everywhere! If you look closely enough it’s as though the whole world is upholstered in exotic fabric. This is how I’ve arrived at my current abstract pieces.
I begin with paintings, laying down the patterns on paper and panels with paint and collage. I like to throw in some text to add another layer. The beauty of abstracts is that they are open to an infinite number of interpretations. One can appreciate the play of colors, the juxtaposition of shapes, or find personal Rorschach meanings.
One day, as I was working on my computer, I looked up and noticed the shifting shadows on my bulletin board. As the sun moved across the sky, the shadows created by the curled photos, thumb tacks, and random lists moved with it, turning that repository of flotsam into a 3D work of art! And so my assemblages came to be.
At the same time I discovered chalk paint. I was fascinated how the matte finish of the black paint made even the smallest bit of color pop. Even the shadows were highlighted.
Finally, I could make use of my growing pile of small frames and wooden shapes collected at yard sales over the years. With all the possibilities threatening to overwhelm, I knew I had to temper my enthusiasm, so I made rules (then broke them). There had to be at least one moving part (hinged boxes), a small original painting or photo, an animal or two and words. I spent most of the summer in the coolness of morning on the back patio painting the pieces amidst birdsong and the scent of mint.
This engendered the kind of happiness usually left behind in childhood, which I dutifully conserved using paint and wood.
I also paint what some might term magical realism, which is an abstraction of a different type involving the use of metaphor, symbolism and dreams. My inherent restlessness moves me between these two seemingly opposing styles, and though the ideas all come from the same place, they’re distilled differently, and I never know which draft I’ll be sipping.
Link to the original website here.back