Shifting. Changing. Expanding.
These are the words that have been driving my art practice this year.
In the studio, my work has led me to photography instead of painting – and I’m following a strong internal call to delve into themes that I care about deeply.
We are experiencing such a challenging time in our culture. I care about our environment, connectedness to each other, and well-being as a society.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the current intensity of life & how in our rapid pace we are missing moments. High value moments, opportunities for authentic connection – the things that feed us on a soul level.
In our busyness, I’m concerned we may become careless with the things we don’t notice or think about.
As an artist, I feel a personal responsibility to create work that gives people a place to slow down, visually explore, reflect, breathe, reconnect – and cultivates an opportunity to think & wonder.
I believe art can bring equilibrium to the chaos.
There are beautiful things all around us just waiting to be noticed. And opportunities to take back our moments one at a time.
My work is rooted in the way I observe, feel, & emotionally connect with the natural environment, places, and objects.
I look deeply at the things around me and tend to notice elements such as contours, irregular shapes, visual rhythms, shadows, patterns or the way things move and interact. Tiny and often overlooked details are what spark my creative process and momentum to create.
I typically end up painting the things that take my breath away or make such an imprint in my mind I can’t stop thinking about them.
My process is one that combines painting and drawing. I work by observation and intuition with a formal and loose construction based approach to layering and arranging compositional space. A painting is resolved when I feel a sense of balance and am satisfied that it has told a completed visual story.
[My daily landscape feeds my imagination & my work.]
As I go about my day, I am always actively looking and tend to notice things like colors and patterns or the way things move and connect.
Living so close to the natural landscape with trees swaying, birds fluttering by, and ever-changing flowers and foliage provides a non-stop place to gather visual ideas.
[How I see influences my work.]
I tend to observe things initially in terms of their bigness – the macro view. Like how infinite the sky looks, and the way an expanse of meadow seems endless, or that the sun covers everything with a golden glow – the overall feel.
But then I switch gears and begin noticing the smallest details and certain elements strike me. I love how the tree branches criss-cross at an exact point, and the never-repeated texture of the rocks and pebbles that I find, or the gracefulness of a tiny petal that just floated to the ground.
Those pared down impressions stick in my mind and are the biggest influences that I bring back into the studio with me.
[I have been collecting color snapshots in my head for a lifetime.]
I remember places and experiences in terms of color.
My strongest color influence comes from childhood summers spent on the beach in Connecticut. The coastal colors that blend sand + sunshine + watery hues are embedded in my memory and are a reoccurring palette and theme throughout my work.
Other color references intersect and get mixed into my work. Tonal colors from life in the city, saturated + man-made combinations in technology and textile design, harmonious pairings found in nature, + inspirations from travel provide an encyclopedia of colors to draw from.
Painting is an intuitive exercise for me and I never pre-plan or do preliminary designs before starting a canvas.
I paint formally and loosely at the same time.
The formal elements of line, shape, form, space, and color are the foundational elements of my work.
Each painting is built upon some sort of structure such as drawn lines, brushstrokes, a wash of color – some kind of mark. By observation, I continue to construct and arrange space with layers of paint until it feels complex enough to be finished.
Even though I work from a formal structure, observing the direction the painting is evolving and allowing the personality of each piece to unfold naturally is important to me. I try to let the heart of every painting show through the process.
I use my iphone as a sketchbook and visual journal where I compose mini-compositions or capture colors + textures.
I think of using technology as a way to do “quick-sketches” of the world around me. It satisfies my endless curiosity + love of looking and allows me to document how I see the wonder in every day.