Inspiration hits, I follow it through to a full-fledged idea and then, into the studio to make it a reality. If only that’s how it worked but…it’s not that simple. Alright, it sometimes happens that way but not nearly as often as I’d like.
For the past number of months I’ve been exploring fresh ideas, experimenting a bit and developing new skills. My forms are still organic and I continue to be fascinated with the sphere, but my focus is on repetition, texture and, most recently, contrast through colour and surface treatment. While I trusted my instincts that this was what I needed to be doing, I wasn’t sure if I was on the right track.
Well, the last four weeks on Gabriola Island has confirmed I’m going in the right direction. Everywhere I look I see patterns, contrast created by deep shadows and brilliant sun-kissed surfaces. Depth and volume in every glance.
When I lean back to look up at a tree my eyes stop where the branches touch the sky and I see the stark outline of leaves, crisp and flat against a canvas of blue. A part of my mind draws back and a layer green appears, like lace stretched across the sky. I pull back further and yet another layer appears, this time it’s texture made of shadows as they move in the breeze. All of this from a single glance up.
Yes, it’s a tree. Yes, the sky is blue. But…it’s not that simple.
I climb over boulders and storm driven logs to stand at the edge of the sea. With my body held perfectly still, I feel the wind and see the texture it creates on the water, solid yet transparent. Below the dimpled surface, a layer in shades of green and gold sway to an unheard rhythm. Over it all waves rush toward me and crash against the shore, adding specks of white foam to the air, the final layer. The scene is somehow simultaneously large and small. A sense of intimacy is created by the warm stone beneath my feet, exaggerated by the tremendous expanse of quiet blue overhead. But it is the contrast of rock against crisp blue that captures my interest.
The boulder pushes against the sky and becomes a representation of my physical body versus my consciousness. A defining line of light versus dark and texture versus silky smooth.
Yes, it’s a boulder. Yes, the sky is blue. But…it’s not that simple.
For me, art is about more than just recording what I see, it’s about interpreting what I feel and experience.