Ashes To Ashes is a painting I made about the Emerald Ash Beetle’s devastion of so many of our large ash trees. Our little woods looked so bleak this summer; I observed so many trees down or standing dead that I would see images in my head after a walk through the forest.In a loose manner I replicated the bark and trunks of the many fallen giants. It’s hard for me to express the sadness I feel at their loss.
This work is paper, fibre and acrylic on a 40×30” canvas. Two large, angular, blue shapes, one very dark, the other light dominate the crimson red of the canvas. The dark blue field features numerous geometric areas that have been filled with parallel lines sewn in black thread.
This title, From Above, From Below speaks of contraposition both physical, emotional and spiritual.
The left plane suggests any large, deep water as it appears from very high in the sky. The right portion, as sky seen from the earth. On this level the work is simply showcasing two physical perspectives of a global nature. There is no conflict, no struggle. The harmonizing blue colours and the bright red are soothing not unsettling.
It is impossible to hold two physically opposite positions at the same time-we can’t be above and below (here and there, awake and asleep…) simultaneously. Neither can we spiritually, mentally or emotionally hold opposing ideas and ideals and we spend much time and expand much energy working out what we firmly feel and think.
This effort isn’t a simple journey to self awareness; the sewn parallel lines in one shape change direction in another. Some shapes are larger, some are sewn over lighter areas, calling our attention to them first. One conflicting mental perspective is often disparate; the lighter blue area is larger and poly-sided. Whatever can be seen here is undefined, without clear edges and quiet in nature
Out of the Silent Planet
This 30×40” work consists of paper, reclaimed and new fabric and acrylic paint on canvas. It is a frame-within-frame composition.
Named for the second book in a C.S Lewis trilogy, my canvas Out of the Silent Planet speaks of the calm and peaceful atmosphere of that
other world. Occupied by three nations of beings each very different from
the other, the planet knows no murder, war or hatred. All live in
harmony and acceptance and without corruption, envy or greed.
One of the nations is the Sorns. They are extremely tall, speak
poetically and are the most intellectual of the three races.
The large purple and green rectangle in the centre of the canvas is
window-like; a portal into their world. We are outside of this utopia,
observing the planet’s activity from another perspective. What we see
are five Sorns facing away from us and robed in long garb. They have come out into the moonlight to gaze at certain shapes in the night sky. Or are they flying kites? Their simple and guileless demeanor makes either
Whatever occupies them, they are at peace with all that is around them. Instead of observing this in a different venue, may we all find
such tranquility in our world.
PULLULATION II 48X36” 2012
This painting was inspired by photographer Ed Burtynsky.
To pullulate is to sprout abundantly, to teem. I am depicting growth, emergence, a powerful burgeoning forth but of an industrial, not biological nature. The rust and brown colours, the grids, the loosely rectangular shapes speak of manufacturing, the hand of man. Like Burtynsky’s photographs, Pullulation II is exploring an uneasy contradiction-the repulsion/attraction, the seduction/fear/guilt we experience in our desire for the good life and our knowledge that our world suffers for it.
Not all growth is good, not all growth is healthy.
Growth is portrayed from the back of the canvas to the front. Beginning with the canvas itself the fibres, the warp and the weft of each layer becomes less fine and more loosely assembled until in the ultimate layer, the pieces barely hold. Vertical growth is most strongly seen in the mushroom white and red ochre strokes of paint which are reaching for the top of the canvas yet these colours are more closely associated with parasitism and rust than new life.