Epicenter #1 2010 mixed media painting on wood, ready to hang.
In this series of paintings, I use collages of ellipses under a “skin” of oil paint to explore representations of physical, metaphorical, and emotional forces. The ellipse is a departure from the precision of the circle while still maintaining the visual idea of continuity and endlessness. It is a form that is both empty and full and speaks to the many cycles seen in nature; the mysterious quality of the overlapping sculptural shapes just below the painted surface suggests a hidden other.
The collaged ellipses lend their form to physical processes such as waves rhythmically hitting a beach, or ripples emanating in concentric bands from a stone thrown into a pond of water. The ellipse can be viewed as the shape sound makes, its reverberation, or the energy radiating outward through the earth’s crust at the epicenter of an earthquake.
The shapes are also symbolic of cycles of death, birth, and rebirth that we experience with the seasons or through the arc of events and relationships throughout our lives. I find the ellipse to be a very female form conveying female expression and sexuality. As the oil paint dries over the ellipses, it reveals and conceals, bends and yields and mimics the processes of time and aging by either muting or defining the solid form’s edges, telling a story of implied details, in a similar way that our skin tells our personal stories.
Color in these paintings adds a symbolic subtext. White is the color of winter, clarity, simplicity, expansiveness and purity. Off-white is contemplation, experience, wisdom and wholeness. Black is absence and emptiness, death, mystery and elegance.