My senior show at North Park University is coming down today. I wanted to document the pieces installed in the (newly grey) gallery in Carlson Tower. I also wanted to post the two new pieces that I completed in the weeks leading up to my show. Thank you to all who came to support me in the show opening, and for those who took the time to view the pieces.
Intimacy and vastness are an interesting dichotomy that seems to have wrapped my work together. From the smallest to the largest, the nearness, yet incompleteness, of the faces and landscapes leaves one both closely confronted and distantly aware of the fullness of the subject. The creation process attempts to embrace a sense of discovery in the mystery of observing something deeply. When this is done, I revel in watching what emerges. I am surprised each time at what occurs in the painting, in the contemplation of it, and the final result. But not all is ever seen or observed, no matter how deep, close, or preciously one attempts. I am dependent on the detailed yet limited information of faces and landscapes that I have. I explore the possibility to both experience the pieces, and for a fleeting moment have their experience. The communal quality that occurs in joining the pieces together in a room begs for visions of the bringing together of so many differences. Whether the difference of seeing and being seen, intimacy and vastness, all and nothing, large and small, I hope the pieces stand with their own strength, yet join together in stillness.
To be seen.
The new pieces for the show: Oil paint on MDF 6.6″X6.6″
Oil paint on MDF 2′X3′
Oil painting on wood block: 11X13.5 inches
Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.
He changes times and seasons;
he deposes kings and raises up others.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.
He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him.
I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors:
You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
you have made known to us the dream of the king.
This painting is the first in a series of mini landscapes I am embarking on.
6.6 X 6.6 inches
As I continue to write about my recent pieces, the tension between knowing and not knowing, seeing and not seeing seems increasingly important.
“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”
-1 Corinthians 13:12
Both paintings: oil paint on wood blocks, 8X11inches
Look at you.
All of the sudden, emerges a gentle shift in the perceived skin. The added contrast of a simple line or smudge seems to transform the entire piece into something mysterious and new. My process of painting attempts to embrace this sense of discovery, of the mystery in observing something deeply. This intimacy with the subject matter, whatever it may be, is something that I seek to do in humility to what I see. Artists such as Antonio Lopez Garcia or David Caspar Fredrich similarly pursue submission towards their subject in their paintings. This type of painting allows for a tedious yet always surprising creation process. However, not all is ever seen or observed, no matter how deep, close, or preciously one attempts. The making of my paintings is always a unique experience. It leaves space to be dependant on the subject, and driven by the subject, which brings about new ways of painting each time the subject is approached. Working from photos allows me to observe even closer and with more longevity than working from life could bring. Each subject of the cropped portrait series are people who are in my life in some way, and who have been willing to let me both paint them, and be in conversation about what intimacy is in their life. The addition of a landscape to the series of work begins an exploration into what it is to both see someone and be someone. To both experience them, and for a fleeting moment have their experience.
Leslie. Oil Paint on wood block (approx. 10 by 8 in.)
“I once saw a stonecutter remove great pieces from a huge rock on which he was working. In my imagination I thought, That rock must be hurting terribly. Why does this man wound the rock so much? But as I look longer, I saw the figure of a graceful dancer emerge gradually from the stone, looking at me in my mind’s eye and saying, “You foolish man, didn’t you know I had to suffer and thus enter into my glory?” The mystery of the dance is that its movements are discovered in the mourning. To heal is to let the Holy Spirit call me to dance, to believe again, even amid my pain, that God will orchestrate and guide my life.”
— Henri Nouwen (Turn My Mourning into Dancing)
Oil painting on wood board. Approximately 6X11 inches.
Oil painting on wood panel approx. 8X8in. Just One.
“If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. if anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” -1 Peter 4:11