2017-2018 Statement for Paintings:
Natural systems that I encounter, particularly the intricate worlds of lichen and fungi, serve as a starting point for my paintings. The sublime organisms ensure and maintain our life on earth, stabilizing our fluctuating environment. I draw upon the history of the use of abstraction and color field painting infused with ecotheology to communicate spiritual ideas in relation to creation. Using the finite to understand the infinite, the paintings are a wondrous and mysterious celebration of the process of existence. I both manipulate the paint and playfully relinquish control to create worlds for the viewer’s mind to wander. The imagery simultaneously fuses and dissolves, oscillating between certainty and uncertainty with the promise of resolving into something familiar. I use both naturalistic and imagined color. The luminosity and the combination of colors, as well as the use of representation and abstraction, convey the euphoric, transcendental sensation of my initial encounter with the subject matter. Together, the abstraction and the colors target not only the visual senses, but also the psyche in order to provoke contemplation on the painted microcosms. My intention is that the references to creation will invite viewers in, while the abstraction will challenge viewers to perceive in a way that goes beyond the surface of the painting so they can explore their own thoughts and beliefs.
2017 Statement for One-A-Days:
In my paintings, I reference cycles found in nature to invite contemplation and self-reflection about life, nature and the connection between the two. Artists, writers and scientists have long looked to nature to get closer to the divine and to gain a deeper understanding of themselves. The cyclic patterns of nature, from weather conditions to growth, death and decay, help sustain our life on earth. On a daily basis, usually during the daytime hours, I use moments of transition found in nature for meditation and to connect with my own spirituality. Predetermined rules, conditions and boundaries, like paper selection, scale and the number of circles per day, direct my process and record of experience. Through the act of painting, I document my experiences, not only as a way to reflect on them again, but also as a way to share them with viewers. I use both naturalistic and imagined color to communicate how the subject matter affects my soul. Cool, soft, transparent colors evoke tranquility, while warm, saturated colors excite. The handling of paint, from refined areas to washes and abstractions, brings attention to specific moments of transition. Together, the color and the paint target not only the visual senses, but also the psyche. The combination of elements and metaphors of life and death in my paintings remind me of the importance of the cycle of life and make me feel more at peace mentally, physically and spiritually. My introspection leads to the pondering of our own life cycle and creates within me a deeper sense of hope and faith. By sharing my daily ritual, I hope to recreate the experience for viewers so they can reflect and meditate on the moments as well. My goal is that the contemplation will provide viewers with a greater sense of peace and provoke them to get in touch with their own spirituality.
My process begins by seeing. By slowing down to absorb my surroundings, I can unplug from the materialistic world and begin to see the sublime of nature. From studying forest undergrowth to observing sunrises and sunsets, I have become increasingly aware of how nature is in a constant cycle, always in a state of balancing itself. In my paintings, I focus on real and symbolic cycles of life and death to gain more understanding about our own life cycle, both physically and spiritually. I manipulate the compositions to reinforce the cyclic state of balance and to spatially complicate the viewers’ relationship to the subject matter, inviting closer inspection and contemplation. The handling of paint also supports the concept of life and death. Forms are recognizable, but remain abstracted to prompt questions about the life of the subject matter, as well as our relationship to it. I bring awareness of natural processes in order to promote self-reflection and encourage spirituality in terms of our own life cycle. Paying more attention to nature’s balance brings us closer to the divine and can provide us with a sense of understanding and hope – something that cannot be offered by material excess – that will, over the course of time, help our earth and our existence.
Nature surrounds us all, yet some of nature’s most special moments go unnoticed. My goal is to transport the viewer into a suspended moment in time. I photograph and capture intriguing, often fleeting moments in nature. In translating the photographs into paintings, I depict the essence of the scene by subtly adjusting elements to achieve dreamlike perceptions. I would like viewers to unplug from the materialistic world and enter a realm devoid of man-made objects. My desire for this work is to create a renewed sense of wonder and perhaps open an avenue to self-reflection.
Our society currently struggles to balance its need and desire for man-made products with its growing concern over our limited natural resources. By carefully selecting and strategically arranging manufactured and natural objects in my painting set-ups, I create unique compositions that illuminate this conflict and the consequences of imbalance. I want viewers of my paintings to be reminded that our own actions and decisions can greatly effect and transform everything that surrounds our existence.
In my paintings, I use space and depth to also communicate this message. Clusters of seemingly random objects — some loosely tethered or netted — float in a dark abyss to convey the transience of life and the ephemeral appeal of objects that are lost or discarded, and then forgotten. My goal is for viewers to question their relationship not only with the painted objects, but also the objects they encounter and use in their daily lives.