The work in this series is about creating a conversation of contrast between forms within a theatrical space. The meaning of contrast is similar to a poem or story that is broken up into two points so that one complements, is the opposite, or is opposed to the other. It is like two different points of view or maybe even a paradox. There is a linear flow of line that often dances among the color and this enables the objects to have a voice and relate to each other. The objects are simple such as rocks, glass, string, fabrics, pieces of nature and food. Through intense observation and manipulation of line and color, I create a space with a vision that includes stillness as well as movement, calmness as well as restlessness, line contained or not contained and color that is crisp and clear or vague and transparent.
Also, I search for the poetic presence of the objects. I have looked hard at the objects and searched for the essence of its surface. The Italian still life painter Giorgio Morandi once stated, “One can travel the world and see nothing. To achieve understanding it is necessary not to see many things, but to look hard at what you do see.” Searching for the poetic presence begins during the set-up process of the still life. Arbitrarily moving the items around and balancing an item ever so gently that a breeze could collapse the structure, helps me to understand the still life. Also, unexpected change in the still life will happen, such as tiny pieces of nature falls and lands on the fabric or light fluffy seeds begin to float out of a milkweed or the fruit begins to decay. Allowing unexpected change to happen contrasts the fact that I am painting a still life.
Poetry and literature have inspired me during this creative process. I have been influenced by late nineteenth century art and literature of France and Belgium. Studying James Ensor’s free expression with color, Edouard Manet’s intellectual structuring and Amedeo Mondiglioni’s child like line, have been inspirational.