This is called Thicket
, and it is 48"square. It was a challenging painting to resolve, because of the visual weight of the upper right panel. In the end, I added considerably more texture and depth to the other panels, allowing the eye to roam around rather than to be pulled and stuck to the upper right.
Along the way, I experimented with different arrangements, and different panels--but I kept coming back to this configuration, compelled by getting it to work. I liked the tension derived from the slightly out-of balance feeling of this painting, but I did not want it to seem randomly or haphazardly put together, and I wanted the quiet, meditative feeling that characterizes much of my work to be there.
The title comes from a childhood memory, very strong, of playing in the backyard and crawling into some thick underbrush--it was winter, and I found myself hidden and surrounded by leafless stalks and branches. At that moment, I felt very isolated from the rest of the world, and completely a part of nature. There were a few other times like that when I was little, when I had that sense of merging with nature. A few times after I grew up too...
I used to always mention these experiences in my artist statements, because they have been such a catalyst to making art they way that I do...but I stopped doing that at some point. I guess I realized that probably a lot of people have these experiences, or others of a similar spiritual bent. And it seemed a bit pretentious, or maybe just overly personal, to go on about my own. Actually, I'm surprising myself by writing about this in my blog--it's not what I had planned to do. But Thicket
has led me to these thoughts...and maybe my blog is a good place for them--more personal than an artist statement, and not necessarily a one-sided monologue.
PS: I just realized that I wrote "Thicket
has led me to these thoughts" rather than the other way around--which tells you quite a bit about my process.