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October 19th, 2020
This is an excerpt from the Fall/Winter 2020-2021 issue of the Upstate Advocate, Upstate Forever’s twice yearly print newsletter. To read the entire newsletter, click here. If you’d like to be added to our mailing list to receive future issues, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We moved to the Upstate from Texas about 7 years ago, specifically because of the natural environment. I love Houston and miss the food and people dearly, but we were three hours from a decent nice walk, much less hiking or campgrounds. Here, I still get excited about being able to see the mountains when I-85 crests over Roper Mountain.
Immediately my work began to change. My landscapes could once have been confused for abstract paintings of stripes because I came from such a grand flatness. But now, my works are stacks of colorful curving hills and mountains.
Well... Until recently. Since the pandemic has started I am obsessed with still life work. Isn’t that a bit on the nose? STILL LIFE. It's not that we don't get out. Like everyone else, we are scouring the All Trails app for lightly trafficked trails to head out to on weekends. But bringing home those big skies and valleys for inspiration to paint by just feels like a mockery of the moment. So lately it's lemons and cherries and peaches sitting on intricately patterned bowls and fabrics. Its tiny handheld bits of nature and the outside. The more detail the better. I can be hypnotized into another world. And hopefully I share that with the viewer.
It's the sharing that makes it art for me. Most of my work is quite small, so I see them as postcards from a certain time, place, and feeling. My work is about stealing sensations, or “borrowing” in the Robin Hood sense of the word. I think we all leave bits of ourselves with places and things. And I try to pick them up and share them. I consider myself a landscape painter, but I certainly go on tangents. So maybe the truth of it is that I am a painter of places. And sometimes those places are lemons or people.