I have been playing around with some new approaches to landscape painting for the last year. I have always been interested in certain types of abstract painting, and I have been looking for the ways I can incorporate that into my work. In the next few posts I will share a few of my newer, larger paintings. The painting seen here is 72×48″.
Making a painting is always an act of abstracting, or creating a fiction. A painter is trying to find a way to translate the 3 dimensional world around us onto a flat picture plane. This flattening of space involves manipulating the forms of painting to tell a story. I am still painting a version of my world and my space, but I am looking to challenge myself with more complex and difficult ways to paint a landscape. I want my paintings to be more personal.
For me painting has never been about creating a perfect illusion through hiding my brushwork. Brushwork is most interesting to me when it is made apparent by the energy and excitement of the mark making. This approach I have been playing with incorporates what I love about abstract expressionism and also the bay area figurative painters. I wanted to bring that expressive brushwork into some of my work, but still hold onto the language I have developed for telling a story.
I like painting where there is openness within the canvas; where you can feel the emptiness between the atoms that make up our world. The space around an object, in front of, to the side, behind… these things are as important to a painting as the way the object itself is rendered. I want the painting to breathe the way that a landscape breathes with a soft rustle of breeze through leaves and the sounds of nature disrupted. I want each of these paintings to be a deeper understanding of the subject, to have strong and interesting brushwork and color relationships, and I want the less representational parts of the image to live in a certain kind of harmony with the rendered image.
In the weeks leading up to the opening of this exhibit I will post more of these images, along with the more straight forward plein air paintings for the show, which have also been pushed beyond my normal approach. These will all be on display at Dowling Walsh Gallery in August, starting with the opening reception on Friday, August 3rd from 5-8pm.