Topographies, texture and earth seen from above are the themes I return to often in my artistic life. There is also a micro-macro aspect to these surfaces: we may be viewing the work through a microscope or a telescope. "Distopolis" refers to a future post-human earth.
The focus of these works is materiality, texture, process and experimentation. What is important is the physicality of the work without reference to imaginary space. I disengage my will to a certain extent in order to allow the painting to manifest in a natural organic way, as if of its own accord. The evidence of the “artist’s hand” in brushwork is mostly foregone in favor of the use of stencils to create texture. The primacy of the texture pushes the paintings into the same tactile space we inhabit. This series is also about landscape seen from above or very close up.
Many of these fiber works use little to no paint, focusing on the raw and sometimes damaged materials. I use mostly scraps of fabric that have a history of use by other people and there is sometimes damage from wear or stains that I embrace. Other types of materials are used that suggest fur, bark or vegetation. As well, I make note of the ubiquitous man-made materials that cover our planet, for instance plastic or metal.
The work is based on a fragment of an idea and then developed intuitively during the process. This work is autobiographical in that I try to express the feeling I have of the time and place I grew up in. Things being reused and repurposed as well as things being jerry-rigged were typical on a small mid-century farm. My focus here includes hanging "tapestries" as well as some small works on unstretched canvas and linen or paper. I draw inspiration from Japanese Boro - patchwork on bedding and clothing that was necessary to the poor but nevertheless intriguing and beautiful and the anonymous ephemeral Chinese fabric collages called "Ge Ba" made by peasants. These practices speak to my rural origins and artistic sensibility.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
My exploration with mixed media is driven by a need to create works without illusory space, and is focused on materiality, texture, process and experimentation. Some of my materials are vintage fabric scraps, saved or found "trash", burlap, plastic, foam, paper, twine and twigs. My materials and formal choices are intuitive and very much dependent on the process as it develops in their creation. I apply chance processes in my work, preferring to not dictate the shapes of collage materials myself, but to use things as I find them for the most part. My work is often layered, stuffed, quilted or wrapped with left over canvas and other fabric scraps allowing some results to exist in between classically defined categories of sculpture and painting.
My oil paintings employ an additive and subtractive painting technique that create layered “maps,” which can be read across the uppermost surface or down through the painting’s layers, often seen through the wiped off parts of each layer for the pathways. I like to think of these layers as the co-mingling of the past and the present in our experience of life. The subtractive wiped areas and the transparent areas, which simultaneously reveal and conceal previous layers, expose the past. The solid and transparent areas and lines which block previous layers and assert the most recent activity are the present. This is the way we live our lives - with past experiences enriching the present and the present experiences reinterpreting the past.
My body of work, Terradaptions is based on the graphic qualities of aerial photos of earth. Derived from satellite views of mostly urban and industrial areas, these images were computer manipulated as sketches to work from and then further cultivated with paint on canvas. Employing transparent layers, blurring and invented occurrences, Terradaptions create dreamlike geographies. The finished paintings can be interpreted on a metaphorical level --as a snapshot revealing an area's psychological or oneiric state at a particular moment.