This image of the three paintings I am working on using thin washes of color. I am enjoying doing what I love, obsessing over the edge. To form these I use organic formulations that intertwine and overlap. That curved shape is directly from nature it is friendly and feminine.
When we use nature as a source there are infinite possibilities. Artists throughout time extracted elements from nature using animals, plants, earth, stone, the elements, light and shadow, the living and the dead all taken as source matter into the artist studio. Art Nouveau based its "whiplash curves" on using nature as resource rather than art historical relic. In graduate school a teacher Nick Cripple, shared with me an element from his ceramic work and it made me evaluate the connection between identity and the simple form. I at once identified in his form peace, serenity and masculine confidence. Today I want to call to the fore all the artists who reference the organic, such as Martin Puryear, Anish Kapoor, Terry Winters, Louise Bourgeois, Brice Marden and countless others.
Nature is a go to; a place that won’t deceive it crosses time and space. When my oldest called me from Architecture school, fearful that she had no new ideas, I responded, “Sweetheart, you can always go to nature.” So when kids no longer play outside and their reality is inside an electronic screen, there inevitably will be a disconnect between them and the natural world.
I was leading a college critique when I encountered a situation where one of the students used a computer game as a reference. Frankly, I couldn’t identify. All the students in the room were aware of this particular game. As the critique progressed, it seemed that the students were confusing reality with gaming and were speaking of the game environments as if they were real time and space, not one invented by human beings.
My fear was that in time art created in response to nature would become alien to these young electronic consumers and because nature was an unnecessary and alien entity it would cease being a resource. I could not make a definitive argument about plagiarism in this critique, the student had created their own art from the game. That was years ago and it still baffles and befuddles me.
In my own work my goal is to animate the inanimate using nature as a reference to create that shape. The possibilities are infinite manipulating color, light, line and texture and any other means to push against the boundary.