LIFE IN PIECES
The current body of paintings, for me, is much like the American sitcom television series, Life in Pieces, that chronicles the lives of three generations of the Short family as they go about their daily lives in Los Angeles. Each episode unfolds as four separate short stories, one for each branch of the family.
Just as the title suggests, each of these paintings relate to moments and pieces of my life spanning many years and different segments and locations of my life. They bridge years in which I travelled all over the world; from Mexico, to France, to Spain, China and more, with pieces of my life now; in my home, garden, and current travels. I use locations I have seen as the basic structure of the paintings adding figures that are invented. Often, they are women focused on personal thoughts or memories or interacting with others. Many of the women I create recall the counselling and mentoring work I currently do with women who are struggling to get through challenging times in their lives and others who simply seek a mature woman to mentor them through life and work and family.
In this group of paintings, I want to show work that challenges and satisfies my personal sensibilities and objectives while also engaging the viewer. I try to successfully capture that alluring space that hovers between abstraction and realism through expressively painted environments and figures that tell their story. When I am most successful they are neither abstract nor realistic. In the end they are both. The ambiguous figures become performers for the settings I create; telling my stories inspired by the successes, challenges, experiences, and relationships in everyday life. Each person has a story to tell.
It is my hope to engage the viewer in these stories of life; possibly evoking a memory or moment of time in their own lives. When words can often fall short, I, as painter, am a storyteller of Life in Pieces.
(Horizon - The limit of a person's mental perception, experience, or interest.)
In life, one thing I’ve learned is that we are all forced to face unexpected/undesirable situations. Often times, the experiences can weigh heavy on us and load us down, making us question our ability or strength to get through to the other side.
Over the last year, my husband and I have truly been tested with this type of mental barricade. Situations that were out of our control changed the very course of our lives and all we had planned for our future. Initially, I could only see the trials and tribulations before us including everything that was lost, the hard work that it would take to recover and the frustration of feeling helpless over all of it. The word overwhelming was an understatement. However, as monumental as those hard times were, we did the only thing we knew to do. We kept pushing forward and fighting to retrieve what was taken from us. It was a choice we had to make, to look beyond what laid directly in front of us, blocking our path, to search and accept the new course that life provided us. We did that by putting our sights on the horizon. To empower us with hope by working toward a future that we knew will be as wonderful, if not greater than the one we had originally planned for. Best of all we have discovered through all of this, that together, we can face anything that is thrown at us. We WILL prevail and are anxious to discover what awaits us, BEYOND the horizon.
This entire exhibition depicts many of the experiences and emotions that my husband and I have been through on this journey and my hope is that the horizontal (horizon) lines in some of the pieces, serve as a reminder to the viewer that there is always hope. No matter how great the ordeal, each of us embodies the strength to get through. I hope the messages will inspire others to search for the alternate paths that life may set before them, rather than being stuck at the crossroad. We must keep moving forward because there’s always beauty to find on the other side of the struggle.
When the time comes that you are ready to look back on your journey, commemorate your strength, will and accomplishments. They will fill you with the wisdom you’ll need to face the next obstacle.
I'm really not one to put things in a neat little box and label them, but for a quick explanation of my total body of work to date I'll try to do so. Basically, I have developed, over a decade, two starting approaches to painting. One is based off photographic reference and preliminary studies, the other is completely free of photo reference and relies on adaptation and improvisation. In other words, starting a painting with a plan or without one. Not all my work is completely one or the other. Sometimes I begin with one approach and complete the painting with the other.
Light blue hues, cotton filled clouds, the whisper of a moment
The spirit the earth makes after the sun rests
Simple shapes revealing complex thoughts
Complex thoughts revealing simple joys
The distant sound of thunder rolling through a strand of ultramarine curtains
A million more shades of green yet to be heard from
The familiar scent of a humid, summer, morning in a wood's break
Reminiscing about lands not discovered, making ones that eventually dissolve
The warmth of the sun and sounds that only leaves and birds make
The forgettably unforgettable, never to be seen again
5.12.2018 - 6.16.2108 : CRAIGHEAD GREEN GALLERY GROUP SHOW
8.4.2018 - 9.1.2108 : NEW TEXAS TALENT XXV