ARTIST STATEMENT

My work is based in the visual reality I find around me. My subjects – landscape, architecture, and the figure – embody my struggle to discover my place in the universe as both a physical and spiritual being. My paintings inhabit the edge between finite and infinite, physical and spiritual space.

I often paint with a palette knife as well as a brush, using a limited palette. Often my failed paintings become notes of texture and depth in my new successes. Sometimes the big stories reveal themselves in the smaller ones, if we stop to look – or rather, if we stop looking and begin to really see. I must pay attention to where I am now, to the moment I am in, open to life as it is unfolding around and within me. When I am attentive, I see that the reality of the quiet details, the subtle changes of light and shadow have a universe all their own – I am a guest, and must listen watchfully here on the horizon, where earth and sky converge.

During the three years I lived in Italy the encounter with the narrative power of pre-Renaissance painting changed me, and now I want to participate in this ‘sacra conversazione’, to become a dancer in the choreography of tradition. In my paintings I delve into the mystery of what lies behind what I see: that reality, or essential meaning, which can be prompted by the commonplace.

The act of painting is a continual push and pull of discovery and loss, construction and deconstruction, narrative and nothingness. Painting is an act of faith: that epiphanies are possible and the story not yet complete.

ARTIST STATEMENT: MARY