January 5-29, 2023
Meet & Greet: Saturday, January 7, 3-5 pm
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The forest is observable and measurable but being in the forest is spiritual and unknowable. I love both conceptions. I manipulate shape and color to create enough space for the eye to wander and interpret a natural forest. At one level I try to depict recognizable plant life in a navigable space, an activity solidly in the observable and measurable category. This is a variation of what I was taught to do in art school, approach nature through direct observation and simplify a scene until you can paint it. I enter a forest and immediately start categorizing species and finding views into brush or sky. With adjustments I can make a satisfying and faithful composition. Artists are also taught to consider the spiritual and unknowable aspects of nature, and I enjoy this, too. We develop vocabularies of abstract marks that substitute for nature, or let less controlled paint applications suggest abstractions and light. Paint itself is mysterious. All these approaches are satisfying and powerful to both the maker and the viewer, conveying an essence about nature that can't be expressed in words.
But there is so much more that interests me about the forest, namely the developing science of forests as living interdependent ecosystems of vast complexity, and the real physical and mental benefits to a human body which spends quiet time in a forest. I want my panels to accommodate these qualities, and I am still learning how. This body of work shows the many ways I am trying to overcome the limits of my human perception and reasoning to get more of these ideas incorporated into the paintings. I hope the overall presentation hints at the richer reality I know is in the forests of the Pacific Northwest.
I applied my interest in data science by creating visual systems or groupings of shapes and plant life that vary with each panel. I varied the techniques I used with each layer of oil paint, including new ways of underpainting and glazing. I used unusual color palettes, varied traditional and contemporary paint application, alternated layers to clarify or obscure, painted after guided meditations and created puzzles of shapes. I used bright transparent color to anticipate showing the paintings alongside Weston Lambert's glass, and to represent the intensity of a wakeful mind. Most of all I aimed for that pulsating imprecision of precise marks that represents my time alone in nature, losing myself in the complexity. I am a human seeking connection in a time of division. These paintings are my best expression of those goals.
I am a fourth generation Seattleite with art studios at Magnuson Park in Seattle and Samish Island in the Skagit Valley. I split my time between these art communities, showing my work regularly at Woodside Braseth Gallery in Seattle and Smith and Vallee Gallery in Edison. I trained at Gage Academy and continued art history studies with the University of Oxford. My work is in several regional collections, including the Anacortes Arts Festival organization, Virginia Mason, Fred Hutchinson, Kaiser Permanente, Island Hospital and Evergreen Health. I have had numerous shows at Smith and Vallee and greatly appreciate the kindness and friendship I experience here.
"As a sculptor, I am drawn to the beauty and versatility of glass and stone. These materials allow me to create a wide range of forms, textures, and colors, and to create pieces that exist in the space between durability and fragility, and between manufactured and found. Glass captures light and transforms it into movement through refraction, while stone provides a sense of solidity and permanence. Each stone has its own unique characteristics, and carving it requires improvisation and a sensitivity to its crystalline structures, fissures, and composition. By combining malleable glass with stone, I'm able to merge these materials in a way that honors the history of each, while still pushing the boundaries of what is possible technically and aesthetically."