Artist Statement - Philippines Exhibition Feb, 2018
Still-life is a genre, or type, of painting (as compared with portraits, figurative compositions, landscapes, or abstractions), where inanimate objects are arranged on a horizontal surface and rendered in paint on a vertical surface.
Eloquence is communication that is beautiful because of its fluent, persuasive construction.
That objects can speak as eloquently as words is the premise of my show.
Often asked when I became an artist, I remember thinking I was in heaven the first time I did finger painting in kindergarten. I also remember the seriousness with which I undertook making small Catholic-type altars, usually somewhere in my bedroom at an even earlier age. Working on this show at the age of 67, I realized that my still-life paintings were actually versions of these altars of my youth. (In the Old Testament, an altar is a pile of stones set up to commemorate a meeting between God and man. In the New Testament, Jesus is our altar). I had come full circle. It was a good feeling. As William Wordsworth eloquently said, "The child is the father of the man".
The smaller paintings are studies of single objects, usually fruit. Long and intense observation of an object can produce new sensory experiences and even meditational states. I often recalled the Bible verse in Genesis 1:11, sometimes referred to as "The first blessing".
...God said, let the earth bring forth vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, upon the earth".
These uniquely beautiful fruits are the reproductive organs of their specific plant, they were called forth by God out of the earth that He made. If not for this "miracle", life on our planet could not exist. My observations became meditations or, more specifically, prayers of thanksgiving and praise.
The larger paintings are more complex and follow an altar-like concept and construction. There are elements of beauty, like fruit and flowers; elements of personal narrative, like photos and objects I have collected from my travels; manmade elements, like books, handcrafts and fabric - all of which tell a story of man, existing in community under the benevolent hand of God.
I certainly hope you enjoy this show as I did creating it. If you can find in my paintings pieces of your own personal narrative or identify areas where our lives overlap then all my efforts are doubly rewarded.
Thank you for visiting my virtual show.