I was a little bit too excited recently when I received a set of 100(!) gel pens as a gift. These pens brought me right back to my childhood impulses of first: making a small mark with every single pen to see the colors, second: arranging the pens in their holder into rainbow color order, and third: making instinctual, scribbly drawings with them. I was thrilled when I realized that about 1/3 of them had shimmery ink and another 1/3 of them had sparkly ink! After a lot of playing around I made a series of drawings, with the goal of using as many different colors as possible while still making beautiful, cohesive drawings. These drawings are currently available in my shop.
I just finished up a commission to be displayed on the wall of a Florida condo. The finished work is a diptych, two canvases each measuring 30×30 inches. The stipulations for this work were that it use tropical, Florida-inspired colors, as well as that it take inspiration from the colors of a recently upholstered couch in the condo.
I wanted to use the colors in a way that gave the work a sense of narrative. The fact that it’s a diptych already makes the eye move in a narrative way, from one canvas to the next. I wanted to give a sense of time shifting from day to night. In the left-hand panel are daytime colors, which are interspersed with evening colors toward the bottom right-hand corner. There are some dark blue-greens in there as well, that might evoke a passing rain shower. Then, the right-hand panel has evening colors that change from the bright reds and oranges of a sunset to dark, dusky purple on the far right-hand side.
The circles are acrylic on canvas. They are sewn with thread onto the background canvas. They move across the canvases in a way that evokes the movement of the ocean, as if a wave is moving across the two canvases.
I like to use circle shapes as a way to focus the viewer’s attention. There is something about a circle that frames things in a way that can be very pleasing to the eye – I’ve always found circular windows on houses to be particularly beautiful. I found that the circles in this work evoked a sense of focusing on one aspect of a landscape at a time. The circles move across the canvas in a way that mimics the way our eyes work, in that they don’t travel smoothly as we look around, but rather, they hop from one point of focus to the next. The circles are also reminiscent of the way our eyes can be focused on one thing, and then when we shift our focus to another thing, everything around us has changed. This can happen when we ourselves our moving (walking, driving) or when the landscape itself is changing (the sun is setting, or clouds are rolling in). Our vision hops around to different parts of the landscape, and we take all these points of focus in to create our own sense of the experience.
I really enjoy the challenge of creating a piece of artwork for a specific space. If you are interested in commissioning a painting from me, there is more information about the process on my commissions page.
“[…] freedom – a state of being in which man’s relatedness to life is unobstructed […] Man has many hungers. But they all seem to me to be versions of a twofold one: hunger for freedom, and hunger for union, a dance of each individuality with the world.” -Mary Caroline Richards, Centering
I had four pieces in a group show put together in honor of the National Parks’ Centennial this year. For the show, the artists were asked to write a brief narrative about each piece. I never thought I was much of a writer, though I did enjoy creative writing in elementary school. Since then, though, I’ve felt that self expression through writing wasn’t for me. But for this show, I decided to try to get a little evocative and write in an impressionistic way, which I felt fit with the impressionistic quality of my paintings.
Below are the works I contributed, along with the bit of writing I included.
The mighty Atlantic crashing against a granite shoreline. An exhilarating hike on a perfect day up a mountain with a panoramic view of the ocean, and wild blueberries to snack on.
A hike through unfamiliar terrain leads unexpectedly to a hole in the rock. We climb up to catch a glimpse of the incredible vista.
Camping amidst towering pines in summer, when the sun sets late and the smell of campfires is in the air, with looming mountains surrounding us. The forest in the evening is peaceful, comforting, serene.
The sun is setting behind distant peaks and the Milky Way is already visible. The bison have crossed the plain and are settling in for the night. A little star gazing, then it’s time for us to settle in, too.