Every now and then, I write a post in response to a question that has been posed to me. The following question, asked by someone who wishes to remain anonymous, is actually one I've been asked a few times, so I figured, I'll answer it right here on my blog. The question is, "Carl, I've noticed that several of your paintings contain swirling circles, what do they mean?"
The answer to this question required some thought. Sometimes, I don't really even know why I do the things I do, at least not until I've given it some consideration. I have done several pieces with "swirling circles, vortices, as I call them, and each one of them are unique in their own way, but as I thought about it, I realized that they had something in common - that feeling of being swept up and carried away. It's that feeling of being pulled into or toward something, or someone; a feeling so powerful, so wonderful, so exhilarating, maybe even a bit scary, that you just can't resist. It's that whirlwind of feelings that picks you up, and takes you for a ride, whether you think you want to go or not. It's that awesome feeling of "maybe I shouldn't, but I can't help myself." I've had that feeling many times in my life. I felt it when I rediscovered my first love. I felt it when I was drawn, actually compelled, to walk away from the work-a-day world in favour of paint filled days. I've even felt it when I'm painting, on those days, or nights, when I stand there, at the canvas, brush in hand, completely captivated by the paint, sucked into her charms, knowing there are a million other things that a more logical, a more organized or responsible person might be doing, laundry, cleaning, making something to eat, and not being able to stop myself. Those instances, those feelings, are what I call "being in the vortex" and sometimes, that vortex is an awesome place to be.