Bob Deane Artist Statements Over Time

I realized as a youth that artist statements were like art work; I would never make one perfect but I would make many of them. So I thought it would be interesting to include a selection of them here.


2014 Artist Statement – Bob Deane, Potter & Artist

With my clay work, I want it to captivate the viewer. Either I want the work to be visually striking or a tactile delight. If the work is to be visually striking, I want it to have deep, rich, powerful color to strike and pull the eye – deep blues, rich reds, a  lusciousness. If the work is sculptural, I often choose more earthy, subtle colors that make you want to reach out and touch the piece. the glaze is a delicate skin.
 Creating artwork is like a seduction where the artwork is able to reach out to the viewer  and demand to be touched, even held. That the experience of the work is only complete after is has been caressed.


Robert Deane


From my earliest creative memory as a child in the early seventies, I felt compelled to explore the hidden patterns I sensed in the world around me.  The desire to make representative images was always secondary. Now, as then, I am not trying to create an image in my mind, but to trap the pattern of life that seems hidden but constant.  I am following a progression of ideas from earlier works and thoughts to a point where they can coalesce in an intuitive sense of rightness.  A few years ago, when I became aware of fractals, repeating patterns, I thought to myself, “There it is.  That is what I have been looking for.”

September, 2009



I see two divergent forces. The first being one of order and pattern. This Force builds the animate and inanimate world. The other is one of chaos and destruction. I can see these two forces at work all the time. Really, I see how order manifests itself out of chaos and in turn, how chaos dismantles order.

The first time I saw the tension order created was in the growth of trees. At the age of 9 or 10, I saw that the tree was made up two similar parts, which are held together by the trunk. The roots’ job was to take life from water and to hold the tree firmly in place. The branches’ job were to create a large space for the leaves to gather as much sun as they could. I was fascinated by how similar the growth of the branches and the subterranean roots were. I loved looking at the branches of the tree and imagining how the roots were mirroring them underground.

What I saw as the destroyer, the bringer of chaos, was Ridley Creek. I loved the creek after large storms. I couldn’t wait to see what trees had fallen down, what had been changed in the turmoil of the storm. If I got to the creek soon enough, I could still watch the turbulent brown water of destruction. In the chaos of the swollen creek, there is an order.   Fallen trees, human debris, leaves and twigs all gathering into huge piles at high water marks.

I could have chosen to work representationally painting raging creeks and the roots of trees.   My work has always been abstract. I guess I am trying to find the truth of trees, not the tree itself. From early childhood, I have been much inclined to doodle, draw patterns, and let the paintbrush or ball of clay find itself. My job was to make sure it remained truthful to the struggle of chaos and order.

By Robert Deane, September 25, 1999


In viewing my work after completion, I want them to appear born into the world of chaos and pattern. I want to remove my conscious self from the process in order to allow the work to purely express the endless patterns being created from chaos. In everything around me I can feel some grand intelligible mechanism. This mechanism of time and chance is creating a constant yet elusive structure. A repeating truth that explodes  into infinite possibility upon close inspection. It is about stopping unlocking and revealing the pervasive, hidden repetition of life, without constraining the internal explosion.



In a  tree, or leaf, or an atom, in the wink of a friend’s eye, I’ve always been fascinated by complexity. The deeper you look into life, the more that is revealed. Through the lens of the microscope or the finer definition of a fractal equation the object never grows large.

Once humans thought the atom was the basic building block, now we know that the atom is made up of many smaller parts, and those of even smaller pieces. If the eye peering into the microscope could see deep enough and far enough, unknowingly it might be observing the solar system all around us.

I believe life has finality, but all around me, in each voice in the ear of a small green frog or in  the waters rushing up and down the beach, there appears time and space for infinite complexity.

In some things I see a unifying mechanism, a recurring beautiful rightness. In my paintings, It is about realizing areas of harmony. In trying to tune into some intuitive pattern all around us.



The search for chaos in balance describes my art.

The search for balance in chaos describes my life.