Throughout my long career, the natural world has been the filter through which I examine my life and the world around me. The source is my growing up on the Gulf Coast – literally with the beach and gulf in front, and woods and swamp behind. I sought solace in nature and carry that experience until this day.
In the current work, Newlandia III, I imagine the land and sea from above, surveying the lines on the surface as if following a life’s path. I see them as maps and aerial views, a guide through the personal and metaphorical landscapes of our changing world and ecosystems. With the most recent painting, Cosmic Debris, it’s too soon to know if I will continue in this vein. I believe it is an extension of Newlandia Series, but perhaps we have left earth! To me, Cosmic Debris is Pollack-like in density and depth, and there is a bursting through from beneath the surface as though something would soon reveal itself.
The previous iteration of Newlandia is darker in tone and content. These are heavily worked, aerial views with deep gouges and scrapes in the surface. The physicality of my movements when creating them somehow released my hidden memories, and connections emerged between remnants of environmental devastation and scars on my own body. I began to understand the works as a self-reflective journey where creation and destruction coexist.
Trusting who I am guides these pieces and allows the medium to present itself in metaphoric and abstract ways, with only vaguely pre-determined parameters. Hundreds of layers of encaustic wax are built up with repeated strokes and then worn down with heat or friction tools. This process mimics geology and the results resemble familiar landforms. Rich with personal meaning, these works explore my inner landscape and our evolving natural environment. I liken my process to Google-mapping the future.