The Order of Chaos by Victoria R Wolf 11-1-23

Behind the Art: The Order of Chaos

If you asked me to describe with one word what I imagine it would be like to experience my brain as a visitor, just walking around and observing, I would probably say chaos. Watching all the many ideas, thoughts, and emotions fly around my gray matter constantly would certainly feel like I was under attack.

With this piece, I tried to slow those thoughts and paint in a slower, more methodical, and thoughtful manner. I succeeded until I didn’t.

the order of chaos WIP 10-31-23

When I started the painting, I added a blue, minimally textured background. Then, I was spurred to add the feathery strokes of blue. Okay, I thought to myself, where the hell is this going?

I decided to leave the blue sections and work on the rest of the painting. I very slowly (and let’s be clear, slow for me, is really, “just as not as fast”) added the dark blue with a palette knife. I actually waited for it to dry before adding the yellow. I again waited before I added the dark blue/black, and again, I waited for the paint to dry before adding the white and lighter blue. I was very happy with all of it except the feathery strokes. 

As I assessed my work, although I was more measured with my technique and execution of the many colors, the end result still felt a bit chaotic to me, which did not bother me at all. I was able to give myself props for my new-found paint-drying patience. Yay, Victoria!

When I got back to the painting the next day, I was unsure which direction to take it. I tried a few things, and none worked enough to make me feel it was done, good, or remotely satisfying to my eye.

I tried a few more things, and then, after I covered up the blue (now blue, gray, and white) feathered strokes with white and scribbled through the paint, I began to see my path forward. At first, I used a palette knife to lay down the colors and then switched to a sponge. The process felt more chaotic and faster than when I painted the other part of the painting. It felt good to move faster and in a less controlled manner.

When I was done, I stepped back and was happy with what I was looking at. The same colors as the rest of the piece, but arranged in a different configuration. It reminded me of camouflage and also the concept of breaking out from the crowd, which is how I was feeling. Wow, I created a piece that allowed me to be creative, think, and not care about the outcome. I was in LOVE!

As I fell asleep that night, I analyzed further what the piece signified for me. In doing so, I realized that what I think is chaos in my brain, my thinking, actually does have an order to it. As I look at both techniques that I used to add the same colors, I find pattern and order in each. Maybe my brain is not as chaotic as I assumed. Or, the more likely scenario, I am quite adept at ordering chaos.


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