Before and After

Before I met up with my mentor Jason Hackenworth I had a few paintings I needed to revisit and review, they were not making any sense to me. If they aren’t making sense to the artist, well, in what world would they make sense to anyone else? The best part about painting with oils is the ability to paint over. And over. And over. The texture becomes thick as the paint builds on the surface. An aspect of working the canvas I find most appealing.

So I got them out and sat in front of them for a few days. And began. These are the before.

Womblike Heartshape

Before I started reworking them and before I showed them to Jason.



After I messed with them for a couple days. I looked at the amount of colors I had used and wondered why. When Jason got to see them he asked the same question.

Confidence V doubt -what does the mark making and delineation of color reveal about both? This was a central discussion I had in my first mentorship meeting. Reworking a painting can be important and required and in this case I believe whole heartedly they needed to tell a story and they just were not. I eliminated a lot of visual noise and streamlined the palette. I can’t sy I am finished but I am getting there and feel more confident.

These paintings are included in a migration series. Here one sees an upside down “giraffe”. In the simplest terms the upside down animal symbolizes the displacement that is occurring through climate change. The other piece is more human. I am using the idea of the peritoneum, “the serous membrane lining the cavity of the abdomen and covering the abdominal walls” Oxford Language Dictionary. It’s the organ that protects and insulates the other organs. It holds it all together. I am alluding to two figures held together with heart and guts and veins walking toward something better while interconnected with all else.

Here is the work to date. The After.





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