BEANOLOGY ART. Unexpected source of inspiration.

Updated: Oct 6, 2018

Beanology is an art project that explores the visual nature of bean as a powerful graphic symbol.

If you are lazy to read this article you can scroll down and find YouTube video where I talk about the exact same topic.

It's been three years since I've set three main principles of my artistic philosophy - simplicity, diversity, and bright accents. Even though sometimes it may not be very obvious but all of my artworks follow these three basic concepts. The thing is that in some projects one of the concepts may prevail over others, that's why in some works you may notice that there is more of diversity than simplicity or bright accents, while in other works the balance between those three can be different.

So, when I finished my MEDITATIVE DRAWINGS project that was mostly full of diversity, I wanted to take rest from diversity and make my next project focused on simplicity. I was thinking about the idea of taking one simple, deep, well-known symbol and creating a series of artworks playing on shape, color, size, and other aspects of the chosen symbol.

At first, I was thinking about an egg. Egg is a very deep, yet simple symbol recognizable anywhere on the planet...but there is one but: the shape of an egg was too perfectly balanced and it felt kind of boring to me. I decided to think more and eventually (I'll tell you how in the end) I came up with the idea of BEANS...

Look at the shape of beans - they are round as eggs but they have this little curve in the middle that makes them look more interesting and fun. Well, at least that's how I see them. Not only the shape of beans is cute, beans are pretty much well-known in almost any country of our planet, and what is the most important for me, beans have a very deep symbolic meaning. Several meanings, actually...

Here is the list of symbolic meanings of BEANS with short explanations. So, BEANS are:

Symbols of nature and growth

Basically bean is a seed and it starts growing very fast even when just put on some wet cloth.

Symbols of life and fertility

Shape of bean reminds of the shape of embryo at the very early stages of pregnancy, as I was told by one scientist in social media their shape also reminds of genomes, and again - bean is a seed.

Symbols of wealth and good health

Beans are rich in both carbs and proteins and historically considered to be a very good food in many cultures, and good food in a house is a sign of good wealth of the family.

Symbols of good luck

For example, Chinese write some small lucky or cute messages on dried beans and give them as presents to their beloved ones.

Beans also come in different sizes and colors which makes them even more interesting objects for exploration. Summing up all these facts I had no doubt that BEANS were going to be the main heroes of my next art project. And after that I just started having fun with them my way...

Originally, I prepared two sketchbooks for Beanology art project - one sketchbook for rough pencil sketches, and another with thick good quality paper for final small size mixed media collages. Both sketchbooks were little smaller than A4 size. Later on I felt that the small size of mixed-media sketchbook was not enough for me anymore and I decided to put it aside and start creating final Beanology collages on a big size paper, while still keeping another small sketchbook for rough sketches that I had been doing in big amounts every day.

The graphic concept of the First wave of Beanology project included creating a yellowish-brownish background that was supposed to imitate aged paper, and making collage on it with also aged-looking beans cut from hand-painted colored paper.While creating collages I was playing with color combinations, geometry, amount of beans and their diversity (yes, I didn't get rid of diversity completely, because it's still one of the three basic concepts of my artistic philosophy). At the final stage, of course I was adding words (place of creating and name of my symbol in three languages), numbers (date of creating), and some decorative elements with graphite and colored pencils. Everything I like doing so much!

Oh, and If you wonder where did the image of beans come to me from, then here is the story...

One day when I was already working on Beanology project full gears for many days I looked at my bed and suddenly it stroke me! On my bed there was my funny stuffed toy Worm that had a bean shape body and colorful stripes on it. Just like the majority of my collage beans...This discovery was a real surprise for me, but looks like my favorite plush toy was a true original source of my Beanology inspiration! And all that philosophical ideas about the symbolism of beans only came after....after a cute plush toy...hahaha

I must say I DO REALLY enjoy working on this project...I've accomplished the First wave of the project with many small and big collages, and now I'm working on the Second wave of the project that's going to include mixed media drawings. BEANS are a lot of FUN, and I hope that at least some of you are going to LOVE and ENJOY them as much as I do!

You are WELCOME to visit my >> BEANOLOGY ART gallery to watch all works in details.

And here is YouTube video where I tell about the same topic and show my sketchbooks and some of the works in details:

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