With Ways to Dissolve, I continued my exploration of the red pigments. After painting the atmospheric Turning Red, I wanted to use the same red pigments in a more solid structured way. I also wanted to get into it with gutsy brush-strokes as opposed to the smooth wispy paint in Turning Red. At the time, I was looking a lot at Willem de Kooning’s Clam Diggers and Jasper Johns’s Target and Numbers and I can see where their influence fed into this painting.
Inspired by a visit from Tibetan Buddhist Monks, we had an assignment in Painting III to paint our own mandala. I had difficulty with this project, because I didn’t like the idea of arranging icons or painting a clean design. However, i did enjoy designing the structure with a compass. The whole design is based on circles; I used the intersections of these circles as points to draw the lines. I then went over each section multiple times building up layers of drips, which allowed me to feel like the highly structured painting had a human element.