In Michael Gordon's artwork 'Blue and Four' large circles appear to float over swathes of blue which stretch all the way across the canvas.
On the face of it, the painting sets a natural and relaxed scene with its use of blues and creamy whites. The circular shapes appear to have shadows, making them look like bubbles passing through water. The painting could be said to represent the interplay between water and air. There are no harsh lines - even the horizontal layers beneath the circles have arched edges rather than straight ones. There is no modernity here, just a celebration of natural lines and colours. That being said, there is order within the simple, playful environment. The circles are almost evenly spaced. They form two rows and each row stays within the boundaries of the underlying bands of blue. At no point do the circles touch or stray across any lines. In this way the bubbles are behaving unnaturally by respecting boundaries.
Our feelings toward artwork like this are always subjective but the juxtaposition of natural and organised could be the foundation for the painting's calming qualities. Perhaps 'calmness' for many of us is a natural but quietly ordered environment.