Painting abstracts satisfies a personal need for play, exploration, and physical expression. It’s the perfect format for me to get my head out of thinking and planning, just focusing on the process, letting the painting speak for itself. No rules, no preconceptions, just possibilities. I am free to discover with simple combinations of color and line, shapes, edges.
When I am at the canvas, my inner creative takes the helm. I begin with a loose idea. I may choose to explore a particular color relationship, or a certain type of line with specific shapes, or the contrast of soft edges with hard edges. Then each piece develops as a conversation within itself.
Abstract is not a mindless endeavor, however, it takes effort to stay present to this dialog. It can be a tricky business in that every time I lay down a line or shape, the painting reveals something new to respond to, a new set of challenges. It requires trust in my own intuitive responses, and a willingness to not-know, to not have the route laid out like a road map. And patience.
I find the back-and-forth play between spontaneous intuitive mark-making and careful deliberate intention thrilling. Every ‘success’ informs my next painting in some way shape or form.
As for meaning, I leave my paintings – these authentic, personal extensions of my being – open to interpretation by the viewer.
I am in love with the idea of painting huge abstract florals from real bouquets. Imagine all sorts of luscious flowers taking their turn in a vintage pitcher set on a tall antique table near my canvas and paints. Picture them bathed in sunlight coming through my studio window panes, casting shadows that reach out toward my palette. Willing me to bring them to life on my canvas.
Each of my acrylic floral paintings are a step toward that dream as I allow myself to be inspired by their essence, rather than dictated by their unique qualities. I hear oils calling to me and very large canvases.
Couch Culture 14: Ray
Couch Culture Series
In this series of paintings, I explore individuals and relationships at rest, a phenomenon I call ‘Couch Culture’. One day I happened to notice an unexpected occurrence: years of a sibling rivalry between my two boys were forgotten in a moment of mindless down-time on our couch. Their teen limbs were casually sprawled, overlapping each other, and yet they were obviously in separate worlds of thought. This quiet moment originally beckoned me to explore ways I can reveal underlying qualities of individuals and relationships through physical proximity, body language, gaze, and expression.
As the series evolves, I offer glimpses of my subjects’ personalities and lifestyles by including pets, meaningful personal objects and/or highlighting surroundings. I continue to push beyond inherent boundaries by adding non-traditional methods alongside more realistic touches, striving for a balance between the two. Choices like adding evocative text, oil washes and dripping, economy of line, suggested form, color blocking and juxtaposition of setting, invite originality of composition and and an intriguing narrative.