Lois Eby:  Studies in Rhythmic Vitality
 
Artist’s Statement for the Vermont Supreme Court Gallery
2019
 
Rhythmic vitality, an aesthetic principle of calligraphy which is also present in many kinds of music, describes the energy I most want to achieve in my work.
I have been exploring rhythmic vitality for many years, since I first learned of the term in the early 90s as a description of the highest aesthetic achievement of calligraphy.  In describing my goals in 2007 for my painting Dancing Series:  Simplicity, which is in the Vermont State Art Collection, I wrote:  I play with the elements of painting that I love:  line, color, space, and energy.  I start with a dancing line, and, watchful of the open space, I add color, improvising my way toward the finished piece.   I want to see rhythmic vitality bring the whole to life.
 
The space in which our own life energy dances, and the vast space in which our earth turns, are also important in my work . . . hence I try to keep the space open, and light, watching the energies dance into and out of being.
 
My roots in painting reach wide and deep into Asian ink painting, Western abstraction and color, particularly that of Kandinsky and Miro, and African American improvised music, most especially that of contemporary free jazz musicians who are pushing the boundaries of the known, one might say the previously heard, while steeped in the rhythms and soul of their tradition.  In my own work I want my line and color to create an image that moves with rhythm and pulse. I want my paintings, however they start and whatever they become, to evoke contemplative space and the mysterious energy of being alive.
 
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