For me, painting is first and foremost an exploration of color. Never really knowing for sure how the paint will flow or stick to the canvas creates a sense of adventure and excitement. The exploration of shapes and gestures through dramatic use of color, dry brushing, scraping, drawing lines with Chinese calligraphy brushes, and the use of textural mediums as sculptural substrates is like a metaphorical pilgrimage. I keep moving forward, knowing where I intend to go, with some sense of the experiences that I will have along the way, but many times, finding unanticipated consequences from each step of the journey. I relish that feeling of anticipation and am driven to continue forward, to see my ideas realized and to develop fully the work to its completion. Finding the right amounts of color and figuring out how they can all come together in a visually coherent and compelling way is the challenge.
I hope to evoke a soft and inviting mood in and with my abstract paintings. As such, I tend to eschew hard edges, preferring a gentle flow from one color to the next. Light, lines and ribbons of color are intended to draw the viewer closer—into a place where one can see what is hidden in the layers beneath. Hopefully, such a space encourages the observer’s own emotions, experiences and reflections. In so doing, I seek to embolden the viewer’s formulation of questions—as well as answers to—the meaning of the work.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
My desire to create comes from deep within. It is a compulsion that must manifest into the physical. It does not necessarily matter how, for the how is not what is important. For me, it is being in the moment of creation that matters. It is an expression of the divine within, projected outward.
For those who view my artwork, it is an opportunity to share and experience that space. To stand in that moment with me and feel the energies embedded within the piece. If the work stirs your heart, you have connected with it fully and its raison d’être.
Growing up in rural, central Kentucky, I learned early from the women of my family and community, the importance of handcrafting and taking pride in your work. I began my artistic career as a stained and fused glass artist over 30 years ago. For the past 10 years, I have exclusively created abstracts, landscapes and waterscapes with acrylics/mixed media. I've had jurors tell me I bring a unique perspective to painting. Being a glass artist and working with the light shining through my creations, has now translated into my paintings which do the same thing. Unlike most painters who put light into their paintings, the light from my paintings shines out to the viewer. Just as light shines through stained glass.
I have returned to once again live in that rural Kentucky community on the family farm. My family has owned this land for five generations. My studio faces a lake, which once was the field where I helped my grandfather set tobacco in the summer. I feel strongly connected to the earth and my family here. That grounds me and helps me to come back to center in the evening, after I soar away all day in creativity.
The studio provides both solace and sanctuary for creating colorful works of art. Inspiration for my original contemporary art work comes from my perennial gardens, farm life, trips to the coast for sun and sand, and researching ancient cultures through world travel. It is in this way, each piece I create has its own story to tell. I love seeing how my contemporary art work brings emotions to my patrons. I'm happy to hear their comments and feel inspired by the sharing of their ideas. I'm so grateful to be able to do this work.
2012 Kanuga Watermedia Workshops, Hendersonville, NC. Instructor, Patty Brady, Working Artist Program Director, Golden Artist Colors.
Emerging Artist Contest Winner, Art Galleries and Artists of the South Magazine, November, 2014.