The role of surface is essential to my work. I enjoy exploring texture as I admire the tactile experiences especially found in nature. In addition to acrylic paint, I add acrylic modeling paste to my paints or apply it directly to the paper or canvas. Moving the combination across the surface yields beautiful moments of relief and surface texture. As layers are applied over time, paint settles into these relief areas and adds character to the work that I never could've replicated simply with a brush.
I find nature, landscapes, and biological forms such as cells and microbes fascinating. I refer to them as systems. These systems make up our living environment, providing us with both safety and danger. Overall, I’m inspired by the structures of the many surfaces that we touch with our hands as well as those that can only be comprehended from under a microscope. I find beauty in pondering entities that are smaller or larger than us, beyond our comprehension, including the sublime, the celestial and the microscopic.
For me, abstraction is that conduit between representational reality and imagination. My abstract work exists in the language of dreams, soft focus memories, or selective sharing of emotions. While the content of my work may allude to planets in the solar system, map structures, bacteria under a microscope or even bubbles from running water, the imagery is never depicting a real moment, but the imagined moment. I like to generate a feeling or impression while suggesting anonymity of the source subject matter. The imagined content of my work seeks to visually live in those moments before we drift to sleep or awaken, when our minds are flush with color, figurative distortions or feelings that have no distinctive form in our physical world.
Photo courtesy of Brian Bates