Not Everything, Just Something
My work is concerned with the experience of living in a particular moment and how it informs the perceptions of space. Interactions in a place include not only its physical attributes, but the memories, intentions and awareness of all that came before. A blending occurs; consolidating all into one. The objective in my paintings and sculptural constructions is to build within each work an ‘environment’; a vista formed on the basis of a synergy of contrasts embedded with human perception. In my studio everything is of equal value from the typical artist materials of paints and brushes to the objects I make and my own accumulation of waste. All serve to inform the direction of a painting or the structure of a sculpture. The work in Not Everything, Just Something references nature in its current state: bold, untamed yet embedded with human interventions. These works are constructions of the imagination that include within their layers systems of patterns found in the deep recesses of the natural world. Yet, I am not a landscape painter. Instead, I am interested in environments; how they are created and for what reason. My concern lies in the spaces they occupy: the amalgamation of chaos, distinct hues and the banal beauty of the ordinary discovered when you look close and pay attention. Humans have made their impact on our natural world (whether we like it or not). Where I live, garbage washes ashore and embeds itself under tree roots and within the sand and seaweed. Constant reminders that humans have been here are integrated into the land. My work alludes to this reluctant yet habitual collaboration of human and nature. With each piece, I create a new ecosystem; one that properly acknowledges our world as it is right now. In the paintings, I begin freely, exploring the space of the canvas with paint and brush. From there a particular structure is imparted onto the canvas - one that draws its lines, curves and forms from nature’s microcosms and man made constructions. Left to my own devices, I work the canvas searching for the veracity of the work, a particular space of expansion. Always, I’m thinking of how these paintings can convey the experience of the present moment. The square format of these canvases neither suggests landscape nor portraiture. Rather I see these works as portraits of a place, a window into an uncharted environment that combines natural forces with human invention. The colors are an intuitive decision based on many hours of observing nature up close. My wall sculptures take their cues from the paintings in their shapes and hues. I merge disparate elements together whether it be geometric shapes with organic ones or found, washed-up objects with utilitarian materials. The process of making these is part chance and part intention, as I try to create a balance between the two. I began to add objects that washed up along the shore on the island where I live. These various detritus are embedded within construction materials peeking out, as they do in the natural world. In addition, I’ve been combining paintings and painted over paintings with spatial constructions to create objects that are neither painting nor sculpture. Instead, they are assembled arrangements that bring together: geometric shapes, loose brush work, found items, art supplies and construction materials. These compilations are orderly yet unexpected, and challenge me to create a whole that is stronger than its parts. The reality of nature today is one infused by the actions of humans. My work is about seeing this interchange and unknowing the way that we see it.