Saturday, April 16, 2011

"The Family of Things"

I'm working on some new pieces for the upcoming Vermont Children's Trust Foundation's Art of Giving fundraiser on May 14th. I decided to create new work for the event, based on poems by Mary Oliver. This first piece is inspired by the poem "Wild Geese" , and by an early morning walk along the icy shores of Lake Champlain.

"The Family of Things"

My studio is located a few hundred yards from Lake Champlain. I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to take in the beauty of this amazing place before I start my day of painting. This day was bright blue from shore to sky, and the water was lush and full with melted mountain snow, inspiring me to use these colors in my painting.

At first, when I decided to work from poetry as an inspiration, I envisioned the new painting being more floral, light, and nature-based. However, as I read this poem and really absorbed it, I was inspired to work in layers of abstract shapes and bright spring colors. "Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine" speaks to how we naturally hide some of our emotions, and often don't feel that they're justified. By creating layers of images that flow and jump, are then covered by blue and white paint, but yet still show their texture, I communicate how, despite our attempts to hide our feelings, they often still show themselves. And sometimes, if we let them appear and accept their presence, they actually color our personalities in a lovely way and expose the beauty of what makes us who we are.

"the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese,
harsh and exciting--over and over announcing your place
in the family of things."

Detail, "The Family of Things"

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year

"Pie" Acrylic on Canvas, 30x40

Detail, "Me." Acrylic on Birch.

New year, new work. I'm working on bigger canvases, and am focusing on simplifying some of my pieces, although in some ways that's almost impossible for me. I'm thinking more about memories when I paint, and how they are shaped, and what they would look like if we could see them. Working in layers provides me with the opportunity to communicate the experiences we have when simple thoughts or words enter our minds. The word "Me" immediately sets off a firestorm of images, feelings, colors, shapes and sounds. Who are you? Who am I ? What comes to mind, and how can I capture all of those memories and retrieved "files" that fly into thought when one word is uttered.

Me, Acrylic on Birch.