"Impressed by the vastness of nature, I was trying to express its expansion, rest, and unity." Piet Mondrian
Five years ago, I began a deeper exploration into organizing my vision and skills as a painter. Primarily technical and decorative, the act of painting began to give way to a larger focus.
Using the simple structure of earth and sky, I shifted the narrative experience of painting to find orientation in the horizontal. In simplifying the diagrammatic scheme, I began to focus on the relationship between two planes of color, their meeting point and any boundaries which emerge or that I may or may not construct around them.
At its greatest, landscape painting is a way of representing the engagement of the mind and felt states with the infinite. Horizon is evoked by the simple contrast of two adjoining horizontal fields of color or as a line crossing the picture plane.
Since the tradition of figurative painting has for centuries based the construction of space on reference to the horizon line, it follows that every horizontal that cuts a painting in two is perceived as something familiar.
Horizontal divisions evoke the primordial separation of earth or sea from cloud and sky.
Perhaps the question is, "Where in that picture do we belong?"
The artist's experience is firmly grounded in the middle of sky and ground. We are planted and rooted to the physical world yet compelled, it seems to dream and envision.
We contemplate the finite and meditate on the infinite.
Consider the meditative experience of staring out to sea or how we find orientation in the horizontal. Oceans create atmospheres of sky and water along the horizon line, the boundary that marks the limit of the eye's ability to penetrate space.
We gauge distance in the vanishing horizon and mark our progress and the distant landmark becomes closer.We pass our days noticing what we notice.
For the artist there is a secondary meditation and consideration that occurs when an image is created. My creative process finalizes with each piece as a cipher for my observations and experiences to those who view my paintings.
Art is a way of personalizing what we see and do.
Nature in and of itself may be enough as is a life well lived, however, there are additional aspects of experience we may tap into if we wish.
This experience of the horizontal structure frames our experience as we contemplate the void. The horizon collapses and the maximum possible distance is felt. We search the limits. Looking becomes the exercising of views onto various seas where the eye gets lost in the distance, and where the line of demarcation between heaven and earth dissolves within a mist and no longer can be discerned.