Asked at Grounded’s opening reception what I was thinking when I created a particular painting, I admitted that the creative process behind my new work is fairly nonverbal. Those familiar with my figurative pieces know that words are integral to their birth; they are filled with narrative, metaphor, poetry, emotion and dreams. Not so with my abstracts/landscapes.
This isn’t to say that my landscapes are quiet paintings, usually quite the opposite. Years ago they began as, and often remain, an exercise in intensity: Color! Mark! Texture! Pattern! Mayhem and fray! However, with some of my new work, I feel as though I am finally beginning to step back and see the forest instead of just the trees.
Certain pieces in Grounded have a quiet about them that is new to my landscapes. I’m still obsessively working with circle and tree forms, still focusing on texture, surface, and mark, but with the exhibit’s larger paintings and my work in progress, I find I’m continually paring back my complex, intense compositions. It plays out as a give and take. I build the imagery, take it away. Build again, take it away. Struggling on the canvas to find a particular balance, to reveal what the painting wants to be.
This struggle can yield an intense surface, but, with the end note of taking away, a quieter painting, one presenting a more meditative vision. I am pleased to find that by playing at the line between abstraction and representation, these paintings hint at the moving complexity and depth of our experience in nature.
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