I guess I've always been attracted to the odd and imperfect. Chipping paint, rust, old, damaged - these qualities have a charm and character that are often more beautiful in my mind than the perfection of the new, fresh, pristine. A wilting flower, or one that has died and been pressed in a book for 20 years, can be just as beautiful as the fresh bloom.
As I think about how, why, and what I paint, I realize that my attraction to the imperfect extends to my tendency toward expressionism and abstraction. The dying flower triggers just as many stories and memories. The old shed has more charm than the new pre-fab variety sold at the hardware store. And rendering these things in a loose, improvisational way that captures the essence, rather than the details, suits me just fine.
I'm feeling a kinship with the early modernist painters - Matisse, Gauguin, and others - who wanted to say so much more than their classical predecessors. They found an honesty and purity of expression in line, shape, and color, rather than being a slave to mimetic realism. It wasn't that they didn't know how to draw and create illusion of form through shading and perspective. They relished the freedom they found in a different expression.
For me it's a question of balance. If I go too far, I offend my own sense of beauty. Finding that fine line that fits my aesthetic is an ongoing challenge. In my new series of flower paintings, I'm juxtaposing the fresh with the wilted, the live with the dead, and arousing ghostly memories in the process. I'm working in combinations of acrylics and digital transfers, as well as oils.
This painting - "In Her Shadow" - recalls my grandmother who taught me to love and tend her rose garden.