Beginnings Are Subject to Change



(Top Left, Top Right, Bottom Left, Bottom Right)

Kandinsky Reference Pieces:
"Shallow Deep"
"Light Attachment"
"Several Circles"

**The following is recorded for my own process. Be my guest to skim words or peruse just the images.**

I found the Concentric Circles piece to be a simultaneously underwhelming and overwhelming prompt. Trying to wrap my focus around it felt almost like a false start. Being a 100% newbie to modernism, and art in general, I wasn't sure how to find a modernist artist whose identity and work resonated with me when I researched online. A long search for other artists led me back to Kandinsky. I ultimately found other Kandinsky work that pushed my motivation forward, and sometimes that is the main point for me anyway: to just get going.

I only started following the assignments Wednesday because the long weekend was exactly that. I am really glad to have gone through the online resources Nicole provided for this course. It gave me a more concrete footing with which to grasp the concepts of what we are tackling here. While I am creative, I have no art background, I have never been one to sketch much, and even doodling is rare. I was overwhelmed at first by information on Kandinsky because I was unfamiliar with this name. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the introduction to him because I find his history fascinating. From Dr. Christopher With's lecture on the NPR podcast, I learned that Kandinsky was impressed by Matisse, as am I, but that he thought Picasso was only going to be a fad. Oh, the drama of a popular name having a skeptic who was also successful. 

I chose to initially reference four pieces because they all evoke different access points for me.

"Shallow Deep" has a relatively simpler color scheme. That it also has strong, but isolated, geometric shapes, is another factor to how this course is approachable to me.

"Light" is visually appealing and consistent with the aesthetic that I have always been drawn to.

"Light Attachment" evokes a refreshing whimsy, and it makes me feel delight.

"Several Circles," like a few other Kandinsky pieces, immediately makes me think of space and the universe at large. It makes me contemplate the subject of proximity.

This boils down to a few keywords for me. I don't know yet what their significance may/will be, but it makes for a neat inversed haiku:

approachable aestethic
refreshing delight
contemplate proximity

The first two words that actually came to mind for my theme(s) were "reaching" and "lucidity." I wrote them on post-its but my "workspace" quickly evolved from there (to my thrill).


The little square patch that I colored with a grey Crayola marker from childhood made a nice outline on the scratch paper, to which I added more shapes and taped to my workspace as well.

From here, I took a break to let it all absorb. When I started sketching, I used pencil and stuck to geometric shapes to get comfortable.


I actually started in the top left and worked clockwise. Later, I was surprised to find that I was organically connecting parts that I drew independently from each other (pencil markings below came after I traced in pen).


As a person with mild discalculia, dyslexia of numbers, I have especially struggled with math in the last two years. This exercise surprisingly gave me back a sense of grasp over math. Amazing. That alone is worth more than I bargained for, and now perhaps something I will retain for future theraputic purposes.


All in all, I am very pleased with my start. Since I drew such clear shapes, I have the words from the lecture in my mind about how Kandinsky was really the first to define non-objectivity, which included soft shapes and indeterminate edges (versus Picasso made abstract art, interpreted to be distinctly different). I have never before had anything resembling a sketchbook to hold in my hands though. Suddenly, I have a beginning.

I haven't added color yet, but I imagine that will change everything. The pen I used to trace is Sakura, and as I held it, I knew that I want to incorporate a cherry blossom hue. The trees are blooming all over my city. The El Niño wind and rain today covered the streets sakura pink.

Intended colors (unsure): pink, black/grey, emerald, indigo, yellow

P.S. Editing the image sizes does not seem to translate in publication (hence they look huge)


My piece



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