“You need to leave now” said the police officer who offered me a marker. “Write your social security number on the inside of your arms and legs. We aren’t coming back for you.” I took a good look around my beloved house, took my sketchbooks and locked up for the last time. Growing up on the Barnegat Bay barrier island in New Jersey, there were yearly hurricanes. As the wind prevailed, I walked up the dirt road to look at the tumultuous ocean. I had to see it. The beach looked the same as it always did during hurricane season: crisscross foamy waves, rip tides and rotating gusts. I thought nothing of Superstorm Sandy, and the unexplainable force of nature that was brewing the fiery demoliton of an entire town.
I make paintings that examine disruptive moments in nature. I am interested in light, energy and color relationships in the moving landscape. I zero in on subtle changes in the weather and magnify them in my paintings. The work is a reaction to and acceptance of cycles and elements of chance in nature. In the process is a submission to nature; a loyal curiosity and simultaneously a longing for what once was. The theme of temporality in relation to a place is recurrent in my work. My abstract paintings also explore the subconscious desire to return to the horizon line. I acknowledge the intuitive choice to suggest balance and play with representations of the horizontal line. My paintings reckon with the result of the human condition in relation to natural catastrophes.
The work is process based; a slow brew of intuitive decisions that manifest a serene calm or alternately – a storm like energy. I am influenced by the Romanticism period as well as the Impressionists and Color Field Painters. I build up the surface through thin to thickly applied layers of paint. My interest in color relationships is clear from the start, often starting with bright neon like colors and unexpectedly ending with neutrals. The transparent colors and tones create atmospheric depths that intrigue the viewer to look closer. Starting with acrylic and building the layers in oil create subtle tonal changes that welcome sharp intrusive color interruptions. Oil pastel is used to push color, texture, and create vigorous energetic marks which deconstruct the landscape and ultimately create a kinetic disturbance.
Redefining the landscape is a parallel notion both in my work and life. I have always felt a pull to travel to the Southwest. The landscape and colors of the Southwest are so starkly opposite that of the New York – New Jersey area. Though I have a fondness and appreciation for both the industrial NYC landscape and quaint Jersey Shore, the view changed. In 2015 I relocated to Los Angeles, CA where I currently live and work. My experience of the landscape is now met with the understanding that it is fleeting.