My materials play a big role in what inspires me, how I create and how my pieces develop. I am endlessly fascinated with the physicality and possibilities of what I create with - because of this, an integral part of my practice includes regular research on and experimentation with my materials. I am especially interested in exploring the varied aspects of colour, both on and off canvas - the chemical makeup of my pigments, their histories, unique traits within families, relationships with other colours, and never-ending combinations. In this series, I use primarily modern, synthetic pigments for their jewel-like vibrancy, staining capabilities, and transparency. Because of the permanency and clarity of my paints, I am able to build up colours through multiple layers, like sliding together sheets of coloured glass.
My painting process is very loose and gestural, and I work almost entirely with my hands, as I like the immediacy of working without brushes or tools. Besides some initial colour choices, I don’t plan my pieces - after each layer, I react to how my colours have pooled in the previous layer. To start a piece, I mix a fluid black paint with an acrylic medium to create a viscous, honey consistency. I pick this up by the handful and throw it at the canvas from several feet away - once dry, I push around washes of fluid acrylics, which bleed and pool within the raised, intersecting lines. I build up colours directly on the canvas, one layer at a time, moving from light to dark- often working subtractively, covering the entire canvas with a colour and using a rag to wipe back to underlying layers. I finish each piece with a pour of thick acrylic medium which creates a smooth, gloss finish.
I am inspired by the work of writers Rainer Maria Rilke and Fernando Pessoa, and their thoughts on solitude and the interior world of memory, thought and emotion. Both Rilke and Pessoa speak of the interior life as if it was a physical space - Rilke encouraging artists to “ walk inside yourself and meet no one for hours, “ and Pessoa writing of exploring one’s sensations “ like large unknown countries.” I love these images of vast inner worlds waiting to be explored like sunken cities, and through my work reflect the intimate landscapes I imagine them to be - dreamy, messy, layered, and coloured by accumulated experiences. I use an underlying network of lines that extend off the canvas to suggest a nervous system or veins, and reflect the way in which these inner worlds are neither insular nor purely ethereal but grounded in our bodies and connections with each other.