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Spirit of Place Series

April 2, 2011

In 2002 I had begun a series of artworks with Acrylic paints on masonite board.  These were 36″ high by 24″ wide.  The theme was the earth and its plant-life.

My plants developed a life of their own, with personality.  The early paintings had heads and faces.  Around and behind the plants were other creatures and spiritual beings.

I named the series “Spirit of Place” and then each would have a separate sub-title with a semi-colon between the main title and sub-title.  The name referring to the fact that the earth and life on it are sacred or spiritual in nature.

In 2003 I started using canvas as my support in a larger format. The plant-life undulating all over the surface, bolder brush strokes.  There are some layered glazes but also less transparency to the plants.

Then, in 2009, my works took a another form by becaming smaller.  The tonal quality also shifted. These changed in color or hues.

Spirit of Place: The View

The painting shown at the left is the very first one completed.  A professor said ” It looks like a man parting the plant leaves, like Moses parting the sea”

Over time the work began to evolve.  It was interesting to see how the work changed.

The smaller paintings were more brilliant in color and less tentative in execution.  I had developed a confidence in my own style of painting.

I started these works by making a thin layer of glaze on the support.  That was allowed to dry, then a second thin layer laid down.  At this point I would use a large brush loaded with water and flick the wrist.  The puddling and direction of the flow dictated the compositional work.

The layer upon layer work continued with building up the glazes which are shining through upper layers.  The plants appear to have thick paints used, but actually they are built-up layers of glazes.  When I was working I was so “in the zone” it was like a meditative state.  the painting and I became one.

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