Thoughts on My Structure of Water
"For whatever we lose (like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea." e. e. cummings
As I prepare for my first solo show in Seattle, I have been reflecting on the progression of this water series. On the terrace of the Grand Hotel Cocumella in Sorrento, Italy I gazed out onto the Bay of Naples.
For if I submerge, the fantasy will wash away, I wrote. The ground is not real; I live in the haze above the water. I have been looking for too long [...] and now, as always, sky and water are one. July 2010
Study after study, I explored the indents and folds of the waves, moving out into an infinite beyond. Over the course of the month, each painting shed or gained strokes, depending on the saturation of my mind and the movement of the water: a collaboration of space and emotion.
Now, with two months until my show Structure of Water at Michelle Dirkse Interior Design, my studies which have been tucked away are finally being realized in large scale paintings on canvas. My small studio apartment is overtaken by these reiterations.
“Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.” Thoreau
Memory only allows us select segments of thought, more has happened and affected all the rest, but the moments we remember are what we allow to define us at a present time. From a new perspective, I sit and watch the water making notes to remember the rest.
It moves but the movement is slow enough I can record form and line within each moment [...] Slightly larger waves, emerging from the lines, roll over themselves and are eventually over taken by the calm [...] Segments are more defined closer to shore, the further out my eye goes, the most of a whole I see [...] In the expanse, easy to simultaneously separate and unite, we can lose ourselves or location in that space so completely that we can truly find ourselves again. April 2015
If I can understand the defining moments, I can fill in the blanks.
When I read, I tend to skim the pages until I find something that sparks my interest. I do the same with water. My eye wanders across, until I notice something that I then record.
Returning to the canvas from those records, each section is its own entity, a participant in the conversation. Once the viewer understands each moment, they can experience the full dialog as their eye makes up the rest.
My paintings have consistently been a form of meditation for me, but it is only recently that I have developed the rhetoric to express where this body emerges from.