Betty Cleeland

Chicago, Illinois, USA

My current work is an exploration of patterns and schemes found in the world around us: in architecture, in nature and especially in textiles. I have found inspiration for my most recent paintings in old European tapestries and ancient textiles from around the world. My work has often involved themes, and in the past I have explored dance-step diagrams and earlier, the night sky.

The uniting thread in all of my work is color and pattern, and how our perception of color depends on the adjacent colors. I use color in my work as a visual construct that appears random, but that in fact is based on careful study and perception. One of my earliest infuences was the great modern artist Josef Albers whose color exploration is well documented. I continue to be fascinated with how colors relate to one another and how shapes such as the circle, rectangle and square, which have infinite applications, can alter those relationships.

The images in my recent work are mostly overlaid patterns or circles superimposed on a background of solid color, blocks of color, woven stripes or subtle patterns. I paint in oil, usually on linen, as I prefer the tighter, smoother weave of linen.

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