Everyone’s experience over the past two years has been deeply personal and has changed us in ways we might never have expected. The pandemic has shone a brighter light on stark differences in our country. For some, location and access have played a large role in how they have moved through this time. In the first year of the pandemic, I was fortunate enough to walk along Oregon’s Sunset Beach daily and every day I thought about those locked down in areas where they were unable to access these wild spaces to get them through and heal themselves a little each day. I created these paintings with them in mind.
This body of work is about the healing, excitement, and feeling of possibility we can experience when we are able to physically transport ourselves to locations of intense natural beauty that we don’t necessarily see every day. The varied and dramatic landscape of the western states has brought these elements into my life, and I created these works to share that with you.
My paintings are created without the use of brushes. Instead, I paint with squeegees, brayers and by applying paint to papers which is then transferred onto the panel. With a mixture of oils and cold wax I use paint in an extensive layering process to create a history on the panel. Throughout this process I focus on the use of color, texture and line. These elements portray depth through subtle shifts in transparency and shape. The varied layers aid in expressing a particular emotional limbo and the passage of time. I often scrape back into the many layers of wax and paint to reveal intricate details of color and the history of creating the work.
In this series, I chose to handle the paint differently. You will find areas of strong color and texture contrast where the paint (and wax) is built up in a more spontaneous manner. These areas hold less blending and more intensity to emulate that ‘moment’. The moment that you come out of the trees and see the ridge for the first time, or the moment that you round that bend, and this incredible wall of granite rises before you.
The color choices for this collection were made not to reflect the physical landscape, (although in some cases they do), but to express that flash, that instantaneous reaction our emotional senses create when experiencing these magical places for the first time.
I believe abstract work to be incredibly inclusive in this divisive time and I hope that everyone can feel connected to the sense of history, exploration, and depth in my work. I encourage the viewer to consider an abstract way of thinking about time, space and emotion. It’s through the abstracting of thoughts and feelings that I hope to make the personal more universal.