If We Witness Growth
Acrylic paintings on canvas, 2012-2019
In this group of paintings, I place the viewer in a mysterious and foggy thicket. Squinting through spindly sticks and feathery filaments one is beckoned into a treacherous yet thrilling journey. Building these worlds in paint is about gradually teasing something out of that murkiness. The sticks and fleeting fibers coil, jut, protrude and dangle as if to taunt. I use saturated color to hint at an inner vitality. I scumble and blur areas to isolate elements within a visually dense space as a way to invite the viewer to ponder the odd and intimate structures of the forest floor.
My work dwells in this internal and magical world, but it is also rooted in my outward looking stance on Eco-justice. Choosing to paint from the landscape in the 21st century cannot be separated from the reality that our landscape is in peril. Witnessing climate change in the East Bay hills near my current home in Oakland, California compels me to go beyond creating magical forests, but to lift up the urgency of preserving our real forests. My work is about enveloping one in a miniature hinterland; a brush pile so special it could prompt a life-long fantasy, so complex it could nourish a thousand creatures, and so fragile it could ignite a city on a single windy night.
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