Nature has always been my mentor: its intriguing shapes and textures; its combinations of lines and color created by light and shadow; its ability to evoke memory of place in the most non-objective ways. These abstract qualities informed my former textile work, and now come to call in my current studio practice: drawing/painting with oil paint and oil paint sticks on panel.
The winter and early spring are especially fruitful times in my studio. When the outside world of plants and animals is quiet and hibernating, my studio is full of activity.
When the leaves are down, the stark bare branches create the most engaging shapes as they curve and bend over and under each other. I find these line drawings in nature to be an unending source of inspiration. I lay down evocative lines that I derive from observation of the wild rhododendron, garden grasses as well as the built structures I see from my studio windows. The colors of the landscape are often neutral but the sudden peek of a green water tank, an orange surveyor stick, or a red vine is enough to get me started on a color palette. These lines and shapes are an endless source of inspiration.
Once I start working, the painting takes on a life of its own, and I react to what’s before me, making moment-to-moment decisions. I’m in constant dialogue with the painting, a lively conversation, where I am actively listening. Only then will I know the path forward, to a state where the painting feels complete. My title for a recent painting describes this feeling: “When All Aligns”.