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Chinese Knot

1969-1974, oil on canvas, 72 x 72", by Jenny Badger Sultan

Chinese Knot

It was very challenging to design and paint such a complex interlace. I laid it out on graph paper, made a slide and projected it on the canvas. The lines appeared very fuzzy so I had to refine them as I re-drew them. I would choose a band at random, paint an image on the edge, then select a pattern or color transition for the band and paint it through its ins and outs til it reached its ending on the other edge, then complete it with another image.

In this way, the painting could only be seen as a whole when it was completed.

I thought of it as a metaphor for life--how there are are many different strands weaving through our lives, sometimes going under, sometimes coming out on top, and each one having changing relationships to the others.

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