I have just a small moment this morning to post these photos from the show in Jackson, WY. It was GREAT. The opening was a bit slow, but I was so happy with how it came together. It always feels good to step back and look at (and enjoy) a body of work after you complete it. Lyndsay did an amazing job hanging the show (and stretching my 2 larger canvases–thanks Lyndsay!). Also, I was especially honored to show with Katherine Dunn. I have so much respect for her and her work. I fell more in love with her paintings after seeing them in person–she paints from her heart and soul. I am inspired by her playful, unedited voice recorded in her strokes and line.
Plus, I sold some work. It makes me happy knowing someone will be living with and enjoying my paintings…It makes me laugh a little, too, for some reason… I am posting my statement for my show below. It’s always a good challenge for me to write about my work, and I hope it helps you to enjoy it more. You can see the show up-close on my flickr page…For details and pricing, you can call the Lyndsay McCandless Gallery at 307.734.0649.
Artist Statement 8/2007
In the past 5 years, painting has become my most consistent form of spiritual practice—in part because of the environment of where I choose to live and travel. Northern New Mexico is my home. I lay my head on the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and look out onto a vast, untouched, prehistoric-looking landscape. Nature is my sacred space here, like it has been for Native Americans for thousands of years. It is open and quiet and still, with expansive skies that call me to breathe deep and full. India is quite different, yet it has a similar affect on me. It is home to a culture whose religious faith is evident everywhere you turn. Ancient temples, roadside shrines, holy rivers, and even images of deities painted on walls, create a landscape of sacred spaces. At the same time, excessive visuals, constant sounds and extreme smells over-stimulate the senses. Often during my travels, I fall into a silent reflection while otherworldly, circus-like films move continuously in the background.
In my paintings, I am creating a world inspired from all that I’ve experienced—a world where I can fly and play and find my own truth.
Around the time I began this group of work, our close community lost 4 young friends, all of who died suddenly. A lot of emotions and questions surfaced for me. I meditated on the paths our friends were traveling on in this world, and where they had gone from here. The first 6 paintings reflect these abstract thoughts. They happened organically—a lot of adding and subtracting—much like working with clay. It felt like I was following something until it revealed itself. Layers of collage are in my layers of searching. Although these are more abstract than my previous work, many of the same symbols are present—birds, circus tents, and circular shapes. While these symbols have different meanings for me, in part, they represent the passage of time, choices, transformation, and journeys.
As these paintings evolved, I began reflecting more on the path I’ve been traveling. Temples and tipis merged with tents in my landscapes, joining the worlds of India and Native American land, with my imagination. The paintings became less abstract, and more narrative and grounded, although birds still flew in skies inside temples. The place I ended with this body of work is different from where I started, but for me, they hold the same intention.