How to Experience and Interpret My Art

Some Reflections

Just like the drops of dew in the morning, through which the sunlight passes to give many colours and rainbow-like shimmers, my art can be experienced and interpreted in many ways and from many dimensions.

In what follows I have tried to collect some thoughts – reflections – on experiencing and interpreting my art, which can provide insight over and above the artist statements and explanations spread throughout this site. I hope that whoever sets out to read these reflections will find something that will help them to enjoy, understand and appreciate my works more fully.

Experiencing my paintings through structure and harmony:
the fractal-like nature of my art

Besides my creative work as an artist and poet, I also write children's stories. Therefore, in setting out to explain a particular aspect of my work, I could not help but to do so in fairy-tale fashion. I am sure that my readers will allow me this indulgence, and, maybe, in a way become like children once again when reading the story below...

Once upon a time, there was an Artist who created a painting in which lots of other paintings were living; they each made their strange abode within this one painting. But, note this, every one of them had their own children-paintings living within themselves, too, so they were like one big family.

The painting Queen of Quinces (2007) by Australian artist Annael (Anelia Pavlova)

One day someone came to visit this Artist and when he learned about all this, he cried – "Wow, how come so many paintings are able to live together in one, moreover, one within the other and so on, like motley Russian matryoshka dolls!" "Well, it is possible", said the Artist, and pointed to some other paintings which she had done over the years.

"Look here, if I take this part, of that painting", she said, pulling out a painting on her computer screen of a musical figure playing a violin, "I can light up only this square of the painting over here". Only the part with the head of the violin-player appeared on the screen. It was still very beautiful and looked like a completely new painting, with a new feeling and new dimensions, but somehow related to the whole painting in a special way. The Artist did not stop there though. She zoomed into a detail of the "new" painting and another "new" painting appeared, this time abstract. "I can do more", she continued with a smile, zooming into a different spot this time within the last detail and yet another "new" painting appeared. Each of those paintings came from the first one as though born out of it, and each of them was musical, harmonious and complete by itself. "Hmm", said the viewer, "I don't know, how did you manage to do all this?"

"Ah," answered the Artist, "this is something magical, it was simply created like that, it just came up and sometimes even I am amazed and wonder how it is possible to have one painting harbouring within itself so many other paintings, completely independent of each other and at the same time happily living together." "Maybe there is a key to all this", the puzzled viewer said, "maybe there is a certain formula which you follow?" "Oh, no", the Artist answered, "I draw and paint what I have within my soul; if I follow something, it is the music I try to weave into the actual painting. It is possible that the music does this mysterious phenomenon." The Artist deepened herself in thought. The viewer was silent. "Ah, yes!" she cried finally, "I think that every painting I create is like a door to a world that lives and weaves behind it, a world of countless, separate forms, which all express one and the same sublime idea, which unites them." After a pause she added: "but, there is another side, another point of view one might take – namely, that life contains countless lives within itself and those lives are capable of giving birth to other lives and they to others in turn, and so on, to eternity." "If I am to understand you correctly", said the viewer, "it means that your paintings contain the very formula of life, that is, the formula of eternity?" "Could be", said the Artist, "but I would not call it a formula, because the word "formula" always implies something mechanical, something artificial. But you are right, there is really something that leads towards eternity in this strange phenomenon of my paintings."

"This is so unique... but wait, this isn't the only mystery in your paintings, is it?" asked the viewer. "No, of course not, there are others, too" replied the Artist with a friendly smile. The viewer suddenly realized he was running late. "Well," he said, "I have to go now, but I promise to look at your paintings again. It was very intriguing to see how a painting can multiply itself into an endless number of paintings within itself." "Thank you for coming here", said the Artist, "it was really a delightful time, because this conversation gave me the possibility to explore a particular side of my own art, too."

Before the Artist went back to her work, she decided to write a small explanation for everyone. No one knows what the explanation looked like exactly, but dear reader, for your benefit I end the story with it below, as I heard it from others...

"Besides the musicality of my paintings, another very unique feature is their fractal-like structure. This aspect is not only very important in itself, but is an essential way to experience my works in greater depth. Like any other artwork, each of my paintings can be looked at as a whole or as details. However, unlike other works, each painting can also be divided into "sub-paintings" in special areas, each of which represents a complete, harmonious, musical painting in its own right, and at the same time a kind of conceptual "entering" into the work. This labyrinth of paintings within paintings – many of them abstract – are different doorways into the whole, which contain aspects of the main ideas and the music, but each one in different ways; they are related to the larger painting like mathematical fractals. Like fractals, the process of partitioning can be continued recursively, creating sub-paintings from sub-paintings to enter further and further into the work... If one attempts to experience my paintings like this in earnest, it leads to a multi-dimensional effect – a fuller, richer experience."

"Like other elements of my art, I have progressed this fractal-like structuring throughout the years, and it can be experienced in increasing measure beginning (approximately) with my collection of paintings from 2005 ("Love Songs"), and in greater "dimensional depth" with my collection of paintings from 2007 ("Musica Nova") onwards."

Annael in Calligraphy by Dancho Jelev
Detail from the painting Aries by Annael (Anelia Pavlova)