ebb and flow
Ryan Reynolds in the History Gallery
Saturday, March 11
Historical photographs are woven into the landscape. Each photo is an artifact and a window into a personal narrative. The plurality of the past is referenced in individual faces describing stories of displacement, immigration, labor, race, class, gender and power. Although vineyards are central to the Napa Valley present and past, it is the distinct land formations that make the valley fertile and inhabitable that are represented.
Historical Ecology is the study of the cumulative effects of interactions between people and their environment over time and space. This body of work, a pictorial interpretation of this concept, begins with researching possible locations. I then explore the area through hiking and making numerous watercolor sketches and photographs. Back in the studio I assemble the photos and sketches looking for suggestions of a direction to take in the oil painting. I work on raw wood panel. The panel is an active participant in the process. The pattern of wood grain, the absorbent texture, and warm brown color effect the painting process. I paint in sections with each section denoting a time of day and moment of observation. The sections are layered or merged depending on the needs of the image. To evoke a sense of time and expansion I use contrasting constancies of surface and paint. Raw wood, drips, transparency, contrasted against impasto, texture, and opacity.