Over a thirteen year period I have consistently created landscape paintings in the egg tempera and watercolor mediums by re-composing landscape and plant forms taken from religious and non-religious art; which exist in both Eastern and Western cultures spanning all art historical periods. Borrowed from works I have personally seen and experienced in museums, I also cull forms taken from books, catalogs and web research. Also incorporated into each painting are references to nature and landscape forms I have experienced traveling, or through residencies which I have documented with a digital camera and watercolors. Working intuitively through my process I transform all of these sources into newly formed landscape paintings, which resonate for me with meaning and symbolic feelings. Each painting begins with a goal aimed at facilitating a similar reaction for those viewing my work. My landscapes are intended to invite viewers to embark on visual tours of an unknown yet familiar looking world becoming a part of their cultural and emotional consciousness.
I am particularly attracted to depicting real world places which are associated with mythologies. In my most current work, I have chosen to depict three real world places associated with mythologies. They are the Holy Land, the Wild Apple and Fruit Forests of Kazakstan and sub-tropical Southern Florida where one of many globally known myths of The Fountain of Youth originates.
I often specifically reference works such as Claude Lorrain drawings (Fr. 1604-1682), Albrecht Dürer woodcuts (Ger. 1471-1528) and Wang Hui paintings ( Chn. 1632-1717) when constructing my compositions, because their works also focused often on depictions of cultural mythologies.
The materials and manner in which I construct my paintings create a familiarity for the viewer. Viewers often comment they perceive the materials utilized in Christian religious paintings, Asian landscape art and Persian miniatures. Like the images I choose to render, these materials too have been re-processed through my personal interpretations and personally developed techniques. Traditional colors and spatial concepts are sometimes disregarded to heighten the visual experience of the viewer pulling and leading the viewer’s eye.
The ancient painting technique of egg tempera utilizes the simple combined medium of egg yolk, dry pigments and water applied to a gesso prepared wood panel or canvas. Egg tempera pre-dates oil paints and is considered by conservators to be one of the most stable and archival mediums.
I have also recently begun to incorporate another ancient technique, verre églomisé into my work. Verre églomisé is the application of precious metal leafs and reverse painting on the backside of glass. Like egg tempera, the transparency and luminosity of the medium greatly impacts the viewers’ experience as they look onto my work, and I look forward to exploring further the verre églomisé medium, and it’s expressive possibilities with my landscapes.
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