In this new body of work, I continue to create the illusion of patterned fabric covering the surface of the canvas. However, the shapes beneath have grown more monumental, imposing and bold. Recently my painting process changed to doing several preliminary works on paper, which I then use to inform larger paintings compositionally. Making these smaller paintings feels more diaristic and gives me freedom to experiment.I begin each small painting with improvisational doodles, looking for forms that have scale and heft, reach or bend, and an overall structure that resonates emotionally. Much like my use of lace, the forms are suggestive of the feminine while refusing figuration. Once I’m satisfied with the form, I choose a piece of fabric with the right geometry for the painting. I lay it on the painting and paint through it, creating an interplay between the underlying forms and the pattern of the lace. During this phase the lace makes it impossible for me to see what’s beneath—everything is put at risk, the painting itself is undercover. This loss of control brings in the unexpected, an important part of my process.
However composed the final result may appear, my process is spontaneous, deliberate and open to chance. At the point where I lift the lace, what’s revealed is potentially defeat or magic. Akin to lace—which both covers and reveals—I want the viewer to be pulled in.
Like Adam Simon wrote about my work in Two Coats of Paint, “Underlying content is not denied as much as it is held in abeyance. It’s as though one is being offered an experience and a choice. You can elect to investigate what you are looking at, but first you look." And by looking past toward what has been covered (or uncovered), the viewer is engaged in bringing the painting into view.