The paintings in the Explorations series are macro and micro reflections upon the element of water. Some of the paintings are inspired by satellite photographs, aerial views, and maps, while others explore more personal experiences. In my work, I combine my worry over the growing threat to natural bodies of water around the world, and ultimately us, with my impressions of the astounding natural beauty of water in all its forms during my international travels, including Iceland, Patagonia, the Caribbean, and here at home on the Potomac.
These works also consider our relationship with the element of water, both its life sustaining and life-taking aspects. Some of the pieces are satellite images showing sea level rising, and others examine where land and water meet. Other paintings depict the state of water far from land, and some the underwater confusion created when the tide comes into shore.
In a few of the paintings, I memorialize the time I spent ice-skating in my youth on natural bodies of water. I recall mystical moments of gliding across the ice while looking down at the vegetation encased within. I fear that future generations will not have the chance to experience this sense of freedom and communion with nature due to climate change.
My work is also influenced by the literature I’ve read about Polar exploration. The ideas, lore, romance, and forbidding nature of the frozen world that inform these works fill the conceptual background of this series.
The watercolor paintings are created on Yupo, a synthetic non-absorbent paper made of polypropylene. When given the appropriate amount of water and time, select pigments separate on Yupo, rendering interesting textures that mimic water in fluid and frozen states. I have used a number of pigments made of semi-precious stones such as black Tourmaline and Sugilite. Some of the watercolors are iridescent due to tiny chips of mica. I have also made use of print-making techniques to create some of the lines and textures visible in the work. Since paint can be lifted off the surface of Yupo with great ease, I employ both subtractive and additive techniques. These paintings are a result of repeated sittings, interspersed with drying time, and paint applications.