I think of the series, “Constant revisions”, as a way of chronicling change . This includes the reconsidering, reevaluating, remapping and ultimately revising that our thinking and looking at ideas and information over time require. Even if so-called “facts” don’t change, the interpretation and examination of what was formerly held to be eternal truths do. In today’s world, this shifting change seems to happen faster than ever and a way of marking it is what these paintings try to do.
I work on existing found materials that at one time seemed to be reliable sources of information. These include maps from old atlases, pages from outdated encyclopedias and parts of vintage history and travel books. I begin painting on top of these and often use horizontal lines, both deliberate and accidental, to insinuate text. I then layer a range of marks on top of them, many derived from proofreaders’ symbols and historic manuscript editing. Often there will be an intrusion of a geometric from to mark a particular development. The process of painting in this way, continuously amending the imagery, becomes an emblem of the idea behind it: constant revision.
Many of these paintings on paper were done over the first 100 days of social isolation due to the pandemic. Many were influenced by the information/misinformation that flowed during that time. This contemporary confusion continues, as does the painting series.
Flying by: A birder’s notesFor many years I have been trying to learn the art of birdwatching, and have often been frustrated by glimpsing colors and forms at the periphery of my visual field. In “Flying by: a birder’s notes” I try to recollect these quick flashes of color and form and interweave them into a composite, which may include one or several species.
Unlike earlier series of mine, where I mourn or despair the disappearance of species of flora and fauna, and the environments in which they thrive, with this work I celebrate what I can see.
This series is a response to a time when the unexpected is the rule, whether it be political, climate or personal. These monotypes and drawings began on a bleak day as I listened to the news on the radio in disbelief at what was happening and the seeming arbitrariness of where such events were occurring. Grabbing tools and media from around the studio, I began working on pages of old atlases, building up surfaces to generate a picture of a world breaking up.
I see the world in flux and in all my drawings and paintings I try to show the conflict between stasis and change; between the unexpected, unplanned, unforeseen and the order and structure that appears and disappears.
I manipulate paper and paint to literally tear down and build up the surfaces, exposing what has been and, with line and geometry, evolving to a new equilibrium.
My work has long explored systems of thought and knowledge and has used layering of imagery, line and color to investigate subjects as diverse as cartography, scientific classification, urban architecture and environmental change.