Discoveries in Limitation

While my recent paintings are much more minimal than I am used to, they have been some of the most difficult paintings for me to make. Many of my paintings have multitudes of layers, and mistakes can easily be hidden or painted over. The recent paintings are unforgiving; in part because of the stark white backgrounds, and that each brushstroke cannot be erased or undone. Every brushstroke is carefully considered so as to keep balance and flow within the painting as a whole. I often practice the brushstroke I want to make many, many times in the air in front of my easel before actually letting the brush touch the paper. Happy accidents often occur, and if I make a mistake, I have to incorporate it and balance the rest of the painting around it. These works on paper have been a good challenge for me in learning to limit myself down to the bare essentials, and in knowing when to stop.

Untitled (Canyon Path), Oil on paper, 30” x 22”

Untitled (Shady Canyon), Oil on paper, 22” x 30”

Untitled (Trees and Field on a Foggy Morning), Oil on paper, 30” x 22”

Absence and Presence

My work explores the experience of my physical body searching for a sense of spiritual integration with the landscape.  Through painting I investigate the paradox of absence and presence as understood through the natural processes of growth, decomposition, and regeneration in nature.  The paintings reference memento mori, a reflection on stillness and mortality.

The human figure is my starting point and inspiration.  I cover over and envelop the figure through layers of paint until it is inseparable from its landscape. Part or all of the human body becomes obscured in the process, as only glimpses remain under the accumulated layers.

I use cake decorating tools to extrude oil paint onto my canvases, and mix sand, dirt, wax, and fibers into my paint in order to think of a two dimensional material as a sculptural medium.  I arrange conglomerates of recycled paint skins to add dimensionality to the surface of my paintings. Ornate patterns and flowers are contrasted against flat blocks of color and gestural brushstrokes. The color relationships in my work are highly specific to seasonal changes in the landscape and are often influenced by weavings and textiles.