Leap Year 2016 oil on canvas 24" x 18"
The residue left in an artist's studio space serves as a reminder of impermanence. I have to find comfort in life's constant state of flux – change is the only constant, and sometimes dust is the only reminder we have of what was. Everything is liminal. The dust is also a marker of ephemerality and the hope that springs from nostalgia and memory. One of the most enlightening books I read last year was a little paperback called Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designers, Poets, and Philosophers. The Japanese term wabi-sabi, among other things, emphasizes the beauty of the imperfect, the impermanent, and the incomplete. It suggests that the universe is in constant motion towards or away from potential. It is in empty space – in nothingness, that this potential energy resides. Nothingness and emptiness are not synonyms. It is possible to be both absent and present.
There is a marvelous Dizzy Gillespie quote that I think about often in the studio: “it’s taken all my life to learn what not to play.”
I think about my recent interior paintings as portraits. They are moments in time: the light, the dust, the particular tilt of that loose phone jack, are all frozen in a split second slice. One singular, unique, beautiful second. Blink and you'll miss it. Simultaneously, they are the accumulation of time: multiple painting sessions layered over and over, ever trying and ever failing to capture the elusive "now". They are portraits of place, imbued with both the power and the burden of memory.
"Painting is the silence of thought and the music of sight." - Orhan Pamuk. My Name is Red. I believe that images can speak where words fail. I want my paintings to sing for me, to say the things my voice cannot.