Paintings on Canvas, 2018-20
Acrylic, oil, and torn cloth on canvas
I paint and draw through multiple actions of layering, pouring, dripping and spilling color, through repeated events of pigment application and erasure and mark-making. I paint on the wall, floor and the table, mimicking the wanderer’s frequent relocations, often working on the canvas sideways and upside down.
My painting process entails repeated cycles of creative and destructive processes. Surfaces and images get erased as they emerge, painted over as they solidify, and then altered again, leaving behind residues and the rich soil of the under-paint. The act of staining, tearing and applying clothes onto the canvas invokes women’s domestic labor, chores and rituals of cleaning. The act of tearing articles of women’s clothing serves as a gesture of grief and mourning, implying the shedding of one’s skin, letting go, sacrifice and rebirth.
My paintings and drawings often depict inner and outer landscapes that allude to the body, to the earth, to paths and physical quests. Maureen Murdock, a Jungian inspired Feminist writer called this spiral descent into the female subconscious The Heroine’s Journey. These images draw parallels and seek union between my feminine succession and Mother Earth’s life cycles, our striking, brutal, and fierce expressions, magic, fury and grace. Flora, fauna and the elements of fire, water, earth and sky are all manifestations of inner vistas as much as outer typographies. They are meditations on time, temporality and change, on spirit and matter.
I construct visual narratives that fuse my personal recollections with collective histories, drawing inspirations from Feminism and women’s work, aspects of Abstraction, landscape painting and Magical Realism. I depict houses consumed by fire, mountains speckled with tents, piles of stones and broken, burnt trees. I paint luscious plants, laundry lines, bushes of prickly pears and female bathers floating in shimmering water. Embedded in my work are themes of migration, women’s journeys and earth deterioration. These themes are largely tied to a critique of Western, Post-Capitalist society and its systematic exploitation of humans and natural resources.
Painting allows the release of a wide range of emotions, intuitive understandings and associations that have no vessel in ordinary speech. It also demands from me visceral expression and trust in the intelligence of my body over the regurgitation of the mind. I find that the return to intuitive, sensory and more ancient forms of knowledge, in this day and age is ultimately a transgressive act.