What I think of as my "white paintings" began back in 2008 during a residency at the Centre d'Art I Natura in the Catalonia region of Spain, as small works on paper. They seem to arise from the arid atmosphere of the mountainous region in late fall, as well as from the pale interior walls of an ancient hermitage building I liked to visit and draw. Later when I was back in my studio in the US, I found myself turning again and again to white and variations of white in my oil and cold wax paintings.
Many paintings later, I retain this fascination. Often, the underlying layers are saturate in color, or dark in value, hidden by the final few white layers which pick up only slight aspects of color from underneath. Sometimes, the white surfaces suggest snow, or rock, or old walls. Most consistently, white and its variations evoke for me a sense of luminous, weathered, aged surfaces, bleached by sun and time--pared down, subtle and quiet. Click here
to see a selection of white paintings from the past few years on my website (there are others scattered throughout the various series listed on the paintings page.)
The painting shown above is the largest completed panel (48"x36") in an unfinished work that will be extended vertically with several other panels yet to be added. This painting and several others were inspired by inscriptions and markings on old parchment. A close-up of this painting is shown below.
This ongoing exploration of white (or pale) surfaces seems to me a case of content following form...a fascination with this particular color has led to so many variations in meaning. Of course it is hard to say which came first, the visual intrigue or the associated meanings, but I feel a sense of tapping something deep in these white paintings.