In both my large scale studio work and my smaller work, the eyes are the beginning. When paintings are taller or wider than I am, my peripheral vision is filled and my body is enveloped within the piece. I traverse, not only the surface, but also the dips, glides, tilts and tunnels of the space. As my work proceeds towards abstraction, it no longer homes towards a vanishing point, rather it ventures deep, or down inside slices of landscape, without a horizon or ground line for reference. Sometimes there is an experience of dream space with no fixed place to land. Shifting references to representation stimulate the imagination, but I don’t want recognizable imagery and traditional perspective to overtake goal-less roaming in space.
I have several work areas set up in my studio. One corner is for the small, mixed media pieces. The easel where I do larger work is in another part of the studio. When I reach an impasse with what I am painting, it usually is best to give us both (the painting has a life of its own) a break, sometimes for just a day. So I will switch off into a small, or tiny mixed media piece (often no larger than 5 by 8 inches). These pieces are also teetering – with indefinite horizons and wavering references to representation. The entrance into this work is less through the body than with the larger paintings, and more through the inner life, the emotions, and the mental stimulation of imagery that keeps changing forms.
The painting that I do en plein air ranges from small color sketches to finished pieces no larger than about 2 by 3 feet. When I work outside, my boundaries relax and I resonate with the form and energy of nature. Working on location is the beginning of my studio work, both large and small.
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