As I quietly paint, I have both decisive moments and an earnest, listening eye. In the midst of this what occurs is nuance, serendipity, intuitive associations, chaos, and reduction. Working with abstraction allows me to explore the boundaries between positive and negative space, the use of unusual textures and the mixing of different media. I begin this work flat while adding and subtracting subtle and intense color as well as exploring various types of heavy texture. I allow the water based media to flow and puddle in the valley’s of marks and textures that were first laid down, enhancing the interaction with paint, inks or collaged hand-made papers, gradually adding multiple layers that begin to form the foundation of the urban grids, urban botanicals, character botanicals or weavings. Once color and chaos is achieved across the surface, the pieces then go up on my painting wall where I begin the reduction process.
Studio process shots of Erosion Series: Urban Grid #78
Reduction—the Erosion Series is about seeing the beauty in the natural event of decay and building an aesthetic around it. Like the Japanese wabi-sabi; the acceptance of transience and imperfection, I repurpose and create new life out of past work or begin anew on fresh panels or paper. Inside the studio and out, observing the natural decay of the life cycle has made me appreciate that within reduction the more possibility there will be.
I am fascinated with the push/pull of creating civilizations and nature taking them back. For the grid paintings I begin by taping off the areas of the surface that interest me to begin the formation of the urban street grid as I build the composition between positive and negative space. The urban botanicals focus more on the relationship between nature’s relentless botanical growth in the nooks and crannies of urban architecture. The weavings explore botanical shapes that are either on Arches 300lb watercolor paper or abstracts of sandpaper remnants from my reduction process. These begin with the warp image (the vertical strips) and are then woven with the weft (horizontal strips) to enhance the color or patterns of the piece. The final step is to stitch them together with waxed linen thread. The character botanicals explore eroded botanical shapes seen through the window of letterforms that make a hidden word. Making these paintings is as much a physical experience as a psychological one. I embrace and process the nuances of this work and use the outcome as a vehicle to communicate a narrative about humanity and the natural world around me that exists outside of language. What remains of this process comes together to form all aspects of the Erosion Series.
The Creative Arts Guild in Dalton GA is a fabulous venue to house and showcase these pieces with their commitment to raising awareness of all the artistic disciplines in the community. Join us this Friday, May 3rd, from 5:30-7:30pm for the opening of several shows at CAG.