The Illuminated Swamp


As I continue to develop my aesthetic, there is a feeling that it’s a moving target. I try to hold to an ideal, an image in my mind’s eye about the layering of patterns within the landscape. Each piece of that scene will pass in and out of shadow. How the movement of that light will illuminate a surface here and then move to another is the core of my personal fascination. The materiality of the scene is not a source of derision but to a wonder to watch the way in which light fleetingly interacts with a flower, a leaf, algae or even a dead stick. That moment can be captured and time slowed down for the simple pleasure of its exquisiteness. It is by contrast that these objects seem to glow from the inside out, when sunlight brings them into the foreground. But their preciousness is momentary and dependent on the surrounding murkiness. It is in that recognition that we resonate to a sense of inner harmony. We know in our bones it is real and our perception of this sympathy is important.
The sketch in the middle demonstrates the long slow process of building up layers of complicated color combinations. I stretch the variety by challenging myself with, “And what more do you see?”  Everyday I return to my drawing and my powers of observation. The work will continue this way until I can’t  envision anything additional. Then the most crucial part enters into the image, it must now be unified. It is at this stage where the freshness can be lost in overworking or tightening it into another perfectly skillful photographic representation. But it has become lifeless and nobody’s interested. The delicate balance of child like expression and sophisticated rules about pictorial space is the artist’s tightrope.

So here I am, umbrella in hand, half way across the chasm and trying to stay concentrated.

Hope you enjoy the results,



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