You know those joyful moments of peace when you reach a hilltop view, turn around to see a sunset behind you, or admire a fresh bouquet? It takes you away from the hustle and bustle… the negativity of bumping up against each other in daily life. It infuses you with positive energy just by being near. Using simple dots, I like to capture and share these joyful moments of being.
Starting with a photo taken during my hikes or travels I will zoom into the small area that provides a composition most inspiring to me for flow and movement. Once my composition is set, it’s all about weaving together different color combinations. A red by itself is just red. That red next to a warm yellow might be cool. Put that very same red next to a cool green and it might be warm. Given that I will often pull a color throughout the painting for cohesiveness, I get a lot of opportunities to compare color dynamics and experiment with them.
With just small paintbrushes and liquid acrylics, I use 5-8 layers of dots to create complex color combinations that spark with an almost physical intensity. Later sprinklings of dots will build upon the earlier foundation layers to create the image as well as the colors. It’s a very meditative process. About midway through, these paintings will take on lives of their own from the interconnected colors and the reference photo will be a forgotten memory.
These paintings can look so very different from a distance vs. up close, which many people find both mysterious and fascinating. Often they are surprised the painting is made up of dots, especially if they see the paintings first from a half block away.
While a completed painting for me is one that has a certain intensity about it and color that pulls the eye all around in a beautiful way, a successful painting is one that makes someone tell me how joyful the painting makes them feel. This is the same joy I experience when I find the inspiration, and the same joy I have while painting the piece. To connect with someone at that basic level is a celebration. –R.B.
Bard College, 2016
University of Tennessee
Bachelor of Science, 1995