Kira Od
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PAINTINGS

What looks like wood grain in these oil paintings is actually a disciplined texture deliberately raked into the wet paint with a stiff brush. Every color is bounded by a carefully designed shape that is finitely bordered; but the texture flows through all of them. The texture does not photograph well, but it literally dances with light, making the paintings alive in person.

This is how I see: from within a surface. It shows up in my vision as a very specific pattern that flows over everything before me, and it has an uncanny similarity to the opposing spiral arrangement of seeds in the head of a sunflower.

It's not drug-induced. It is organic and it is real. I have written a paper on it. Click here to read it.

If you are interested in having an oil painting made, please go to the PRICES page on the menu for commission information.



John Lautner: Portrait Of An Architect

JOHN LAUTNER: PORTRAIT OF AN ARCHITECT

Oil on Panel, 1984
Collection of the DeVos Art Museum

42" x 66"
(112 cm x 168 cm)

I spent 1983 and 1984 in the Hollywood office of John Lautner, painting his portrait. It was an honor and a privilege. I was chosen because John saw my unique painting technique and saw me -- at 22 or 23 -- and said something like, "Jesus Christ, kid, you're the Real Thing! You invented this technique yourself???" To be called "the Real Thing" by John Lautner, I soon learned, was the highest compliment he gave.

It took a year of full-time work to paint it, and it is the finest thing I've ever made. As far as I know, the portrait hung behind Mr. Lautner's desk until his passing, in 1994. He really, really loved it. In 2014 his daughter, Karol Lautner Peterson donated it to the DeVos Art Museum at Northern Michigan University, (John's alma mater), where it is now part of their permanent collection.

  • Click on images for larger views

John Lautner: Portrait Of An Architect John Lautner: Portrait Of An Architect John Lautner: Portrait Of An Architect John Lautner: Portrait Of An Architect John Lautner: Portrait Of An Architect John Lautner: Portrait Of An Architect John Lautner: Portrait Of An Architect



Complex Plane in Plain View 2

COMPLEX PLANE IN PLAIN VIEW 2

Oil on linen, 2009
Collection of the Artist

16" x 20"
(41 cm x 51 cm)

This painting was an experiment with the Mandelbrot Set. You experts in Fractal Geometry know that the Mandelbrot Set occurs in the Complex Plane, or 'z-plane', where manly Real Numbers strut along the x-axis and Imaginary Numbers skip and frolic on the y-axis. It's enough to turn any scientist into a complete Math Atheist, but I'm just an unnaturalist, so I don't care.

As soon as I saw how this geometric set looked with an equipotential field applied to it, I went, "Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!" and knew I could paint two different 'planes' in a single plane.

Below to the far left is a view of the painting from the angle of incidence, and to the far right is a view of it from the angle of reflection. If you have no idea what that's about, click here for answers.

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Complex Plane in Plain View 2 Complex Plane in Plain View 2 Complex Plane in Plain View 2



Spring on Windy Hill

SPRING ON WINDY HILL

Oil on linen, 1998
Private Collection

48" x 60"
(122 cm x 152 cm)

This painting was commissioned for a custom California home. The goal was to bring the feel of the outdoors inside with a painting.

Vaguely defined objects like clouds require enormous canvas space to be rendered in finite shapes containing single colors. Although the area above the fireplace was sizeable it was not big enough for that.

So to capture the feeling of the wind pushing the clouds along the landscape, for the first time I blended colors on the canvas while maintaining control of the texture. You can almost feel the wind.

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Spring on Windy Hill Spring on Windy Hill Spring on Windy Hill Spring on Windy Hill


Still Life on a Purple Mantle

STILL LIFE ON A PURPLE MANTLE

Oil on Panel, 1992
Collection of the Artist

11" x 20"
(28 cm x 51 cm)

This painting was an experiment with eggs...or onions. It's so hard to tell, I'll let you decide. Anyway, the two views on either side of the painting have been lit to accentuate the changes generated by surface texture. To the left is a view from the angle of incidence, and to the right is a view from the angle of reflection. (Now, don't you wish you'd read that paper I mentioned at the top of this page?)

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Still Life on a Purple Mantle Still Life on a Purple Mantle Still Life on a Purple Mantle



Complex Plane in Plain View 1

COMPLEX PLANE IN PLAIN VIEW 1

Oil on panel, 1992
Private Collection

10" x 18"
(25 cm x 46 cm)

This was the second of three paintings I've done using the Mandelbrot Set, and the one that proved it was possible to go completely off-subject with texture, transforming the textured surface into a subject of its own.

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Complex Plane in Plain View 1 Complex Plane in Plain View 1



Mandelbrot Set With Equipotential Field

MANDELBROT SET WITH EQUIPOTENTIAL FIELD

Oil on panel, 1988
Private Collection

12" x 14" (approx.)
(30 cm x 36 cm)

I brought this as a gift for Heinz-Otto Peitgen and his family when they graciously hosted me in Bremen for several weeks.

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Mandelbrot Set With Equipotential Field Mandelbrot Set With Equipotential Field



The Tim

THE TIM

Oil on panel, 1983
Private Collection

18" x 24" (approx.)
(46 cm x 61 cm)

Tim's dad commissioned me to paint a portrait of his (then) ten year-old son, Tim, whom he absolutely adored.

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The Tim The Tim The Tim The Tim



A-1 Macaroni Factory

A-1 MACARONI FACTORY

Oil on panel, 1982
Private Collection

18" x 24" (approx.)
(46 cm x 61 cm)

I was commissioned to paint these historic grain silos by the developer who purchased this landmark property.



Klein House

KLEIN HOUSE

Oil on panel, 1981
Private Collection

48" X 15"
(122 cm x 38 cm)

I met the Kleins when they bought my car for their niece. When I told them I was an artist they asked me to paint a picture of their lovely Malibu home.



First Painting

FIRST PAINTING

Oil on panel, 1981
Private Collection

24" x 36" (approx.)
(61 cm x 91 cm)

This was the first oil painting where I decided to predetermine all colors and contain them within specific shapes.

When I couldn't get the streaks out of the unthinned oil paint with my stiff bristle brush, I made them intentional.

The texture took on a life of its own. Considering that I was trying to do something a camera could not, it was a lucky strike.

As a bonus it reminded me of patterns I observe in "organically textured surfaces," bringing me closer to expressing what I actually see and taking me deeper into my exploration of visual reality.

(Now, don't you really wish you'd read that paper I mentioned at the top of this page?)

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First Painting First Painting First Painting