Painting and Space: New Geometric Painting “Discovering Worlds Yet Undreamt”

July 20th, 2014 | No Comments

Discovering Worlds Yet Undreamt a new geometric painting I finished this Wednesday. The title is inspired by the closing remarks that Neil deGrasse Tyson makes in the final episode of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

painting and space - new geometric painting 'discovering worlds yet undreamt'
Discovering Worlds Yet Undreamt. 2014. Acrylic on panel-mounted canvas. 16 x 20 inches (41 x 51 cm).

deGrasse Tyson says:

We and the other living things on this planet carry a legacy of cosmic evolution, spanning billions of years. If we take that knowledge to heart, if we come to know and love nature as it really is, then we will surely be remembered by our descendants as good, strong links in the chain of life. And our children will continue this sacred searching, seeing for us, as we have seen for those who came before, discovering wonders yet undreamt of, in the Cosmos.

When I heard deGrasse Tyson’s phrase, I couldn’t help but capture it on paper, thinking it would be a great title for a painting. Over time, the word wonders became worlds. And when I completed this painting, the title Discovering Worlds Yet Undreamt seemed completely appropriate.

Space exploration is something that has fascinated me throughout my life. Perhaps this may sound like a stretch, but to me, painting is like searching through space, literally and figuratively. Whether one is sitting in front of a telescope or an easel, one is exploring phenomena and cataloging insights.

Discovering Worlds Yet Undreamt reminds me of another painting that I named after a significant event in space exploration. Last September, I named a painting Between Stars, because I was painting it when the Voyager spacecraft began its departure from the Solar System.

painting and space - geometric painting 'between stars'
Between Stars. 2014. Acrylic on panel-mounted canvas. 8 x 12 inches (20.1 x 25.4 cm).

The two paintings seem to share a similar spirit. They may not be about space exploration in a literal sense — or representations of outer space, for that matter — but they both encapsulate how I feel about exploration in my art.

On a related note, a pair of paintings I made in 2008, titled Space Loop I and Space Loop II, were most likely unconsciously informed by space colonies envisioned in the 1970s by artists Don Davis and Rick Guidice for NASA. Those images of self-sustaining colonies floating through space captivated me as a child, and still do.


New Painting: Everything Is A Landscape (Or Not) 2

June 29th, 2014 | No Comments

grant wiggins - everything is a landscape (or not) 2

Everything Is A Landscape (Or Not) 2. June 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 30 inches (61 x 76 cm).


I have to confess, the World Cup has “parked the bus” in front of my easel! I simply haven’t been painting as much as I probably should lately.

While I might deserve a yellow card for time-wasting, I did recently complete this painting, Everything Is A Landscape (Or Not) 2, an acrylic-on-canvas piece that measures 24 x 30 inches (61 x 76 cm).

This painting is a remix of a painting I finished last month, shown below. I simply wanted to rework the composition, with some small adjustments to the square ribbon motif, in a completely different colorway.

grant wiggins - everything is a landscape (or not)
Everything Is A Landscape (Or Not). May 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 30 inches (61 x 76 cm).


In other news, my Super Summer Sale of paintings is well underway. Through July 15, I’m offering twenty of my large minimal pieces at 35% off list price. For a list of works available, check out wiggz.com/summer2014.


Spring 2014 Paintings

May 30th, 2014 | No Comments

With summer right around the corner, now is a great time for me to take a step back from the easel and share with you images of seven new paintings, which I produced this spring.

Most of the following paintings are already on view in my online portfolio — the Paintings section of this site — which now stands at 220 paintings.

Everything Is a Landscape (Or Not) is my newest painting. (In fact, it was completed today!) The title refers to a statement that Richard Diebenkorn made about his own paintings: “It was impossible to imagine doing a picture without it being a landscape,” he observed, “to try to make a painting space, a pure painting space, but [the picture would] always end up with a figure against a ground.” (Brackets mine.)

Spring 2014 Paintings by Grant Wiggins - Everything Is a Landscape (Or Not)
Everything Is a Landscape (Or Not). May 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 24 x 30 inches (61 x 76 cm).


I can see exactly what Diebenkorn meant. Quite often, I will take a step back from one of my own sketches and see a landscape “into” it. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t avoid this perceptual phenomenon. However, in contrast with Diebenkorn, my approach to abstraction is informed by our highly graphic, design-oriented culture — notably product packaging. Therefore, the “landscape” I arrive at is a reflection of the landscape I live in — one that’s bestrewn with eye-catching graphic motifs.

A companion piece to this painting is already in the works. I’m considering calling it Pure Painting Space.

Looking Forward to Now was painted in mid-May, but was first sketched two months prior, with a rather sedate blue-and-brown colorway. As I embarked upon making this painting, I felt a need to crank up the colors.

Spring 2014 Paintings by Grant Wiggins - Looking Forward to Now
Looking Forward to Now. May 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 36 x 30 inches (91 x 76 cm).


The Lake A Lilac Cube was conceived as a study for a larger work that I may (or may not) make, if that makes sense! The title is borrowed from a characteristically disjointed poem, “They Only Dream of America,” by John Ashbery — one of my favorite poets — from his early book The Tennis Court Oath:

And hiding from darkness in barns
They can be grownups now
And the murderer’s ash tray is more easily —
The lake a lilac cube.

Spring 2014 Paintings by Grant Wiggins - The Lake A Lilac Cube
The Lake A Lilac Cube. May 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 40 x 40 inches (102 x 102 cm).


You, Me, and the Interface, which I made in April, is painting that hasn’t yet made my portfolio. I’m still thinking things over. This ultimately was an experimental work that features a flourish of garish colors. Quite simply, I had an idea for a composition and simply ran with it. Whether I took the idea too far is still unclear!

Spring 2014 Paintings by Grant Wiggins - You, Me, and the Interface
You, Me, and the Interface. May 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 20 x 16 inches (51 x 41 cm).


Invisible Star Redux: Made for my nephew, Invisible Star 2 is a remix/reworking of a 2009 painting. So that I wouldn’t be painting the same work twice, this time around I updated the colorway. The background is light blue, rather than white. The burgundy has a deeper purple tint. The new composition’s orange is much more vibrant, with fluorescent orange added into the mix.

Spring 2014 Paintings by Grant Wiggins - Invisible Star 2
Invisible Star 2. April 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 21.25 x 44 inches (54 x 112 cm).


Two Minimal Studies: I also painted a pair of smaller minimal studies over the course of one weekend in April. I am quite fond of the graphic motif shared by these pieces. Here, I was simply exploring my options.

Spring 2014 Paintings by Grant Wiggins - Untitled Study #1
Spring 2014 Paintings by Grant Wiggins - Untitled Study #2
Untitled Studies: April 2014. Acrylic on panel-mounted canvas. 12 x 12 inches (30 x 30 cm).


Well, here’s to summer! I’m looking forward to having a prolific few months ahead. And if you subscribe to my blog by email, you’ll be among the first to learn about what I paint next! Until then, I hope you enjoy your summer.


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