Disturbances in the Field
ARTIST STATEMENT-DISTURBANCES IN THE FIELD
I am wildly attracted to that which disturbs the norm. I adore the odd angle, the quirky outlook, and the extreme emotion. In moments of bliss, I cannot contain my smile or a laugh. In the depths of depression, I cry freely and respect the pain within me. I try to be conscious of all my thoughts and emotions and to always, always be aware of what they offer me. The changes that life brings as we age, both physical and emotional, can truly disturb our normalcy. We have the choice to embrace them or ignore them. I choose to allow these disturbances to inform what I create.
In the last decade, there have been monumental disturbances in my life that have brought about monumental changes. Losing both of my beloved parents in the span of 30 days brought about blinding grief and wondrous introspection. Stripping away the detritus of their 55-year marriage and a lifetime in our family home scratched at the wound of losing them. My mind was actively clearing things out as well, taking stock, and a few years later, I retired from the job I had gone to almost every day for 27 years. A huge, but most welcome, disturbance, retirement allowed me to own my own time, to direct my energies where I wanted them to be. Allowing more time for opening my mind to the creative life, surprisingly, also opened old wounds. The angst and worry I had relinquished with the confidence I had gained in a successful career resurfaced in paintings and photographs in most unexpected, yet delightful, ways.
The paintings in this show come from the My Disturbance series I began a year ago shortly after a frank and harsh realization about the role of love in my life after both losing my parents and being rejected by a romantic interest. Love has always played a profound role in my life and I revel in both the anguish and pure joy it brings me. This energy disturbs my blank canvas with the sometimes violent motion of my marks. The black disturbs the white; the white disturbs the black; the single color disturbs the black and white and spraying water disturbs it all. As a painter, I cull color and movement from every high and every low I experience.
My photography comes from the part of me that craves beauty and color and light. I can rarely just enjoy a view for the beauty it offers without wanting to harness the light into my own personal vision through my camera. And I tend to disturb what is present in these images as well. I see a colorful scene or look on one of my paintings and, rather than shoot it in exactly correct light with exactly correct camera settings, I lengthen the shutter speed and move the camera, the lens, or myself to record a blur of color, line, and shape. On the computer I disturb the pixels until I create something that may disturb the viewer for its lack of easy answers.
In both of my media, I delight in the ways life’s disturbances reveal themselves through abstraction. I much prefer offering the viewer a question that he/she can answer to his/her own satisfaction rather than offering a realistic or stylized view of what I want them to know.