The painting of the Frolics came about when I decided to paint something fun and light, a painting that could live in someone’s home at the beach. This is very much in keeping with my thoughts on what a painting should be…that it should give life and joy.
These works start as simple orange and magenta swirls and marks painted in a random way, on a large gessoed panel. This bright warm color shines through subsequent layers giving the painting visual interest. I lay in the basic background shapes and paint the figures with a large brush. The abstraction comes from creating a room or space for the figures to live within, and to integrate with. There may be light marks and swirls that come from what the Dadaists and Surrealists called “automatic writing”…that is, pure intution (let’s be real–it is all “directed”). Later additions may include quick sketches of sea and surf objects such as seaweed and seahorses, in a thick line style. This gives impasto and depth…and is really fun to do!
The notion of having a figure integrated into the background is central to the ideas I am working with…that the people in the painting are a part of their environment, not separate from it or overlaid upon it or even existing within an empty space (on a beach or in the space of a room or city street). They are melded with their environment, as we all are…we inculcate our beliefs, those we were raised with, and those we encounter in our culture and most importantly, those we choose for ourselves, to be our very own core beliefs. They are within us and we are within them. We are integrated within our families, our society, and our heritage. As Maurice Sendak, the children’s writer, said “I’m in the milk and the milk’s in me!” Hopefully it is the milk of human kindness.
Going forward I am going to attempt to be even looser…to make the paintings more intuitive, to find the magic in the marks…and find the spirits within the paintings.