“My art practice is performative. I believe that performance, in its sacred form, has the capacity to bring the human being closest to what it means to be human. This sentiment is at the heart of all my work, including my drawings and paintings.
Inner worlds, creatures, and dynamic communication emerge within my paintings. When working, I am interested in the moment when a mark on the page starts communicating with me, leading me to the next movement. I strive to wait, see, and listen for what the painting wants or asks.
The blank canvases, upon which this series of paintings began, were not actually blank: For hours, a small group of artists, dancers, writers, and musicians dipped their feet in pigment and walked, gestured, slid, and jumped on a paper-covered floor, leaving behind footprints and sweeping marks of color*. The footprint-speckled paper was later cut up into smaller pieces upon which I began making these imaginal landscapes.
Natural earth-based ink—made from various plants, riverbeds, nuts, and crushed rocks (to name a few)—is the primary medium of this series†. As I added multiple layers of pigment, I simply entered the minimal marks that were already there, looking for what wanted to be revealed. Imaginary beings, angels, guardians, animals and other primal elements surfaced out of the rich landscapes of color and texture.
It is my hope that these landscapes can speak to the viewer in a language that transcends the spoken word. Perhaps the painting has something to show you. Or perhaps you have something to say or ask the painting after your memory is sparked. Perhaps a painting will come alive before your eyes. Perhaps it will remain hidden, waiting for a different conversation.
Art teaches me with every brushstroke and every gesture.”
* The blank canvases were created during the opening of the School of 3 Lights Artist Residency program in Whitefield, Maine (www.schoolof3lights.org). The final paintings were made in Putney, Vermont.
† The natural inks were made by Katherine West who works under the name “In the Name of the Madrone.”