This body of work is a glimpse into the stages of my creative process in which I excavate form through abstract painting. These encaustic works express my joy, awe, and faith in the journey. It is related to expansion and contraction, fullness and release and is like the experience of breathing, the rhythm of becoming full and then emptying out. I witness myself carving out to the edge of nothingness and then returning to lush density.
In Motion expressed an existential philosophical perspective. Painting decisions are immediate, accepted intuitively and then realized. Decision-making is layered and the history can be witnessed by “seeing into” the painting. In some of the works lines of removal make pencil like traces, forming a history of previous layers and clues about the process. Light pigment staining in some portions reinforces the linear quality and documents previous denser layers of color. Past incarnations of the painting are present as hints of what was.
Expressive line is a key component in this work. Motion inherent in carved line is an expression of discovery in the moment. In the large images I create line by scraping off sections of hot paint, thus lightening, reorganizing and reinvisioning the work. This line of removal is much like erasures in my charcoal drawings, with which I carve out forms in sculptural fashion. Passages are ghost like, ethereal, sometimes lyrical or aggressive. I work intuitively, trust my unconscious, and consider myself a surrealist by nature.
The linear elements originate in automatic writing, which I have practiced for more that a decade. The smaller companion pieces are created from material formed while removing paint during the scraping process. Initially I understood them as an expression of stillness and fullness and now I also see them as abstracted figures in a flurry of motion. The paintings refer to movement in the natural world and are inspired by water, airflow, cosmic settings and fluidity itself. This gestural painting is rooted in abstract expressionist and is influenced by Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler and Jackson Pollack. Movement as spiritual practice was partially inspired by Rudolph Steiner’s Eurhythmics and Joseph Beuys, a great teacher for revealing personal truth by direct and honest means.
Visually encaustic has unique and subtle qualities. Color is vivid, luminescent or opaque, and can be highly saturated or transparent. It appears ephemeral, but is highly durable and archival. I find working with encaustic exciting and well suited to my artistic goals and temperament. Since I work out of doors, many external elements affect my work, like the angle of the sun, temperature of the day, and nature of the breeze. I welcome challenges and variation caused by the natural setting.