My paintings are composed of flows and aggregates of watercolor, pigment, salts, and sediments, often laid over cartographic skeletons. They embody an effort to identify and map the emotional and poetic qualities of place through the action of paint. I’m particularly interested in erosion, evaporation, decay, and other manifestations of transience, permanence, and change in the visible surface of the earth and, in a parallel way, in the action of paint.
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 our deserts and the cultural dynamics–such as romanticization or open disrespect–of our interaction with them.
I refer closely to maps–both intuitive maps made while walking and actual printed or digital maps–and satellite photos. The reduction of three-dimensional experience to two dimensions using coded signifiers enables us to visualize places we may never visit, to tease up our senses so we imagine running our hands over landforms. The deepest part of me is engaged and mesmerized by the miraculous ability of painting to afford this sensation.
“The physical act of painting is itself mysterious, profoundly disorienting,” said Darren Waterston. Painting is a sequential process of unfolding revelations and recognition. I’m forever amazed by the physical ability of sediment suspended in water to describe transformative emotions and experiences employing the same elemental forces that sculpt land.