Saturday, October 20, 2007


Round, like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel.
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnaval balloon
Like a carousell that's turning
Running rings around the moon
Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind
-The Windmills of your Mind, Bergman, LeGrand-
June and I belong to statewide critique group that meets twice a year. Today was our second get together in Eugene. We have an outside "expert" (artist, teacher, curator, etc.) come in and critique our work. There were 11 of us there today with work to show. Each of us gets 20 minutes. Today's critic shall remain nameless, but I will tell you she is an artist (paint, metals, basketry were what she mentioned) and educator. She was very kind—too kind. I think we all felt she held back any negative opinions for fear of upsetting or offending. This is not what we want, so in that regard it was a disappointing session. Too bad. I think she probably had some interesting thoughts.

She has an interest in symbolism in art and asked us to bring work with symbolic content. I took two pieces, including the one above, called "Earth, Sun and Moon." These pieces were done several years ago and have symbolic content. When I made that piece I was thinking about the significance of circles as symbols of the cyclical nature of things. Perhaps at my age I am beginning to see how we seem to circle back to ideas, people, experiences. The name of the piece came, not so much as a literal reference to the earth, sun and moon, but the idea that humans, like planets and stars, travel in their own orbits, circling, moving toward others, then away and eventually back into proximity. These mandala-like circles represent to me, also, a whole made from many parts. Patterns that combine to form new patterns and circles within circles within circles. Count the sections of each circle and you will find it has been divided by 12, —months or hours—symbolic of time.

The circle is the perfect expression of infinity, continuity and connection. It has no beginning and no end. This perfect geometric shape symbolizes perfection and wholeness.


  1. I love this piece and this post, especially the last paragraph.

    Oh, btw, you've been tagged. Seven random facts, tag seven other people, yada, yada, yada. See my blog - it was harder than I thought.

  2. This work is really quite nice! I like the symbolism. A critique group sounds like a wonderful idea. A good solid critique is certainly one of the most helpful learning tools. It is absolutly difficult to be objective about ones own work, a second honest educated opinion is really valuable in helping one grow as an artist.