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Find the sweet source of energy, the energy of LOVE, that pulsates in the natural rhythms and change of seasons in life.
As I was finishing the painting, Gathering Sap, I shared an event on Facebook called, “Invitation to Love”. The event was created by a friend who was inviting people to gather at a specified time to focus on love. When my son expressed discomfort about seeing the event show up in his newsfeed in big purple letters, I asked myself, “At what age did it become unnatural to openly feel and express the energy of LOVE?”
My work is an invitation to myself to taste the sweetness of energy in the rhythm and changes of seasons in life. During a specific window of time in early spring, freezing and thawing happens between night and day generating the flow of sap from the roots of the maple trees back to their branches. After many hours of work gathering and boiling down the sap, a natural sweet treasure remains.
I find a similar cathartic experience through painting as I boil down experiences gathered in the flow of life. In my video statement on this website, I say that I’m not really attached to the subject of what I’m painting. I'm not sure that statement is true. I have become very attached to the outcome or meaning of my paintings in the past, just as much as I have with things going on in my daily life. Yet, what painting teaches me is that when I allow myself to get into the process and pay attention to what’s happening inside me, like what I feel when I put this brush stroke next to that, I find that meaning takes care of itself and reveals much more about life than any beliefs I might have about it.
The meaning of a painting can change quite a bit from beginning to end, or from viewer to viewer. I see each painting as one leg of an expedition and all paintings are one big exploration. Just as the peaks and valleys of life create movement, I've learned to embrace the ebbs and flows from one painting to the next. The way that I respond to energy, light and color is the unifier. Up close, colors in my paintings can seem intense and unnatural, but when I step away, soften my eyes and experience the vibration of energy created between each color, the painting feels very natural and alive. To me, this is the energy of LOVE, our unifying essence.
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