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Using nature as a metaphor, I paint about the human condition and social tolerance. Movement is important in my work. I combine oil and acrylic paints and glazes with wax and gold leaf, splashing them onto wood panels. Influenced by Jasper Johns, I let textural brushstrokes and drips show, as evidence of the artist having been there. Fluid washes of paint refer to the idea of wind, movement all around us, and the transient nature of each moment. As I’m also influenced by Mark Rothko’s Color Field painting, I allow calm areas for contemplation to join the active washes.
I don’t paint the olive tree, I paint about the olive tree.
When someone tells you a story about their grandpa, you don’t see their grandpa, you haven’t met him, but you feel like you know him, or you know why you want to meet him. My paintings don’t show you a tree. They describe how the tree is affected by the wind, and how its roots shift the soil… they try to show you why you want to meet the tree.
Some of my paintings embrace a stillness within the greater motion, while others celebrate bold undulating rhythms pulsing through a scene, connecting us to awareness of currents in our lives. Some of these paintings contain symbols to suggest content, while others let the patterns and textures become the glyph.
I’m not bound by traditional perspective methods born from the Renaissance. I relate to Eastern landsape painting that brings the distance forward stacking or flattening it into the same plane with the host. What I bring into the forefront are planes of existence that can’t be seen: movements in air patterns, cross sections of erosion under the earth, goals and aspirations visualized in our dreams. The barrier between these realms of what is above and below the surface is often clearly marked with a gold line. The ways the imagery interacts with the barrier remarks on breaking through barriers in life. So my work points out duality, and suggests we look deeper into our surroundings.
Art Talk presentation studying patterns in Italy.
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