About This Piece
This series of paintings explore cellular images of animal and botanical patterns. Color, shape and texture are critical to my work. I enjoy the sensual and tactile quality of the paint. Paint is a type of skin, and I can apply it heavily to conceal or build up shapes and I can stretch it thin with glazes, or scratch it away to reveal what lies beneath. The layering and scraping represents texture but speaks also to the process of discovery, and history; digging back up the past to acquaint it with the present and possibly form a structure for the future. Peeling and scraping back the layers to reveal what was before.
For some time, I have been thinking about the idea of connectivity and loss, attraction and revulsion. Diseased cells can be as aesthetically pleasing as healthy cells, yet many of us are painfully aware of their destructive power. We are naturally attracted to the beauty and repulsed by the danger and fear of that destructive power, and the loss it represents.
I am interested in familiar things with a certain sense of ambiguity, sensuality, and weirdness; such as quirky, organic or bio-morphic shapes, fruit, seeds, and cells. The ordinary things in life that begin to look exotic if one investigates longer or looks with intent, and then these things take on new meanings. I like to take a long and close look. I want to reveal something extraordinary in the ordinariness of what I see. In my recent paintings, I have developed a vocabulary of imagery that centers on botanical forms and patterns that exist in nature.
Color, shape and pattern are important to me. I enjoy the sensual and tactile quality of the paint. Paint is a type of skin, and I can apply it heavily to conceal or build up shapes and I can stretch it thin with glazes, or wipe it away to reveal what lies beneath.
There is a certain intimacy involved in looking at something intensely close up. I invite my viewer to experience this intimacy. By revealing the inner qualities of the thing, a new relationship can be established with the outer. I expose the inner qualities by way of magnification, scratching or carving and also through translucency. Scraping back through layers of thick impasto color reveals a history, in the way that layers of the earth can tell tales. I find this analogy in my process of digging back through previous layers of paint. Adding layers of thinly glazed paint on the top surface, in the form of floating shapes or to add to the overall texture, I create a veil of color allowing the viewer to see beneath. There is no longer a separation between inner and outer. It is this response I seek to evoke in the viewer.
To me, these shapes I paint are metaphoric of a kind of connectivity and connectedness. Our flesh and blood is made up of many of these same kinds of shapes. The molecules and atoms that make up our bodies are virtually indistinguishable from those that compose the celestial bodies, and the earth, plants, and animals; so they have a familiarity, although they are, at the same time, alien. I want to challenge the viewer to become intuitively aware of the interdependence of all life, and the possibility that loss is simply a change of connection or relationship.