I have always considered painting a discrete language, not of words but of perception, feelings and beliefs. My abstract paintings are visual metaphors for the internal aspects of my life. These images present unique qualities of the artist just as handwriting does. However, the nuances of meaning are more open to interpretation in a painting. Like music, some pieces resonate more than others with the viewer. Subtle gestures, mark-making and colour shifts may reflect the personal sensibilities of the viewer if they allow this interaction. Just as a language can be acquired, so too, can the ability to perceive the mood, or subtext, of an abstract painting.
As a visual artist I believe a successful painting should engage the viewer on many levels. Visually of course, but also in a tactile sense which evokes a memory, something familiar or a range of emotions. The viewer is challenged to react viscerally not just intellectually. I would describe my work as Lyrical Abstract Expressionist as I seek to express a variety of concepts which are difficult to put into words. I would like the viewer to bring a personal interpretation to the work and decide what it means to them.
Artist Statement respecting the May 2014 Exhibit: “Transition… Visceral Landscape and Beyond”
The intent of these abstract paintings, begun January of 2014, is to explore the idea of abstraction as an expression of emotion, underlying thought and beliefs. These images are metaphors for my internal struggles with life, death and pursuing self-realization as an artist. In essence, I am finding my voice.
In the process of creating these paintings I have grappled with the notion of colour, line, texture and form being a language that can be learned and adapted to understand internal aspects of my life. The imagery is broad enough that I hope the viewer can bring their own personal interpretation to what they are looking at. As with my earlier landscape paintings I want the viewer to respond to the colour, texture and movement in these works.
By changing materials and working on small canvasses, I began experimenting without judgment or expectations. I added different types of grounds, glazes and mediums to my acrylic paints. I used different objects to draw into the paint and create a new texture. I deliberately suspended conscious thought about where I was going and what I was painting. I spent hours playing with photographs of nature and landscape I had taken, editing them to the point where they became entirely abstract. Adding, subtracting, changing the surface and imagery is integral to the process.
The term Visceral Landscape requires an explanation. Landscape, in this context, means physical environment – in nature, in a figure, in the imagination. Visceral, because these paintings are from the heart, the gut, the mind and deliberately unselfconscious in their creation.