I recently learned the phrase hypnopompic state, which defines that time between sleeping and waking. It’s a wonderful, arrogant sounding phrase that perfectly describes that lucent period of time when one’s mind seems most agile and capable of coming up with interesting, bizarre concoctions. This past spring, after a particularly grim winter, I found myself bombarded by incredibly rich dreams that seemed entirely focused on fertility. Though birth played a large role in the dreams it felt constraining to read them as simply about breeding. I took aspects of the dreams, the vivid colors, bright washes of light, ambiguous sense of space and scale, and played around with the idea of fertility in these paintings, not merely procreative, but the larger concepts of creativity, abundance, and possibility. Many of my dreams had an element of loss, vacuum, or hollowed out space, but rather than feeling empty or bleak, these spaces were light-filled and ripe with potential. In the past few years, as I’ve been thinking about the cycle of loss and life, I’ve come to understand that loss opens up a liminal space: a place meant for calm, quiet contemplation, a place as full of opportunities as it is full of grief. The spaces in my dreams began to feel as ripe as the hypnompompic state in which they were occurring.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I'll be showing at the Northwind Gallery on Guemes Island (Anacortes, WA adjacent) in September. My latest collection will be up for opening celebrations on Labor Day weekend, with a party scheduled for the afternoon of Saturday the 5th. I will be posting a statement about my latest work soon.
Friday, January 2, 2009
This period of my life, and thus these paintings, have been heavily influenced by the loss of my mother to cancer in August 2008. She was an amazing woman whose hands were rarely still, most often at use playing harp, piano, or French horn, baking and cooking, creating her own works of art, or writing notes in her beautiful, tidy script. In the end, these are a few of the things I’ve come to miss most of all: the simple, day-to-day tasks that were so integral to her being. The hands in these paintings are all hers, taken from photos I took not long before she passed. They were both a means to feel connected to her, as well as a small attempt to pay homage to the woman of greatest influence in my life. The apple tree in these paintings seemed like such a sweet reminder of the cycle of life, having lost all its foliage in the fall but still bearing bright apples. This juxtaposing of loss of life from the year before with the promise of life to come felt like an appropriate partner to the hands in my meditations about life and loss.