In subject matter, the paintings combine both real and imagined scenarios that are colored by my experience of life lived in the U.S. The imagery reflects a renewed interest in the figure as a compositional element and in objects taken from the representational world that confirms the belief in the unique narrative power of the image to convey a 'story' in it's own 'words'. These works include autobiographical content and U.S. references.
Themes and ideas that emerge in the paintings depend on feeling rooted in one's surroundings: a familiarity with the distinctive rhythms of life in the U.S. and a greater sense of identification with American culture and history. All this has influenced the work providing fresh impetus and direction in bridging the divide between 'old world' concerns and those of the 'new'. The painting process can best be described as encaustic collage painting. The forms and figures are derived from drawings transferred onto sheets of paper that have been colored using a variety of paint media. The images are cut from these prepared papers and reassembled through a process of painting and collage to arrive at their final form. Central to this process is the role of the encaustic medium in integrating all the media and materials and in determining the 'look' and 'feel' of the finished work.
The works are constructed in paint and collage; they reference ideas of personal history and are themselves meditations on the creative process. The raw materials used in these paintings are altered book-pages. They provide an important stimulating impulse for each work; their familiar forms and printed surfaces reflect a history as 'carriers' of ideas and information. Because of the unpredictable, non linear 'construction' of these paintings, the final state of each work and its meaning remains dependant on the particular viewer and their 'reading' of the work. This role of the work as 'intermediary' between artist and viewer is an important element in my creative process.
Medium and Technique: Encaustic Painting
The works are all created using the encaustic medium, a painting technique that consists of suspending color pigment in a solution of hot wax and resin. The wax/resin solution serves as both medium for the color and adhesive for the collage elements. Using the hotplate as a palette, the paint is applied to the surface of the paper or canvas with a brush. The multiple layers of paint and paper can be reworked, removed and added to through the heating process. The painting is built upon canvas glued to a solid wooden substrate of panel and frame.