2004: City or Nature; Longing and Need
In the city, our daily lives are filled with man-made objects, straight lines, right angles, unnatural colors, and the juxtaposition of ideas and objects creating a grand mixture of images, colors and forms. Within this mixture is an order and beauty that transcends the apparent confusion. It is this order and beauty I seek in the City series of paintings. The light as it falls on these lines and angles creates an interaction between distance and reflection that greatly appeal to me. I don’t seek specifics in my paintings, but generalities and abstractions of what we see and experience in the city.
While the city has people, crowds and the problems associated with population, it is also the gathering place for commerce and culture. The city as we know and see it represents the current end point of technological development and the culmination of human values and beliefs as interpreted through the world’s religions and spiritual practices.
Yet with so much of what we see in a city filled with buildings, signs and man-made structures we are blocked from contact with nature and this creates a void that somehow must be filled.
When we leave the city and explore nature we experience the solitude, natural beauty and dangers not associated with a city. There is a calm, a sense of time passing slowly and an ancient wildness. Natural order and purity are the rule and they are unmoved and unsympathetic to human suffering. Nature to me is where we came from and where we will go, it is the reverse of progress. It’s forms are smooth, curving, non linear and unpredictable. In nature I see the specifics of composition and light when I tighten my scope and concentrate on smaller areas, rocks in particular. I love the irregular and arbitrary make up of natural objects.
Whether we live in the city or in nature, there is a longing to experience what the other has to offer and in fact human nature needs both to have a fulfilled, balanced life. We create this balance in these two extremes by keeping contact with both, making gardens and parks in cities and bringing buildings and conveniences to nature.