DREAMS OF HOME
My approach to landscape is conceptual; I use landscape to convey more than a description of a place.
I explore the intermingling of the domestic man-made with the natural, in monoprints, mixed media paintings on panel, and drawings: forest images & semi-transparent old furniture from a house in my family for 90 years. Placing furniture from a previous era in a forest creates a narrative uncertainty I find fascinating.
In earlier work in this series, I made the furniture from collaged, semi-opaque rice paper through which one can see the forest underneath. Later I used paint rather than collage. I play with the furniture's transparency and its location in the forest: floating above, embedded within, or buried below. Over time the furniture has become less substantial and less grounded.
My printmaking has strongly influenced these new works. In the paintings I’m layering transparent colors with the (often surprising) color results found in my monoprints, "printing" with paint, and using paint applied linearly, influenced by small drypoint marks. Drawings with graphite, Austrian Cretacolor (a black softish lead), and acryla gouache seem more distilled than the paintings. In large pieces, 90” x 80,” and 8' x 9,' on wood panel, using these drawing materials, with limited thin oil glazes and paint, I keep the open feeling of the drawings and explore how scale contributes to meaning. The latest prints, using woodblock, polyester litho plates, and stencil, have a quiet quality in which the furniture sometimes disappears into an etherial forest.
Old growth forests show the whole life cycle of trees. Trees struck by lightning or fallen trees with their branches making wild gestures show nature's violence. The domestic in such settings seems jarring, although our traditions see forests as places of make-believe, of solace & spirituality, of refuge & hidden secrets. But in the dreams of old furniture made of forest wood might there also be dark scenes of family discord? How do these disparate domestic & natural elements resolve shared conflict to arrive at peace at last?