My California inspired abstract landscapes, florals, bursts of vibrant light and bold texture shift with the seasons
Every Season Painting Finds me in different ways
During the winter months as we start to lose our light, I go inward, and worked with small formats this year. A series of California inspired mini abstracted landscape paintings emerged. I drew inspiration from the temporarily flowing creeks after a rare storm, crevices in our dried earth, the bold rays of light that hit at an aggressive angle, the roaring wild ocean, the relief of rain. I tried to contain all of those contradiction inside a small frame as though peering out at it through a window.
I used bold textures and looked for new ways of creating marks in this series.
In the Spring the flowers come, bursting wild and abundant where I live in Northern California. It’s a revolution for the eyes and senses, everywhere you turn, petals, stamens, pistils, in all shapes sizes and color, are showing off, deliriously happy to my eyes. As all the movement and color erupts, so do my allergies, and my health takes a toll as an infection inevitably follows. Inspired and energized by the new growth with it’s suggestion of renewal and hope, while also conscious that time is ticking before I lose my energy to illness, I work fast to capture what I can. Inspired by Japanese traditions of concentrated precise gestures that capture the poetry of movement with one brushstroke, I bring out the brushes, the sketchbooks and larger canvases. No easy task to get that one gesture to work, but I enjoy pushing myself this way. Out came my abstracted floral series and inevitably every spring, there’s some version of florals in my work.
In the late summer and fall, it’s a roll of the dice weather wise. Either we hit our most beautiful season of all, our glorious intensely bright Indian Summer, or we suffocate in smoke and fear watching the out-of-control wildfires blow up our horizons. There’s a sense of urgency in the air, a “let’s hope for the best, head in the sand” attitude, and also a keen understanding that we now have a newly rechristened fire season, placing us face to face with our individual and collective role in climate change. Nature is threatened, animals are threatened, our future is threatened. And yet the cycles of nature that fascinate me continue on. I like to watch the drama of the weeds and florals battling each other for space, getting tangled up, trying to exist. I captured some of this in my Botanical abstract series working in oil and cold wax with some collage for texture, and using more saturated colors and uninhibited lines.
No matter what the season, as a Bay Area native, I appreciate our fog, cooling us down, sweeping in like a protective blanket. I often gravitate to white on white abstracts as a soothing respite from all the sunlit, pollen dispersing sensory overload.