– 2001–2003 –
Blackburnian Warbler 96” x 88 1/2” x 1/2” gouache on paper on MDF; Mixed Blues (88” x 88” x 1/2”) gouache on paper on MDF
Large canvases with expansive fields of color nourish illusions of simplicity and unity. But much of the beauty of the world is in its complexity and detail. And we construct our lives day-by-day and hour-by-hour; see things and feel them minute-by-minute.
For years I have been painting small squares. I think of them as “piece work,” because historically piece work has been done by women at home fitting in their commercial production around their domestic lives. I have always pieced together my art-work-time around my time with my family and my day–job.
There are benefits in this piece work beyond the convenience: over and over again I get the chance to begin, to experience the trill of hope and excitement that now, this time, I might make something beautiful. It is an addictive process, like gambling, perhaps, because again and again you get the chance to succeed.
In the past I have assembled these squares into small groups, in which each square was as important as the collection. In “Blackburnian Warbler” , the individual squares are subservient to the overall piece. I want the viewer first to see the work as a whole, and then to find the places where you can see that events have taken place.
These are accumulations, like flocks of birds in flight. You watch the movement of the group, but it’s compelling because of the combination of the group and the eccentric, unpredictable variations in the paths of the individuals. And like flocks of birds, these paintings could be reassembled into an almost infinite array of possible combinations. The existing image is more alive because of this potential for change.