Gregory M. Brown – Cyanotype Artist
Working with unusual materials, experimenting with colors, textures, and processes, and seeing what happens. These are the things that keep me making art. I enjoy pushing against the border between Control and Accident, and finding something fresh every day.
The cyanotype is a wonderful medium, its photosensitive chemicals producing multiple shades of Prussian Blue. It allows me to put together spontaneous fluid compositions in just a few minutes, and at the same time captures the finest nuances of everything – leaves, grass, wine glasses, lace, wishbones, and even detailed photo transparencies – effects that could never be duplicated in paint even after hours of work.
Cyanotypes are inescapably experimental because one never knows quite what the result will be, and that’s where the excitement is, in the beauty of the inspired accident.
The typical blue cyanotype can be transformed into a rich warm brown by application of additional chemicals. The artist can also go beyond monochrome by applying color over the cyanotype.
The artist’s background and Influences
I’m retired from a career as an architect specializing in solar design and energy conservation. Soon after graduation from Arizona State University’s college of Architecture, I joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Iran, years before the revolution. During my service I designed a number of parks and public buildings. The beautiful tile-covered mosques and vernacular architecture of Iran made a deep impression on me, and my world travel after Peace Corps left me with many memorable experiences that still influence my work today.
Having come of age in the 1960’s I was also inspired by psychedelic art, Mad Magazine, underground comix, pop culture, and performance art. I think everything is a legitimate source for making art.