For Hibernation I applied many coats of transparent oil color with a brush, rubbing away selected areas in each layer with a cotton cloth as the painting developed. This created a soft merging of forms as well as linear elements where colors overlapped. There are abstract plant and animal shapes that appear to intersect or float above or below one another. Some appear to be sinking into a shadowy background as though already in deep sleep, while other brighter figures seem still awake at the surface. Although hibernating is associated with an escape from winter cold and food scarcity, I chose to use predominantly warm red colors that represent life temporarily suspended in a state of dormancy.
I began Biologia as intimate anatomical studies of the reproductive apparatus of plants. Rather than referring to any particular plant species, however, the pod shapes are invented. They appear separated from whole organisms and dissected. During the process of painting they were transformed into ambiguous fusions of plant and animal that suggest genetic modification.
Fluke is so titled for two reasons. Firstly, given its cartoon-like character it represents a stylistic departure for me. Secondly, it illustrates the life-cycle of the liver fluke. I have a keen interest in the interconnection of all life forms that includes creatures we may consider menacing, such as parasites.
The Cluster paintings are an exploration of the relationships between animals and plants and the environments in which they live. In this series I include microorganisms and diminutive creatures that might normally be considered threatening to humans. At times so small or hidden as to seem invisible, these visually stunning life forms have their own intelligence and collective memory. Individuals within a species are driven to cluster together and bond to form communities, thus ensuring their survival.
Connectors A consists of three paintings based on illustrations of microscopic cellular protrusions, greatly enlarged. I was inspired by the delicate linear diagrams of "dorsal papillae" I discovered in a vintage flat file I purchased to store works on paper. For these paintings I began with a layer of pink, then overlaid chromatic gray and black (made from mixing complementary colors), using a wet-on-wet technique that covered everything but the pink lines. The Connectors A paintings were originally intended to be paired with the Connectors B mixed media on wood constructions (see Gallery 6), but have also been exhibited separately.
Artifacts Lost and Found consists of sixteen paintings, displayed here in a grid format. The images were inspired by things I encountered or discovered in the walls, basement, shed and surrounding property of my 1920’s era house, during time spent fixing what was broken and digging in the garden. It records familiar tools, diagrams, peculiar objects and plant images.
The bold shapes of the four Second Skins paintings in red, black and grey allude to the body. The title refers to clothing, or additional layers of non-living material we wear over our own skin. At times these second skins function as insulation or concealment. On other occasions they are used to decorate, eroticize and reveal the identity of their wearer. As such they form a direct connection between inside and outside, both physically and metaphorically.
Identifiers, is made up of twenty oil on canvas paintings, depicted here in a grid format. The images contain references to nature and culture, including ambiguous biological forms of plants and animals, as well as multifarious articles of clothing that signify the idiosyncrasies of their wearers.