Found Moths with Open Wings, 2012 oil, pencil, and woodcarving on panel 8'' x 8''
I create work representing organic structures because I am interested in conveying a shared reality and interconnectedness that moves between all living beings. In representing natural forms in my work I begin to explore and attempt to understand the relationships between humans and nature, and other species to one another. One of the more transformational experiences I have had was working at a goat cheese farm in Vermont as a caretaker and milker of over a hundred goats. Twice a day they gave milk, and the goats bodies function their entire lives for this purpose. In todays culture, we are so removed from the animals we depend on for food a respect and even reverence for what we are provided from nature has been lost. I have been inspired by the cave drawings found in Lascaux and Chauvet, France. The intensity of the immediacy and layering in these drawings demonstrates a deep understanding of the power and energy physically and spiritually gained from these animals. Ancient humans did not have a separation from their food and daily lives. The Lascaux drawings are a beautiful demonstration of a congruent existence with nature. In fact, I believe they represent the cultures utmost gratitude for the animals they hunted and relied on for survival; the drawings seem to be sacred in that respect. In representing the natural world in my work I am attempting to give thanks and demonstrate the importance and interconnectedness of all beings in the natural world. Another way the cave drawings have affected my work was seeing how the ancient artists represented movement in their drawings: through repetition of form, a lions face appears to move forward, or hooves beat the ground. I have recently begun working on conveying movement of living things in drawing and painting. The Sanskrit concept of Om explains the creation of the universe as beginning with a sound or vibration. There is also a theory, called Universal Law, which explains that everything is made of energy and vibrates. When I see movement in art, it reminds me of the unexplainable aspects of life. The paradox of an inanimate object describing and revealing motion makes me wonder at the mysterious and inspiring universe we are a part of. Besides conveying movement, repetition in my painting and drawing also forces me to notice and describe many ways of seeing an object. There is a saying, to draw the tree you must become the tree. For me the becoming is in seeing the endless potential in the object, and through mark making, describing a few of these potentials. JLB 2013