A Good Smothering (2012)

oil on canvas, 8" x 10", 2012

Full Description

A tight group of white and yellow horses crowd together in a semicircle in the bottom half of a small six by eight inch canvas. Blue, violet, yellow, green, and desaturated red tails face to the center of the circle, heads create the circumference. The bodies of the animals are wholly reliant upon the boldness of the small, white brushstrokes that allow figures to solidify out of or dissolve into the sandy ground. Disembodied, quicksand colored hands reach down from the sky toward the animals like tarantulas slowly crawling from cage to prey. The hands overlap and knock into one another as they reach to grab and smother the stationary beasts. The horse in the lower right stands closest to the viewer in a tense, still pose as if anticipating the smothering touch of one of the fingers. Its eyes are closed with long violet lashes giving definition to heavy lids.

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Artist Statement

  Tracing paper, women’s magazines, clothing catalogs, little images I have carefully clipped and pressed, along with various brands and sizes of black markers litter a small drafting table.  I draw the branch of a Christmas tree from a long ago Christmas with my family.  A small ornament with a wide-eyed, black cat sitting on a rug, present at its side, dangles from a hook on the branch.  I place the tracing paper over a picture depicting a woman I wish I looked like, perfect body clad in haute couture clothing.  Over and over again I trace this woman’s eyes, trying to get it just right, missing twice.  A memory flashes in my consciousness of a previous drawing, an animal sleeping alone in a bed, and I set to carving out the scene into the paper.  One image piles onto another, flitting from one memory to the next, creating new memories, trying to understand what they actually mean and how they might relate to one another.  I do this again and again on different sheets of paper and canvas using different materials always searching for an understanding of something I unconsciously know, but consciously cannot quite grasp.
  At one moment an image is the center of the world and in the next it is forgotten and replaced by a new image.  When the image is revisited moments later it is forever amended by everything that the eyes and mind have processed during the time elapsed.  I reanimate moments that have been pushed into the dusty long forgotten corners of my mind.  I save these reconstituted moments that have altered and morphed from their original context and reality into something new and unique.  I do this because these moments are life, they are the answer and the question to everything and they are the never-ending exploration that must be undertaken.

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