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Sunshine Pseudopods & Minidramas

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Much of my painting in the last few years has eschewed very direct drawing or deliberate gestures. The tone of the work has been somber. I've tended to make highly worked surfaces that suggest slow, natural accretion. These surfaces have functioned as environments for more obvious evidence of human gesture in the form of minimal non-paint, sculptural elements such as torn canvas or nails through a surface. In this series, that has started to change. For awhile, I'd been doing small scale gesture drawings with leftover mixed paint before cleaning my brushes at the end of the day. They were sort of a stand-in for keeping a sketchbook or journal. I'd been spending alot of time swimming and had become enamored with the way sunlight plays on rippling water and casts shadows on the surface underneath. I was also thinking alot about human interaction, body language and microscopic images of single-celled organisms. Gestures as human behavior or mannerisms and the gesture of form convey so much with a very elegant minimalism. One gesture can speak volumes. Two gestures can suggest a complex interaction. Human interaction is layered with meaning. Intention is understood completely, partially or not at all. Wry sarcasm thrown out in the middle of random conversation is met with responses ranging from laughter to pedantic lecturing. One element affects many elements in a multitude of ways.

I wanted to do something fun and new (for me) with paint. I painted five canvases each a variation of flat, vivid blue and used sunlight on water as a jumping off point. It was fun until I forgot to jump all the way off. I ended up stuck on the original idea and the results fell flat... horrible and dull. After much struggling and tentative painting, I broke out a bag of bright pink flocking and introduced it to see what sort of reaction it would incur. The color pink had been banished from my palette over a decade earlier. I associated flocking with fun, kitchy chachkas and crafting. Things became more interesting. More painting happened. Better painting happened.