Shapes have always fascinated me. Naturally, as an engineer, I like geometry. When you simply add color to shapes, another dimension—so to speak—arises.
In smoking pipes you see the calabash form quite often. The calabash is a gourd, usually from South Africa. Calabash-style pipes, traditionally made of gourd, have a downward curve from the stem that ends with an up-curve where the bowl sits. Beneath the bowl is an air chamber which serves to cool, dry, and mellow the smoke. The fictional character Sherlock Holmes famously smoked a calabash pipe, helping to popularize this shape. For opuses 72, 81, and 84, I combined the geometry of a calabash with circles and squares in vivid colors.
Another fascination of mine is to paint the Armenian alphabet, a graphically unique writing system with elegant letter forms—originally thirty-six—used exclusively by Armenians. St. Mesrop Mashtots, an Armenian linguist, and Sahak Partev, spiritual head of the Armenian Apostolic Church, introduced it around 405 A.D. This character set has elegantly embedded symbolism. For example, the first letter “A” initiates the word “Astvats,” meaning “God.” The last letter is “K,” which begins the word “K’ristos,” or “Christ.”
The letters lend themselves to interesting painting interpretations and inspired opuses 79, 86, 138, 139, 140, 141, 142, and 143.