Growing up, I had a skylight above my bed. The light that poured through, always a different temperature and hue depending on the ever-changing New England seasons, is at the root of my paintings. Through pelting rain, dampened by snow, or seeping through fallen leaves, the light flooded through that framed slice of sky and instilled in me an understanding of nature as a fluidity, movement, and light.
That understanding of nature drew me to other dynamic natural phenomena -- namely, water and fire. All my life, I’ve spent a lot of time at the ocean. It is the vast unknown, the life force, and I am drawn to its currents, its movement, and of course, its light. My most recent series, “Liquid and Luminosity,” I worked in a mixture of oil and acrylic to capture that light. I wanted to create the sensation of seeing the water from below the surface, looking up, and seeing the blurry surface in constant motion while shafts of light cut through, completely still. When I finished, the series contained everything I felt about water and the ocean.
I have a background in illustration, and though these works are abstract, they tell the story. In them, light is the heroine and it follows a dramatic character arc, facing obstacles that transform it along the way. For me, the abstraction in these works is rooted in a process of paring down the beauty of nature to minimal complexity. It is an intimate process of condensing, eliminating and illuminating that is both a creative and intellectual process. My work relies on my strong foundation in drawing and painting, the power of my brushstroke and the peace residing within me while I paint.
When painting, I initially transport shapes to an abstraction. Then, working in layers, incorporating the honesty/purity of color, I build up, rework, and may even reorganize the forms. The rhythm of my brush communicates the landscape’s liveliness and freedom. Sometimes, to further satisfy my aesthetic, I decide to turn the painting in a different direction. My goal is to share a particular visual and emotional moment; to excite the attention of the viewer; to maintain the (delicate) relationship between human and nature.
The series I am working on currently is pushing this aesthetic interest in nature towards an environmental impetus. These new works are inspired by the colors and energy of several emotional images of wildfires in Australia and the American west. These works expand upon my interest in light and abstracted nature to dig deeper into the emotion of facing the detrimental human impact on the environment. At the same time, I am working on a complimentary series of images that revolve around the concept of Kintsugi, the ancient Japanese artform of mending cracked ceramics with liquid gold, as I feel the world needs to heal.
Together these concurrent bodies of work that are still in development present a dire balance between reckoning and facing the realities of the current climate disaster while offering a conceptual mindset through which we, as a species, can approach a hopeless situation with an eye for the beauty in the breakage, and the silver linings, and a capacity to lean towards mending and rebuilding over apathy and despair.