Signpost Series

During Spring 2017 I attended the Lake Residency offered through the Morris Graves Foundation. There is only one artist residing there at a time and you’re given the opportunity to work in the studio of Morris Graves in a beautiful natural setting. After relinquishing all of my electronic gadgets I found myself with a daily routine of pure solitude, immersion in the life cycles of the setting, ample work space, and time to be and think deeply.

The biggest reward of this experience has been reaching a new level of inner peace with a deeper dimension that I infused into my drawings and paintings. My work has always had a spiritual undertone that, when successful, touches on the universal, but it was toward the end of my stay that I began to truly embrace, rather than avoid, the existence of this much deeper quiet voice in my work. 

Back in my studio I have remained open to noticing this quieter voice beneath the surface and it has become a welcome guide rather than something to shy away from. Indications of new possibilities, subliminal information that is preverbal, and the ineffable surface when I stay with the work long enough. This deeper acceptance of what is embodied in my work is much like finding a signpost with information and possible directions, granting more integration to my exploration of what is eternal.

 

Codicil

These paintings take shape in a meditative, intuitive way. I have come to consider this series to be, in part, an antidote to the ever-increasing speed imposed upon us in almost every aspect of our lives.

The Information Age has a firm grip on many of the world's cultures, spin doctors and advertising abound, newly created products are rendered obsolete within minutes of their release to the public, and new formats for handling and transmitting information are evolving at an ever-increasing rate of speed. This human-induced race incites a sense that we only have so much time left, while simultaneously teasing us into thinking we will understand everything throughout the universe in the foreseeable future.

In spite of this fast-paced affectation being thrust into our lives, the act of slowing down takes a strong footing in this body of work. Geometric, code-like compositions are my way into a preverbal investigation that often brings about a fairly balanced use of color, drawing, and painting. I also tend to exercise a certain hybridity of picture making. For exampIe, references to aerial views of the remains of indigenous architecture continue to appear here and there.

During my most productive periods in the studio, time is oceanic. I never know what I am going to work on next, especially from one day to the next. This approach has been integral in following my ongoing fascination with the enduring qualities of what remains mysterious and timeless.

 

Keeping Track

Horizontal lines showing up in one painting/drawing after another signaled a shift from the previous body of work. Along with a focus inspired by aerial photographs of indigenous architecture, my work now includes viewing space and imagery in cross sections. Often both ways of viewing occur in the same painting.

Viewing a horizontal marking of space evokes various subliminal impressions such as the horizon, a meeting place, the meeting of earth and sky, an edge or boundary, limitations in general, the potential promise of what is yet to come or perhaps what is possible. I combine this broad range of impressions with my strong interest in the nuances and shifts in the ongoing exchange between boundaries/shedding boundaries. I continue to seek out ways of using visual space to acknowledge timelessness within the marking of time.

While painting, I combine mixed media with an emphasis on acrylics, often incorporating drawing and collage into my overall composition. Since I am most at home working in a highly intuitive state, I tend to work on ten or more works at a time, moving from one to the next. It is fairly common for the paintings to take anywhere from several months to two years before reaching completion. Most of the time I work on canvas, panel, and sturdy paper since an ongoing process of layering and scraping frequently occurs. It is a surprising process, one of which I am compelled to keep track.