Organic Unknowns

  • River, 50cm x 60cm, oil and charcoal on board, 2015, Caylus, France
  • Another Path, 50cm x 60cm, oil and charcoal on board, 2015, Caylus, France
  • Mud, 50cm x 60cm, oil and charcoal on board, 2015, Caylus, France
  • Le Pigeonnier, 50cm x 60cm, oil on board, 2015, Caylus, France
  • Canopy, 50cm x 60cm, oil and charcoal on board, 2015, Caylus, France
  • Les Arbres, 50cm x 60cm, oil on board, 2015, Caylus, France
  • PR2, 50cm x 60cm, oil on board, 2015, Caylus, France
  • This work is a selection of paintings completed during a two-month Artist Residency in Caylus, France, in the Midi-Pyrénées region of France.
     
    On the surface, the subject of this work is the natural beauty of the Midi-Pyrénées region in France, from sweeping vistas to minute rock formations. On a deeper level however, the subject is the complexity of organic formations, of stone eroded over eons of rains, of water-ripples echoing universal physical mechanics. Using the French landscape where the artist completed a drawing residency as a tool, these works examine our aesthetic relationship to organic forms. While we perceive and grasp their inherent intricacy intuitively, these forms still lie at the boundary of our understanding, holding secrets beyond our knowledge in plain sight.

    While there is no set method to generating ideas, the work first takes flesh through photographic reference. My research typically involves taking literally hundreds to thousands of photographs. These are then sifted through, retaining the images I find either most relevant or simply most attractive. I then manipulate my source images on the computer until I arrive at the desired result. This frequently involves authoring my own narratives through photographic collages, outright invention of visual elements, and various other digital manipulations. At that point, the true dialogue between my art materials and my imagery begins, and the doctored reference photographs become a stage on which charcoal, paints, pencil, gesture and expression all perform. The complexity and beauty of a drawn line or a swath of color become part of the investigated content, even as they strive to communicate something of mystery of nature.