Blog / 2023 / Funny Little Circles

February 1, 2023

[video transcript]

For more about funny little circle and the power of repetition, there’s this video about what I learned from the guy who played the same song for three summers in a row.

You can see more of my high school and college art in this gallery.

acrylic painting fine art portrait of Patern and Eugénie Kervinio and on of Annie and Richard Seemel, by artist Gwenn Seemel
Gwenn Seemel
Mamy and Papy and A Moment, a Lifetime
2000 and 2022
acrylic on canvas board and acrylic on panel
18 x 14 inches and 7 x 5 inches

I made this painting when I was eighteen, finishing up my first year of college. I created this much smaller painting at the end of 2022, as a 41 year old.

These are my grandparents—my mom’s parents—and this painting represents a moment in my artistic development when I was trying to work with a very limited palette: just titanium white, quinacridone gold, permanent violet, and dioxazine purple, if memory serves.

Twenty years later, the palette has evolved and the subjects have changed—these are my parents. But some things are very much the same. My mom has adopted her mom’s signature hug-from-behind-when-the-husband-is-seated.

When I started on this portrait of my parents I wasn’t thinking of “college me” painting my grandparents, but as soon as the image was underway, something clicked, and I dug through my archives to find the old and very awkward portrait of my grandparents.

I know that life moves less in a straight line and more in funny little circles, but it’s always nice to see the receipts. It’s a reminder to look for the other—less obvious and less healthy—loops I’m repeating and to be more mindful of which funny little circles I’d like to see spiral out to nothing and which ones I’d be okay to repeat again.

This video is made with love and microdonations from my community!

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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