In the spring of 2015, I needed a vacation with some fresh air. I perused my options for a somewhat last minute trip and decided upon Arizona. I landed in Tucson. I find great comfort being amongst the landscape and being outside with fresh air, space, and plant life. I was able to go on daily hikes and play by the pool for a week. I left fully regenerated and hopeful. I believe the landscape is deeply connected to the spiritual realm. My prayer and meditation are highly tied to my relationship with nature and being outdoors, whether it’s making my way to the lakefront in Chicago or booking a last minute trip to Tucson as a retreat.
I started a series of three works on the floor of my hotel room in Tucson after spending a few days exploring the terrain outside such as the Catalina State Park a the Saguaro National Park East. I used watercolor paints to create the loose, light, mark-making you see in the background, which represents the energy of the wind and sky. It’s soft and airy and light and continually moving. I wanted to convey the energy of the space more than a specific image or place on my trip. When I arrived home in Chicago, I pulled the three works on paper back out and continued to develop them using acrylic paints while maintaining just enough of the light watercolors emerging through the backgrounds. I am continually interested in the space, or edge, between the sky and the earth and I like to play with my painted marks and the effects of gravity to show a connection between the two. For example, a drip from the ground moving up into the sky becomes a bridge between the two realms. The sky and the earth (the divine and the material) although separate, are really one and there is a dynamic interplay between the two. After finishing the paintings on Yupo paper (a special watercolor paper), I decided to mount them onto wood panels and varnish them for a finished look.