I am interested in how the mind finds refuge amid suffering. Especially in recent years, I have felt that we are at times surrounded, suffocated by the brutal and disturbing ways people harm one another. We are almost constantly bombarded with sensational headlines of cruelty and division. These paintings are the result of my own search for sheltering space and hope to somehow be of help to someone who might also be hurting. I offer a space for the mind to rest.
I am drawn to thickets, forests, and the weeds and vines that surround us but are virtually invisible to the conscious mind. The tangled and knotted vegetation usually isn’t noticed because it isn’t important, not part of the view, “invasives” that persist, thrive, and occupy space they’re not really supposed to. Or ancient, natural plants that also, in a way, are brave and boldly abiding in their space. The light in this space is fractured by the line, and both are altered and changed by the fracture. The space created is one to hide in, get lost in.
On the canvas, these tangles often share space with still water, reflecting the light of the sky behind the viewer’s gaze, and distant vistas are screened by the trees and their branches. I’d rather sit in the forest than climb to the top of the mountain. It’s not a triumphant view, but it’s a place of rest.
I paint primarily in oil and am currently developing a painting process that incorporates scratching textures and lines into a notan shape, and building the composition from there in layers. I haven’t figured it out yet, but I’m getting there.