Thursday, June 12, 2014

Making a "Positive" Statement

"Billowing Up", acrylic on canvas, 9" x 12"

I created these paintings to apply for membership into the McGuffey Center for the Arts, as happy as I have ever been with a series and for the first time no plans for when or where they might be shown.

"At the Foot", acrylic on canvas, 24" x 12"
"Mountain Drive", acrylic on canvas, 12" x 16"
"Interwoven", acrylic on canvas, 40" x 30"
"In the Valley", acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24"

My Statement

In a different context, I heard the phrase “positively filling negative spaces” and to me this represented my art in several ways. My process begins by quickly sketching in nature: seeing and experiencing my surroundings more than transcribing details. While being in nature I feel a love for it’s ever changing cycles and inspired by all of the beautiful visual variation. This experience positively fills my mind, crowding out negative thoughts.

Then I take these sketches back to the studio where a dialogue begins. I rework the sketches until the composition speaks to me telling me it’s main idea.  What is this view of nature showing?  Usually a verb is brought to mind such as growing, multiplying, expanding or comforting. Nature is always moving forward changing, evolving and making an active or positive mark.

Then the process of painting begins by choosing colors intuitively. I like using minimal black and white sketches as a reference because then during the painting process I am free to play with colors and add details. I love the results of the painting stages: seeing the layers and evidence of what came before and is partially covered. I enjoy the contrast of thick paint against thin washes and detail marks against areas of color. I imagine the air space in the painting being filled as if by soap bubbles, no real negative space. All filled positively.