Le CouveNt Project Description
Plein air landscape painting is a fundamental element of my art practice. My interest lies in the intersection of the natural world and the manmade—the built environment on a coast or the evidence of human interaction in a wooded place, the artificial color of a plastic chair on the edge of the woods or three quarters sky dominating one quarter city.
Outdoors and from life, I quickly paint the landscape around me, and from these paintings I create sculptures and installations using found materials, rejected paintings, and whatever is on hand. My studio practice is rife with experimentation as I test out new material combinations to create a conversation with my surroundings. I am drawn to sitespecific experiments and am interested in the ways that human experience and consciousness are inscribed upon a place or a landscape. Employing formal decisions, I address the ways that human experience and consciousness are inscribed upon a specific space or landscape. Drawing and painting are the first step in a means of exploration and engagement with a place. There is play between the scale of the landscape; the human body; the architecture of the studio; and my paintings, drawings, and installations.
I am interested in how we gain and lose information with any form of communication. I explore what it means to inhabit spaces that are imaginary, while seeking to illuminate spaces through which most people merely pass or ignore altogether. Calling attention to changes and variations in perception, I create works through an intersection of painting, sculpture, and installation. My method is like playing a visual game of telephone with myself where the viewer is the last ear.
At Le CouveNt summer residency,I would spend the long days painting plein air. For me, painting outdoors invites dialogue with local residents and nonartists. They are able to see my creative process and our discussions become part of my paintings, through titles, shared experience, and points of view. The paintings I make during the residency will stand on their own but will also become the basis for installations and sculptures made in the solitude of my studio, which would be impossible without the inspiration of the plein air experience. In addition, I have recently expanded my practice to include landscape imagery from textiles, specifically toile de Jouy patterns. I am interested in taking the existing landscape scene on the printed fabric and expanding it to incorporate the landscapes that surround me. The French landscape would be the perfect place to continue to work on this project, since the original toile de Jouy patterns were, of course, from France.
I am currently an artistinresidence at a botanical garden in the Bronx in New York City, where I have been exploring these new avenues in my work. As you know, residencies like the one offered at Le CouveNt provide artists like myself with desperately needed, uninterrupted time.
As an artist who also works fulltime in the museum field, the ability to take a month off of work and concentrate on my artwork is a luxury that I am really only able to take advantage of through designated residency programs.
Last summer I attended a residency in Brittany, France. I had not had as much focused time to work since graduate school; I made over 80 paintings and built meaningful, lasting relationships with the other participating artists. When I arrived I was immediately struck by the incredibly lush landscape, especially coming from NYC. Every surface was bursting with flowers, sprouting from every crack and crevice in the stone walls, forts, and chateaus.