Friday, October 17, 2014

NIGHT RIDE & musings on nature

How does one translate the wonder and beauty of the natural world with plastic means?  It is quite the challenge to produce a work of art that can stand next to what resides out our front door or the landscape through the window before our eyes.  We can evoke or suggest with material means the life that teems around us in nature, but it is near impossible for the dazzling spectacle of the natural world to exist in a still image.  I believe our hearts can be quickened by a work of art as it can be when we experience the world from a mountain top.  But they are still two quite different visual pleasures and experiences.  I have no real answers or assumptions as to how those two experiences could be similar or vastly different, but I do think the search for an answer is what drives artists to still contest with nature.
I think of Monet in his garden.  Toiling to construct ideal beauty on his property as well as in his painting.  He returned to the same subjects over and over again all the while, maintaining remarkable continuity in his work and achieving a complex array of compositions, light, color, and space.
I have begun to regard the teardrop in my work as a subject that could function no differently as Monet would have considered his waterlilies.  The teardrop serves as a foundational object whereby concerns for light, color, and space can perform.  The articulated landscape is a construction of my imagination-an imagined pond where my "lily pads" can exist.  This space can only be visited through the confines of the painting and invokes a longing to be able to enter that space.  It creates a desire that I feel exists when viewing one of Monet's paintings.  The desire to be in his garden.

NIGHT RIDE.   oil on canvas   60" x 60"   2014.

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