New Paintings II
A few years ago I had a dream in which my friend was teaching me how to move through walls. She said, “Like this,” and pressed her head against the wall. I thought, in the dream, That can’t work, but placed my head against the wall as she had. In that moment I felt the wall open and I moved through. I had the understanding that what can look solid also holds open space.
In these new paintings I have been exploring open space and negative space; how structure can hold form and open form. From atoms to dragonfly wings, from riverbeds to trees to mountain ranges.
I call these my dendritic paintings; form created which resembles branching like a tree, often in reference to nerve cells and the crystalline structures of rocks and minerals. I work with these questions: In setting these shapes down on the page, what emerges? How do these shapes relate to each other? How does color create tension or harmony within the piece?
Recently I had a dream in which I held a pendant with one of my paintings on it under my tongue. It represented my devotion to God. In my dream I showed it to the male leader of a group of believers escaping from the enemy. From this he knew that I was one of them, and I was admitted to his protection. These paintings arise from my deep listening to that voice within me I call God.
I work on both canvas and paper with acrylic paints, laying down thin layer after thin layer to create depth and conversation between colors. When I first started painting, I used Chinese ink, and “color” was the traditional five shades of ink: light wash to darkest black. After several years I yearned for more. This process of layering is teaching me the subtleties of color language.
I continue to explore these components of color and shape and structure and how they can come together and merge in my paintings.