In this little painting the four quadrants are related to each other by repetition and inversion. The figures, the ‘circles’ that are not really circles at all, four Ehrenstein figures and four Redies & Spillmann figures*, are separated from each other vertically and horizontally in intervals of four i.e you count 1, 2 ,3 nodes and the fourth is a ‘circle’. The Ehrenstein figures are gaps and the others are continuations of the black lines in a discontinuous colour, resembling coloured asterisks where the lines meet.
The photo fairly accurately shows how when you get right up close the light purple asterisks no longer look like circles at all , but as soon as you step only a few inches away they become convincing coloured circles with a transparent ‘glow’ hence the phenomenon is known as ‘neon colour-spread’. The eye/brain constructs the circles. Earlier I painted them in white and no colour spread took place at all so they remained asterisks at all distances. I had a hunch that would happen. I think that when the tonal contrast with the ground is very stark the colour-spread formation is inhibited.
Does the photo show that the ground is gold or does it look more like plain yellow? You may be able to tell from the photo that the ground is made up of a pattern of slightly varying colours. In a previous painting the coloured under-painting was dominant (too much so), here you can barely tell that it is there (easier in ‘real life’).
*I’ve forgotten whether that’s a name I picked up from my reading about these phenomena or whether it is my own name for the neon colour- spread figures, like the Ehrensteins, simply named after the inventor(s) – Christoph Redies and Lothar Spillmann. Brought to my attention by Donald D Hoffman in his amazing book Visual Intelligence.