Artist’s Statement: 

I do not believe that any artist is entirely satisfied with his or her art. There seems to be a need to keep searching. In an artist’s life, that searching naturally reveals itself in the evolution of the work – the result of the excitement of adventure and discovery, driven by a curiosity of what lies ahead. Indeed, the premise of my life seems to be to find or create a new "world," and explore it. My personal language has developed to that of symbols and abstract figuration in order to express an idea, emotion, or a combination thereof; through this, I may also attempt to imply a literary narrative or metaphor. Examples of this can be seen in much of my work: Transfiguration, a very personal painting, highlighted in the Essex Community Church in Essex, New York, is a fine example. Indeed, I try to give the thematic material a life of its own by orchestrating it to interact with its environment of color, space, and rhythm, plus its own episodic changes. I think of my paintings as visual music – tone poems that make use of mathematical, compositional, and other aesthetic relationships to call forth both intellectual and emotional responses. I enjoy that my art is inspired by such disciplines as music, literature, philosophy, mathematics, and the sciences, and the belief that the most enduring art encompasses all life. Indeed, if my painting style need be categorized in a historical context, it could be seen as an extension of Geometric Abstraction to Abstract Expressionism. Douglas Peden 2007

********** Addendum **********


Whether my painting has any significance is not for me to judge – obviously, I think it has. However, let me point out, perhaps something of interest: Through the continual exploration of new ideas in my painting, I invented/discovered, in 1989, a mathematical concept called GridField Geometry, which subsequently became the foundation of my painting style; and, later of interest to mathematicians and computer programmers. It is basically a curvilinear grid and coordinate system which gives an infinite number of grid and coordinate solutions, including the well known Cartesian grid geometry. Indeed, to the best of my knowledge, having taught art history, I am the only artist in the history of art to invent his own geometry. This discovery, along with the support of friends, colleagues, and such notables as the historians Bates Lowry (former director of MOMA and The National Building Museum) and H. W. Janson, encouraged me to come out of relative seclusion to present my work and ideas uniting art, mathematics, and science to an international audience. My first opportunity came when I was invited to present a paper, "Wave Space Art and Geometry," at the 7th International Conference on Engineering and Descriptive Geometry (1996) in Cracow, Poland. Since then, I have lectured, been published in journals, presented papers, and exhibited in various U.S. and international conferences. I am presently involved in a continuing exploration and deeper understanding of the mathematical merits of GridField Geometry beyond its more obvious uses in art and design; and, its possible application to the "real world," i.e., its scientific potential. Whether this quest will bear any fruit, I do not know – it is nice to think so. As to the future, I couldn’t put it any better than expressed by the German philosopher, writer, and mathematician, G. W. Leibniz (1646-1716): "I have so many ideas that they may perhaps be of some use in time, if others more penetrating than I go deeply into them and join the beauty of their minds to the labor of mine". Also, having been reintroduced to the sciences through the "eyes of an artist", and with whatever influence I have, I would like to decrease the distance between the arts and sciences, especially in the education of our young people. In any case, it is all an exciting adventure, and to paraphrase the poet, Robert Frost: "I have many miles to go before I sleep".