Nature, Culture, Nurture

The ideas for my paintings come from images that form and develop in my imagination.  Inspiration is sometimes found in materials I've pulled together from both man-made and natural things around me. It's in the quite moments, upon waking, bathing, daydreaming, when these ideas form. There are no words involved in the development of a painting and now I find myself trying to translate these mental images into words.  This is difficult for me and a lot is lost in the translation. So instead of writing about what the paintings are about I will write about what I'm thinking.

Once upon a time, long long ago, people lived very close to the natural world.  Over time we have created man-made environments that have distanced us from our natural world to the point that it has become so foreign it is feared.  This has distorted the perception of what is real (natural) and what is man-made. I believe this distancing from nature is affecting us on many levels.

It is effecting the way we nurture our children.  Children are now growing up indoors in institutions, often spending little time in family interactions.  Babies are plopped into pens to keep them safe, then put in front of televisions to keep them entertained, then video games and social media which filter life through a screen. There is little time for dreaming, creating, and make-believe, or to have their own thoughts.

We are dumping chemicals on our natural world.  Our food is grown with genetically modified seeds and sprayed with herbicides and insecticides. The finished products contain ingredients like, butylated hydroxtoluene, monosodium glutamate and sodium nitrite, which are then stuffed into plastic (styrene) packages.

Culturally, we no longer want to smell like ourselves. We put chemicals all over our bodies, homes, pets, cars & clothing.  We take medications by the dozens that alter our body and mind.  We choose to wrap our bodies in polyester and treat our bed linens so they do not wrinkle or burn.  We, as social creatures, are expected to do this and if we don’t we are considered social misfits.

In my mind we humans have lost sight of the natural world and have lost our ability to live in harmony with it. But in the end, it will reclaim us. In the meantime, I will play with this notion of what is real. In my paintings I like to have multiple meanings. It’s for you to decide what you see.