Detail: Winged Horse and Figures, 2017, oil on plaster and paper, 30.5 x 33 inches
The totemic creatures, inspired by the relationship between myth, totemic art and the unconscious mind, are painted in oil paint on plaster. Marks are incised in plaster and brushed on, in, and over the surface to combine with gestural brush marks, washes, stains, drips and erasures. The image transforms into abstraction.
The horse and stag paintings explore the correspondences between ancient art and the contemporary imagination. The single-animal images are positioned on the edge of abstraction and can be read as animal, still life, landscape or abstraction. Using impasto paint, large areas of color and gestural marks, the paintings shift between the energy of the animal, the activity of the brush strokes, and the emotional resonance of color.
In the large-scale Riverbirds and Rainforest series, birds juxtaposed with petroglyphs and plants appear and disappear within layers of paint to suggest a wide array of wetland and rainforest habitats and a natural ecosystem in which all life is interdependent. The paintings are inspired by my travels along the Silk Route where I researched Buddhist cave paintings.