Integrating: New Work – Interior Archaeology | Contradictions

I have been searching for my artistic ouerve for years. Almost thirty years to be precise. My first urgings to make art, as a child, were common. Most kids love to create and I was no exception.

Then, as I progressed in school, and found I was good at math and science, my homework consumed more of my time and attention. I knew I wanted to go to college, so getting good grades and taking the right classes trumped any nascent interest in art in high school. Still, I envied friends who took pottery, drawing and painting while I was in calculus and physics classes. I found a certain beauty in these classes, especially geometry, but they didn’t help me develop art-making skills or produce anything of beauty.

After some time as an engineer and mom, I got a set of watercolors and made a painting of something I loved – my 6 month old son, sleeping beside me on the bed. It was a good painting and from then on, I pursued classes in art-making as time permitted. I had four children and a career, so it was challenging to fit that art-making in, but I did.

I worked at printmaking, watercolor, acrylic, collage, ready-mades. I dabbled with oil painting and loved it, but couldn’t get the paint thick enough or dry enough to satisfy me. I thought hot wax encaustic would be my medium but it too frustrated me with its quick “freezing up.”

Then, I discovered cold wax medium (CWM). I felt like I’d found my home.

CWM lets me combine everything I’d worked with to date – paper, thread, textures, oil paints,  and wax – on paper, board or small canvas. I didn’t have to buy anything but a squeegee when I took my first class from Jerry McLaughlin, author of Cold Wax Medium.

From the moment I started working with CWM, I knew it was where I’d meant to be. It flows, it is full of color, luminosity, texture and possibilities. It reveals itself as the painting is worked, and most important of all, the CWM process allows – even forces – patience and communication with the work. The painting tells you what it needs and when it is finished. That conversation has always been central to my work.

New Work: INTERIOR ARCHAEOLOGY | CONTRADICTIONS

My experience is that we are all looking for our place in the world – where we fit and the impact we want to make. And, on some level, most of us are a hot mess underneath it all – dismayed, frustrated, and sometimes lacking faith in a greater good.

My work is an examination of the different paths this introspection takes us down – our personal maps of constantly looking for what is around the next turn and under the next rock – the hope and promise that compels us to keep moving forward.

I use maps as a first layer in all my pieces as a touchstone to ground the journey. Each piece involves as many as 20-30 layers of cold wax and oil paint, including intermediate addition of textures that represent the topography and geography of my interior conversations as I am making the piece.

As I continue to build each painting, adding to and excavating from the paint, I have discovered that the answers to my questions often reveal themselves. This archaeological expedition on the paper or panel is my way of exploring emotions associated with finding the beautiful meaning in what would otherwise seem to be mundane, everyday life.

Please visit the gallery of my most recent work, my artistic home.

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