May 2016 Featured Artists
May 6th-26th, 2016
Opening Reception: May 6th, 6-10pm
I am a representational landscape painter. I have lived and worked in the Raleigh/Durham area for over forty years, and have witnessed a remarkable transformation of the rural landscape into a complex urban environment. This rapid rate of change in our surroundings offers subject matter for my work: the sometimes jarring juxtaposition of the old with the new; the perception of the transitory replacing the permanent; and the contrast between the basic and the complicated.
The result is that my work often incorporates a panorama illustrating the scale, complexity, and vast expanse of our urbanizing surroundings -- one that contrasts with the partial and incremental view we encounter in our everyday lives. At times I use exaggerated perspectives (from close to the ground or an aerial view) to emphasize the abstract relationships of urban forms and open spaces. In other cases, the constituent parts of mundane objects/scenes can be reorganized to create a new version of commonly experienced places, such as parking deck or airport baggage claim area.
Since I have spent most of my adult life here I have developed associations with locations in the region that have meaning to me. As such my work tends to be of specific, recognizable sites.
I am currently working on a series of Downtown Durham cityscapes that explore the relationship between the past and the present. The downtown historic district, containing wonderful examples of art nouveau and classical revival styles, provides rich subject matter, especially for rendering of architectural details. The redevelopment south of the railroad tracks provides a contrast - in both scale and form - to the original Central Business District.
My art has largely been of landscapes, cityscapes, and, at times, the people captured in these scenes. My approach in painting is to represent each subject realistically, while at the same time to accentuate its bright colors. I find my approach to painting to be one of deep introspection complete with a wide range of emotions - inner peace, happiness, honesty, and truth. In turn, I hope to communicate something to the viewer, to trigger an emotion, to spark a memory that resonates on a very unique personal level.
Growing up in rural Virginia I spent much of my free time outdoors and learned to know and love the natural world and to develop some sense of the mystery that resides there; this has stayed with me throughout my life and informs my work. Art has the power to make us see even the most familiar things in a new light; in the works shown here I aimed for scenes as they appear in memory or the imagination, leaving the viewer free to find his or her own meaning or emotional response.
In all of my work I try to respond to the different possibilities offered by the several media that I use. The fluidity of the hot wax used in this work gives it more freedom and spontaneity than my work in other media and this, in turn, makes me see things in a new light.
I express my artistic vision through abstract mixed-media landscapes. I am intrigued and inspired by the natural environment. My intent is to provide the viewer with a sense of the symbiotic relationship between the primeval elements - stone, soil, water and sky - and the lifeforms these elements nurture.
I love experimenting with color, be it bold and vibrant or quiet and subdued. No matter what palette I use, my mixed media canvases and many of my acrylic-only canvases are usually textured. For mixed media, I layer torn or cut handmade paper and/or recycled magazine paper with acrylic paint, sculpting paste and an occasional found object. To add additional depth and texture, portions of some layers are literally scrubbed off with water before the paint, glue or sculpting paste has completely set. Some of these scrubbed portions are left “raw”, while others are repainted and/or papered over. For my acrylic-only canvases, I apply thick layers of paint with brushes, palette knives and my hands.