Showing Love to the Uncelebrated Landscape

As The Soil Reveals The Product of its Winter Secrecy, acrylic on panel, 16.5”24” 2011

I recently responded to an artist’s call for a realist exhibition at Art Zone 461 Gallery in San Francisco.  When looking through my work through the past three years I became increasingly aware that I have two bodies of work happening in my studio.  My cut paper pieces are internal abstract worlds. The remainder of my paintings and drawings build on my love of the landscape and cityscape.  While I’m still not sure if they can be called completely “realist” they are at least based on an existing location.  In this group of works, I seek to prove to myself and to my viewer that fascinating and beautiful moments on earth occur everywhere.  Looking back at these works has inspired me to narrow my search for beautiful moments just to my block.  Even on my walk to the grocery store from my house, I’m constantly thrilled by the evidence of natural glory sprouting from in between our structures.  In this artist statement below, I examine why these landscape moments fascinate me.  To view the works discussed in this blog entry check out:

Colored Pencil Drawings 2009 and Acrylic Paintings 2011

This group of paintings and drawings celebrate the undulation and texture in uncelebrated views of the Bay Area landscape.  Cropped in a way to bring symbolic placement to the discarded, decrepit and washed up, I visually invest myself in rendering the surfaces that surround my Oakland home. In my role as a viewer, I observe the color changes in stagnant puddles, the eerie light that seeps through a tattered tarp and the moist gifts the ocean deposits on the beach in the hopes of capturing the mysterious conversations that quietly adorn my surroundings.

Closely bound to my fascination with the disintegrating and stagnant is a love for portraying vibrant natural growth.  For each work that includes stagnation and dissolution, I’ve included vibrant natural regrowth.  Inspired by scenes I encounter on rides to work, walks through the woods and adventures on the beach, my subject matter in these works is distilled to naturally occurring interactions of subjects placed in dialogue with each other through their placement in the composition. In several of these works the subject is portrayed larger than life to emphasize the unique texture of each surface, and to give the viewer the sense that they are kneeling down and examining something that could easily go unnoticed.