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Winter Garden.jpg

Winter Garden, watercolor on layered synthetic paper (Yupo), 41 x 55″

I have no end product in mind when I begin a painting.  First I pin up one or two painted sheets of transparent color and notice how they look together.  Then I continue to add or subtract sheets, shift placements, notice rhythms, and search for a certain feeling of flow and harmony across the composition.  I’m exploring the pictorial space, rather than aiming at a pre-determined or pre-visulaized outcome.  This process allows spontaneity and accident to occur at any and all stages of art-making.

People have asked if I listen to music while I’m working.  No, I don’t, because in a sense I’m listening to the painting and it sort of talks to me; “I’m too heavy on the right,” “Try some yellow,” or “Make me wider.”  Listening to music is reserved for when the composition is set and I’m sewing the Yupo sheets onto a mat board, a rather brainless activity.

A consistent series of paintings results from methods and principles that remain the same; it’s a pathway.  Sometimes it is a one-color path.  Attention to intuition and impulse guides me.  Right now I’m on a slow journey through a rosy-colored garden.  This garden opened its gate to me when I began to consciously heal some physical health issues in 2017.  Within it, joy, warmth, growth and change are nurtured and supported.  It’s a refuge from the chaos of politics, toxic relationships and any kind of worry – a place to just quietly be.  My hope is that you, the viewer, will also find solace and renewal in these spaces.

 

Aunt Bessie's Garden #2_41 x 51

EnterAunt Bessie’s Garden #2  41 x 51″  watercolor on Yupo

As you can see, I’m continuing to work with the warm end of the color spectrum.  What a joyful experience!  While playing with this particular color combination, magenta haloed by yellow, old memories of my great-aunt Bessie keep coming to mind.  Bessie and her sister Clara lived in a third floor tenement apartment.   Perhaps these colors reminded  me of wallpaper there, or perhaps something else that time has erased from my conscious mind.  Certainly, these old aunts had no garden, so I have painted one for them.

Looking at my own work, I see gentleness, modesty, serenity and balance, my values made into paintings.   Sometimes I think of myself as a reincarnated Chinese gentleman-scholar, brush-painting landscapes.  Imagine an old Chinese painter who has seen the work of Morris Louis, Agnes Martin and Pat Steir, and this scholar in her flowing robes is a woman.

 

 

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