My abstract paintings are composed of flows and aggregates of watercolor, pigment, salts, and sediments laid over cartographic skeletons, ranging in dimension from 15” to 72”. They embody an effort to identify and map the emotional and poetic qualities of place. I’m particularly interested in processes such as erosion, evaporation, and decay, and other manifestations of transience, permanence, and change, in the visible surface of the earth.
My practice is driven by what Belden Lane, in The Solace of Fierce Landscapes, calls “acute, personal longing for fierce terrain”. Raised in Colorado in a family of geologists and artists whose ancestors took part in the settling and mapping of the West, I have deep affinity for deserts, their natural systems, and the dynamics of our cultural interaction with them.
Walking in the desert is a vital part of my practice. The experience of a flat horizon is very important to me. Transformative experiences inhabit the space between the “rock-solid” materiality of earth and the elusive variability of atmosphere.
Maps have the power to describe and clarify locale. They translate expanse into manageable size; fulfilling a childhood fantasy of being able to run my hands over landforms is key to my practice. The deepest part of me is engaged and mesmerized by the miraculous ability of watercolor to afford this sensation.
“The physical act of painting is itself mysterious, profoundly disorienting,” said Darren Waterston. Like walking, painting is a sequential process of unfolding revelations and recognition. I’m amazed by the physical ability of sediment suspended in water to describe transformative experiences employing the same elemental forces that sculpt land.
"The landscape has snapped us like fresh-laundered sheets." — Barry Lopez