Monday, December 28, 2009

Bless you.

Writing, reading, teaching, sneezing. I feel like this just about sums up the last couple of weeks.
December was actually a wonderful month in many ways having to do with experiences, relationships, and forward movement. I feel so much excitement and potential for the upcoming AIB residency, new work, and a studio in the middle of being deconstructed once again, to make it an even MORE effective space for making. It has also been amazingly beautiful here in Seattle this past week, and I feel so fortunate to just "be".

These are a couple of recent images of what I have been making, along with the most current version of my artist's statement.

For now, I am in the middle of a reading marathon to prepare for upcoming seminars in Boston, and recovering (hopefully, now please) from a devastating virus. Well, ok, a cold.

The Blue Moon is on its way...

The ritual of painting is one way that I process change. What remains constant, always, is the mark. Through the mark, I give voice to change in an intuitive way while recognizing that each part of my life is relevant to, and reflected in my work. Intention for my practice forms through my life experiences, and reflection. Through the paintings, I am looking for engagement with the world through a language that communicates differently than words. My practice is a form of call and response with life. It is a conversation that stretches over time and reveals its many truths slowly and quickly. The speed of exchange is an internal, yet visible conversation.
Part of my ongoing personal search for the truth of my practice has been to strip away images that mediate my relationship to the paint. The past several years have presented me with enormous loss. Many of the relationships and places that I grounded myself in for decades, if not my entire life, have shifted. This body of work is an exercise in releasing the pictorial image that I have always relied on as my translator, and replacing it with greater attention to the materiality of the paint, and the use of formal elements to communicate the response to a shifting landscape. Through a mixture of acrylic under-paintings, oil and wax medium on paper and canvas, I am exploring single words, feelings, or ideas, and responding to the intuitive hum in the heart, as I search for the combination of formal elements that express what I want to call out. The time that I give these pieces involves layering, sanding, scraping away and re-building the surface. This very visceral connection with the materials gives voice to the complexity of my personal experience, and a materiality to what sensations my body holds surrounding these experiences, as well as the experience of making. The passage through these paintings took me from ideas of space, to ideas of form. The most recent pieces are looking at form in direct relation to how it is affected by the experience of its surrounding. Art making to process change, marks as a call and a response.

These are the works of this moment.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

And so it ends, and begins.

12" x 8"

oil on paper

So I come to the end of my first semester. A couple of really interesting things have come up for me. In my second to the last session with Helen, she noticed once more the recurrence of certain forms in my work, and brought up the idea of my making 3D forms. The creation of forms would potentially give voice to the pictorial references that are so a part of me, and perhaps give me a new way to interact with them. I imagine they would be a grounding balance to the imaginative components of the abstract work. How abstract would these forms be? It will be fun to discover. This idea immediately appeals to me and takes me back to the end of my BFA work at PAFA, where I was indeed, making all kinds of mixed media forms that directly related to my imagery. I was attaching them to paintings, hanging them in space, and mounting them on the wall. I never fully explored this direction, yet I love the physicality of making objects, and satisfy this drive now through woodblock carving and printing.
Turning to the object again makes sense to me even more after attending a gallery talk by Margie Livingston at the Greg Kucera gallery yesterday. Margie is a painter, but uses objects that she makes as references for her paintings, and as a dialogue between painting and object. Margie's approach really spoke to me as it comes from a place of communication, wonderful abstraction and color, and moves beyond simply creating still life forms to paint from. While I was running today, I thought a great deal about what I saw in Margie's work, what I would like to try, and how to get started. I am excited to get to it!

Margie Livingston
"Big Yellow"
Oil on Linen
90" x 66"

Helen also asked me to move away from the small studies and begin a 6' x 6' painting. Wheee! I have it primed and ready to go. I can feel it's presence as I stand infront of it, and I so love that. I am very excited about this upcoming semester, and so greatful for the experiences and insights of these past six months.