Acrylic, Japanese paper, gold leaf on canvas (2020)
Size: w 28 x h 40 x d 1.75 inches
This piece is also known as Sea Change (Fall Rich and Strange) — June 2020 for the full image. That title still holds, but when I looked at the painting this morning the words came to me. The new title is dark, but perhaps letting out the dark allows the light to come in.
Acrylic and graphite on paper mounted on cradled birch panel (2020)
Size: w 13″ x h 18″ x d 1.5″
Last night I was thinking about the poet Louise Bogan (subject of my PhD thesis a while back). She and her husband renovated an old farmhouse in New York state in 1929. She loved that house. A year and a half later they were driving home from visiting his mother and could see over the horizon that their house was burning. She lost all her manuscripts.
The painting above is about the sun setting. The poem below is about climate change — not about Bogan’s experience — but the image in my head of her house burning, seen through her eyes, was the spark for it.
Acrylic, pastel, ink, Japanese paper on canvas (work in progress, 2022)
Size: w 30″ x h 15″ x d 1.5″
This painting began as a simple study of white clouds across a blue sky, with of course my two Nereid friends present leaping from one to the next. I decided it needed more colour, texture and complexity. The above detail is roughly 6″ x 4″, so I have a bit yet to do.
Acrylic, graphite, water soluble crayon on paper mounted on birch panel (2019/2021)
Size: w 11.5″ x h 18.5″ x d 0.5″
This piece and three others will be in a group show at the Window Gallery in Kingston for the month of March. In person viewing will be possible; a virtual exhibit is also planned. http://www.windowartgallerykingston.com/
Hippocampus: part of the brain associated with memory, thought to resemble a seahorse.
The starting point for this painting was an image of the hippocampus obtained by means of antibody staining by Thomas Deerinck and Mark Ellisman (2004), reproduced in Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century. My sea dragon (barely discernible, certainly not recognizable, in any case upside down) inhabits an underwater garden of memory, dream and desire.
I begin a painting with an idea and an image, sailing into the unknown, unrestricted in subject or intention. I know where I start and will come to know where I end; between are clusters of small course corrections, at times dramatic changes of direction. The voyage is driven by instinct, the trajectory charted in retrospect; understanding comes afterward. Begun as a figure study, On the Beach ends as the experience of loss and death on a golden day under a sapphire sky. The figure is burnt, branded and radioactively radiant, yet she looks up with hope, listening and waiting.