This work was intended to be purely abstract and to focus on a color theme. I created it in glazes of different blues and violets (although the violet is much less evident in the final outcome.) As I worked with this piece, I began to see cloud shapes in it, a stormy sky with the sun illuminating the clouds from behind just a little, the way it sometimes does on a stormy day. I'm intrigued by working this way, with a combination of planning (the color palette, the glazing technique), and serendipity (the semi-abstract image), and then workmanship (going back into the painting and manipulating it to achieve the final result).
Arabian Sea is based off of photographs I took on a visit to Jumeirah Beach in Dubai, UAE. I created the painting almost 8 years after the trip and my reference photos were taken with a very basic digital camera, so they were not the best. I printed them and worked from the prints and my memory of the place. When I was there it was a drizzly day in December. The temperature was in the low 60s and the beach was deserted, so I walked along the water's edge entirely alone. The sea was a beautiful pale green. One thing I particularly love about this painting is the highly textured impasto of the waves. I have been thinking about revisiting this color in some new work.
The Green Falls is a painting that surprised me in its creation. I intended to create a completely abstract work. I had a color scheme I wanted to work with and as I played with it on the canvas, it started to resolve itself into the shape of something recognizable. I started to see vines in the paint, and falling water, with light shining through from behind. I resolved the image, shaping the leaves and vines, bringing in some deep red leaves, and adding some rivulets of water. It was an interesting experience, combining accident with intention, and is something I've continued to pursue in other works. The Green Falls looks extraordinarily different in different lighting, with sometimes the green, red, or golden tones being more prominent.
This is the first new work I've completed in a couple months. ME/CFS makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to paint. When I have my worst symptoms, I have trouble thinking clearly, holding on to thoughts that seem to float away as I try to grasp them. I sometimes feel like I am floating too, drifting between consciousness and sleep. I need to keep my environment still and free from chaos. This work is a reflection of that need and the sensation of floating. It evokes the sea in a way meant to touch the imagination, suggesting sunlight filtering through ocean water. The small sculptural elements are reminiscent of corals.