Notes on Painting

1. A painting is an object that functions as a window, a decoration and as a thing that can transform one’s surroundings and psychological state.

2. Landscape paintings emphasize the fact that walls separate us from nature. Hanging pictures of the outdoors on walls creates a vista that connects one to the natural world and expands interior space.

3. As a handmade simulation of the environment, landscape paintings offer respite, escape and an opportunity to sit, look and contemplate.

4. A painting is a visual translation of sensation.

5. A painting is an object that holds an opportunity for intimate connection and reciprocity.

6. “Just as Norman Rockwell painted pictures of middle class America as it wanted to see itself, many artists today draw on sentimental iconography to represent the world as they wish it could be or as they long to remember it. Inherent to this earnest sentimental imagery is the yearning to transcend a disturbing or mundane reality for a sweeter, gentler existence.". — Nick Capasso, Pretty Sweet: The Sentimental Image in Contemporary Art, catalog essay, DeCordova Museum, 2005

7. Objects and images that have a sentimental quality are not concerned with beauty or longing or strong emotions. Sentimentality neutralizes emotion.

8. Aesthetic experiences dislodge us from the time and space of the everyday and cause a feeling of unity.

9. I think a lot about what I am seeing how to get others to see.

10. Exacting placement is essential. I spend hours moving things here and there to get an image framed just right. My purview is limited to what I want to see. Perception is controlled. All chaotic parts are eliminated. I have to consciously remind myself to let things overlap because I am inclined to have every shape isolated from every other shape.

11. Painting is a physical manifestation of life. In the best case it brings us in closer contact with what it means to be alive, to be human and heightens our awareness about that which is not visible.

12. Painting is the enactment of pure freedom. It is the enactment of denial, escape and pleasure. It is the enactment of uncertainty and deep focus.

13. Painting makes process visible.

14. Painting is an action of hope.

15. Painting is humanistic and as such is concerned with emotion.

16. Painting is an enactment of domestic activity.

17. Paintings are mediated experiences that cause us to be more conscious of our surroundings.

18. Painting is a way to expand the boundaries of reality.

19. Painting is a way to trap energy.

20. The repetitious activity of painting patterns mirrors the experience of domestic time — a continuous and repetitive cycle.

21. Pattern is ubiquitous. It is in our architecture, in the media, on printed materials, packaging and the fabrics which make up our clothing, our linens, our towels, the things we sit on and walk on. Pattern surrounds us like a skin or like time .

22. Paintings make time, space and light visible. Solving spatial problems on a two dimensional surface is the best part of the process.

23. Painting is a traditional act, it is familiar in relation to a lot of contemporary work - it is ordinary, direct, holds the human touch, is not bogged down in a lot of engineering feats, is a magical process, one that holds profound focus. It is a romantic and sentimental act that reflects history and holds the doubt and perseverance of the creative process.

24. A painting is at once a document that records history, an activity that builds and reflects the world, an object of contemplation and agitation.

25. Paintings make social and political discourse visible.

26. A painting is a way to exchange information, put forth a critique and explore history and identity.

27. Painting involves slowness. In a post-studio, post-disciplinary, post-human, media-saturated landscape, a painting is an object that holds and conveys human touch from one person to the next.

28. Making a painting is a powerful political act, one that gives form to peace and freedom. Not a new idea but one that is relevant for me as an artist, an educator, a woman and a mother at this point in my experience of American history.

29. I paint everyday and daily life is at the heart of my content.

30. Paintings are bonsais of lived experience. The act of reduction compresses and makes more potent the magical qualities of space and time.