Most recently I have given up figurative narration in preference for abstracted landscapes. The past few months I have desired to build a new relationship to paint, color and process that affords me opportunity to develop my own sense, for lack of a better term, of non-representational painting. I crave a wide spectrum of color and organic open shapes, in addition to a variety of marks speaking the language of paint. However, an abstract/figuration dichotomy is ultimately false and so working from an initial image propels a process. I take great pleasure in painting observationally-- you are excused from making choices and can mindlessly copy your perception, especially if using a photo reference. However, knowing i will paint over my little landscape study allows me to work with a measure of abandonment and levity. Using gradients, scumbles, dry brush, quick or slow strokes i compose colors and shapes, attempting to retain the underneath landscape as a negative space. Here is one before and after shot.
We are already divorced from nature when we begin to represent it through art. A landscape occurs when art happens to land, we make aesthetic choices which positions nature as an object of pleasure, or too reflect our human drama. In making 'abstracted landscapes' I aim to show the landscape painting genre as already artifice, a pure cultural product rather than a reaction to nature. However, nature is the ultimate sublime and genius of life, which I think produces that artistic impulse to make and play with form.
I have a series of dramatic landscape photographs I shot on film that have been filed away for a decade. My photos were kept in storage in a friends basement for four years and were damaged by moisture, which fortuitously created some interesting painterly effects. To further emphasize an image/material contrast I have been painting Richter style directly onto these film photos, or over the glazing.