I just returned from a Cincinnati art show that I was in and I had a chance to visit the Contemporary Arts Museum and the Cincinnati Art Museum. I was inspired by the landscape paintings of the Hudson River School and the mid 1800's-early 1900's landscapes in the Cincinnati Art Museum. In the Contemporary Arts Museum, I was taken away by the scale and sensitive treatment of life size wood cut printed figures by Caledonia Curry – better known as Swoon. In both exhibits, the space captivated me thoroughly, and how light and form described that space. In the landscapes, I enjoyed looking under and through shady overhanging trees into light filled spaces beyond. The color green was dominant, and I thought how color can delineate space as well. An abstract Hans Hofmann and a Mark Rothko proved the power of bold color to shape space--"the push and pull" as Hans Hofmann said. Rothko took it beyond physical space, into emotional or spiritual space as he said. The large exhibit of figures and cityscapes coming out from the walls by Swoon, brought empathy into a charged space.
It may be hard to tell in the photo above, but the layers of paint in this work create a thick texture applied in part by a painter's knife. With this painting I wanted both concrete form and space that also breaks apart or dissolves. Ever changing, like the visions in our minds, the branches play above and below the surface of water, submerged in light. The color temperature also defines the space, as warm yellows and oranges envelop the branch dancing in cool blue, green, and violet water. The branches curve in on themselves describing the space through their form and also their reflections.