Altered States

The Altered States series was born out of the necessity for time away from the world, alone time in order to protect and rearm oneself against the traumas of the daily news cycle and growing alarm over climate change and extinction.

My figures find themselves in conversation with their subconscious selves, free from the weight of being in an often-uncooperative body. They are set adrift in dreams and fathom something other. They find themselves weightless rising through the air, flying, or falling after having let go of something which might have been holding them captive.

These paintings are created using pareidolia, a phenomenon in which the viewer sees shapes or images (often faces) out of random visual stimuli, the most famous example being the man in the moon. I lay down a brush stroke and then soften my gaze allowing the figure and its potential pose to reveal itself. The figure is in constant flux as I continually add and subtract paint. My figures are flat enough to read like silhouettes but I add hints of details allowing the picture to be completed within the mind of the viewer.

Yupo paper, made of polypropylene, is non-absorbent and repels water, which allows pigments to sit on the surface and separate, rendering effects that mimic disintegration–- something that isn’t readily achieved on traditional watercolor paper. Time, temperature, the properties of each pigment, and the amount of water all play a role in this painting method that I refer to as controlled chaos. The watercolor pigments used in this series are made from semi-precious stones such as Green Apatite, Black Tourmaline, Bloodstone, Diopside, Garnet, Hematite, Lapis Lazuli, Mica, Red Fuschite, Rhodonite, Sodalite, Sugilite, and Zoisite. They often separate beautifully and often shimmer in different lights.

Altered States gallery