Below, Beneath, and Beyond
“My brother asked the birds to forgive him: that sounds senseless, but it is right; for all is like an ocean, all is flowing and blending; a touch in one place sets up movement at the other end of the earth.”
—Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamozov
My work is rooted in the natural world: in awe at its intricate beauty and anxiety about its fragility. My paintings examine the invisible forces below our feet, beneath our oceans, and beyond our universe that affect our natural world. I seek out the interconnections across natural forms and between micro and macro elements: the uncanny parallels between brain coral and fungus, and the similar net-like structures of spider webs and neurons.
My process begins with gathering data as a naturalist might. These visual notes inform my studio work, not necessarily as direct source material, but because the process of creating them cements the experiences in my memory. Those experiences resonate as I paint, and I find myself drawing upon the memories of being in a place, my hand moving to the forms and sensations of my surroundings. From there, the paintings themselves evolve organically. I respond to the physicality of my materials, pouring, wiping, sanding, and applying large gestural strokes of paint until the work achieves a balance between the seen and the felt. The final work, then, is not a visual replication but more of an embodied memory, a reinterpretation of an experience. I create these paintings to invite the viewer to enter a world of beauty, chaos, and turbulence, and to impel them to notice what surrounds them and lies below their feet.
The Coral Reef series is a result of my experiences and memories of scuba diving in coral reef environments throughout the Caribbean. As a result of direct observation, I have become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of climate change, overfishing, and ocean acidi- fication on coral reefs worldwide. When a single element is affected, the entire environment is affected. Through painting these extraordinary environments, I hope to draw attention to the importance of protecting this critical ecosystem.