The Clearing, 2011,
acrylic & wood with canvas, 94 x 90 cm
What are you working on in your studio right now?
Always a number of pieces happening. Varying size, scale and material. The work is made together and there is a conversation that happens between small drawings, large vibrant acrylic paintings and the sculptures. I am interested in the making, the interior and exterior structure. Playing with materiality, color, surface, process. Jumping between loose figuration and abstraction. I am curious how abstraction can be figurative. Old questions about painting! Thinking about talismans and how meaning is made with intention or a side effect.
Can you describe your working routine?
A friend said it well, “It’s like fishing”… some days waiting and messing about in a small seeking way. Other days or weeks I can get caught up and it feels like a drive, full of purpose, a confident pushing forward. In that kind of chaos, the walls and floors are filled with paintings, stacked against the wall alternating. I do a lot of cross-pollination working big and small, 2d and 3d.
The drive of the work is multifold. Sometimes color steers the painting. A slap of yellow violet with grit against a dull black/blue/ grey. The color speaks to me, the texture of the paint, the drip….they are a language. At other times an image or emotional quality will drive the work, beginning with a landscape like space but thinking about interpersonal space and relationships. This changes when working with the figure, capturing that emotive quality within the known features.
Tell me about your process, where things begin, how they evolve etc.?
There are a handful of ways I begin:
Sometimes I begin with color, and respond to the color empathically, it feels like a physical response to what I am looking at.
Sometimes I begin with an automatic or gestural painted line….there is a layering within my work, a masking and reiterating. Sometimes like a run on sentence, or a wandering journey, diaristic responsiveness.
Sometimes I begin with a vision of an end, or a scrap of a quality I am going for, inspired by a dream or anotherpainting or an experience or photograph, or emotional quality that somehow seems possible to manifest in color.
Sometimes I just begin a piece by making lines, like knitting or a purposeful quality that is going nowhere but where it is.
Can you describe your studio space and how (if at all) it affects your work?
I am very sensitive to my surroundings, which is one of the reasons I enjoy going to residencies and working in a new environment; both of the studio but also the landscape. The light and terrain, the quality of the space creeps in to the work.
I have been in my studio space in Greenpoint for ten years. It is a long skinny space, 12’ x40’. I have a window at the end and a big metal door that opens out onto the fire escape. I look over the low roofs of the surrounding buildings and purple “Eggs”, ( the waste treatment plant). A big piece of sky is visable from my window. I have seen many a double rainbow and moon rise over the waste treatment plant.
What are you having the most trouble resolving?
I turn over color and image, seeking something unexpected beautiful and ugly, raw and vulnerable. It is challenging to make work that is vulnerable, but bold and brave, that’s what I hope to do. I love finding the edge of my own sense of permissibility. When I locate it, it can send me into a tizzy, making me question the very act of making and image…. It slows me down and then often in an act of defiance I begin again. Begin again….important!
Do you experiment with different materials a lot or do you prefer to work within certain parameters?
Lots of materials
What does the future hold for this work?
The work leads me somewhere new. Not overly directed or determined. I want to continue to learn and be surprised and energized. I want to climb, jump, crawl, and ponder my edges.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for this great opportunity to ask these questions. I have mulled over them for several months, leaving and revisiting....perhaps the way I paint as well! I love your project! I enjoyed the intimacy of the questions and also reading the larger dialogue with other artists on your blog. Fantastic work!
Between, 2011, acrylic & wood on wood panel