Abstraction vs. Realism
There are a seventeen of my favorite rocks in this painting. Some are pieces of Maine that have such a strong sense of place that they make me long for Deer Isle every time I look at them. The others are from Colorado where my children live, and they remind me that my heart lives there too, with them.
After creating a color palette specific to one rock, I lived in it. Each rock became a completely abstract visual puzzle: of shapes, colors, light and shade — that fit together in a unique configuration that created patterns. Those patterns became texture and finally, that is what defines everything there is to know about what it is.
There are eleven very complete, self-contained, tiny abstract paintings that are intensely detailed with layers of watercolor. The others, using a different medium, appear to be in varying degrees of incompletion, because they are not commensurately detailed. The difference is intended to invite another layer of interpretation. The composition is precariously arranged, which introduces another element, (of thought), to the composition.
I love the visual voice of still life, love the rocks, love the places they came from, the people and memories they hold for me. That’s experiential painting. What does this painting say to you? There are no wrong answers, because once a painting is signed and framed, it belongs to it’s audience. I live there the same way a writer lives in their writing, but if the painting is successful, it’s because of the response of the viewer—the ones for whom the artist’s intent is fully realized. When that happens, they connect with me through time and space on the universality of those evocative rocks.