BOWL STILL LIFES
I started the series of vessel paintings in early 2017 when the shape of a vessel had repeatedly emerged in abstract ink paintings I was working on at the time. I became intrigued by a bowl’s minimalist shape while simultaneously evoking humanity’s history of making objects. Clay vessels are the oldest manifestations of the human capacity for art, design, and beauty. Also, the shape of a bowl is quintessential female, and its function is associated with giving and receiving, holding, healing, and nurturing, qualities that are desperately needed in our often competitive and aggressive world. I therefore consider the process of painting a bowl a form of quiet protest and counteraction to the violent nature of our times. The process of painting these still lifes is a meditative practice for me: it invites contemplation of the philosophical concept of Yin and Yang, which describes the complementary principle of opposing forces in nature, and it helps me to stay centered as the changes and crises we are facing are accumulating.
“If you look at a vase, what makes it a vase?
Is it the material, the clay, the pottery?
It is the empty, silent space inside
That the clay surrounds”.
My abstract paintings are an attempt to communicate the energy and essence of nature, particularly plant life and landscapes. I’m deeply moved by the beauty, resilience, and creativity of all living things, and spend much time on walks observing the sounds, light, movement, and atmosphere of a place. Back in my studio meditation is part of my creative process as I sit in silence before I begin new work. Rather than having a specific image or composition in mind, the choice of color and the movement of strokes and marks have an energetic source and are spontaneous. As I build the surface through layers of adding and detracting, creating and destroying, forms and structures reveal themselves. In this process I embrace accidents, which pose further questions and propel the conversation of gestures along into time and space.