Stretching the Limits of Ornament

I have fully embraced my old love of ornamentation and pattern.

I strive to elevate it in a manner, that expresses both artistic concerns – and my personal, subconscious feelings.

Gouache painting by Chanan Mazal, Jerusalem 2010

Pattern flattens objects.
Indeed, I have little interest in presenting the illusion of 3 dimensionality beyond the enriching the micro-millimeters of the painting surface. The surface tension fascinates me more. I choose to use easily recognized objects, and then repeatedly construct and deconstruct them via pattern and color.

Three Bowls on Fire 2012, Acrylic 60 x 120, Sold

My paintings are like story telling.
Only the story is about how I built the painting, and changed my mind over and over.
I like leaving little windows back to earlier stages in the plot, like the famous gun shown in act one.

Layers and Layers.
The earliest are often spontaneous, wilder, even chaotic. Then I create order out of the mess. Without that bad-boy mess, I am not satisfied. Therefor, repeat performances rarely work. If I attempt to recreate a new piece using an successful proven recipe, it flops.

Painting by Chanan Mazal

Sweet or Savory?
Lastl I add little flourishes to the painting. Decorating calms for me emotionally. Yet it has its own dangers. Once again, I must strike the fine balance between the pretty and the pithy.


Mud Pies

This is all true for my use of color as well. I must include ghastly mud shades and painful contrasts in every work. And then gently tie them all together. The visual surprises are used at the very start. Then I rediscover: Just as softly spoken words are often the most profound, so too the slightest contrasts in saturation and hue are often the most resonating.

Works in Oil and Acrylic

Works on Paper