Spring Break!

Does Spring Break count if you had no winter? My garden is pretty pathetic this year due to the lack of rain...may be time to ditch the grass all together and transition to more natives. The studio, on the other hand, feels pretty fertile! Staying focused on my subject that I have come to refer to as "Substitute Nature" which really refers to the scraps of nature that manage to survive in suburbia. The juxtaposition of hard edges and biomorphic form, the beauty of the organic vs the brute of manmade.

 

I am constantly struggling to find a way to exploit this dichotomy visually. Sometimes the square of the canvas is enough of a foil for the lushness of the trees and plants. Including houses or telephone poles also work, but I keep trying to mix in purely abstract geometric elements with limited success.

 

Yesterday I did this painting on Duralar, a synthetic "paper" that will hold up under oil paint, taping of a grid before painting. The surface of the Durlar is super smooth allowing for a slippery, wet on wet paint application which kept the painting alive. The grid is doing (attempting to do) three things: Adding the element of geometric, hard edged abstraction, referencing suburbia with its window like pattern and creating a screen like separation between the viewer and nature. All of these concepts support my intent to show our voyeuristic relationship with nature in suburbia: Look, but don't touch. 

 

I'm happy when a piece I've made helps me understand what I'm trying to do, it's cyclical.

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