The Making Of: A Grid of Green Dots / by Sam Abelow

A Grid of Green Dots" (A Vision Seen in the Night) | Hand torn mulberry, cotton and rice paper, oil paint and acrylic paint on 36x40 inch canvas.

Please enjoy this time-lapse video, showing the process of creating "A Grid of Green Dots."

I woke up in the middle of the night to a vision; it was a grid of luminous green dots with little bits of yellow poking out. Beholding this sight, I felt a sense of numinosity. That morning I did a little sketch. I sought to capture the impression because there was an underlying compulsion to paint this mysterious design.

I was not too particular about the number of dots, or the orientation of them in terms of measurement. Rather, I worked on this painting with an urgency, immediacy and sense of intuition.

Because this composition was unusual, and the canvas so large, I was shy and secretive about the project. Over the course of several weeks, as the painting went through several stages and layers, I remained quiet about what the end result would be. The people around me were saying, "Wow!" -- I would joke, "It's very red eh? Do you like red?"

I had to think several steps ahead, but couldn't tell those around me what the ultimate goal would be, because it might seem silly, arbitrary. I couldn't introduce a rational doubt because the urge to make this painting came from an irrational source -- a vision in the night. Anyways, I had to begin with red -- just plain red.

The final stage was the most exciting, as I was able to twist the brush to make green circles, using viscous, lush, rich oil paint. When it was finally finished, I was baffled. In fact, I briefly thought I was silly for having made such a painting.

Then, over the following months, as this painting sat in my studio drying, I had moments of meditation. I allowed my consciousness to commune with the forms and pigments. In this way the hallucinatory effects this painting were revealed. The experience of allowing this painting to wash over my consciousness, in a meditative mood, really impacted my overall thesis of viewing art.

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