House Memory Paintings
As a child I lived with grandparents in old worn-out houses that stood on the edges of corn and tobacco fields in the lower part of South Carolina. I remember days filled with endless play, running through fields, exploring barns, and chasing chickens. The houses were quaint with chipped linoleum floors, and dark mysterious bedrooms. In my work I explore these childhood memories of land and home as a catalyst for making abstract paintings.
Memories grow dim with time and become distorted by family stories, old photos and even the things we had hoped for. While these recollections may not be reliable enough for preserving history they are a source of inspiration for my current body of work. By focusing on specific places and events from my early childhood I manipulate remembered colors, emotions and floor plans of houses I lived in. These lively and colorful compositions are meant to suggest a child’s feeling of hope no matter the circumstances. My aim is not to tell a story, but to create abstract art built from memories.
Mixed-media techniques are important to my process and my concept. I contrast bold colorful brushwork with vintage collage elements and drawing. Magazine and newspaper clippings and ephemera from the years surrounding my childhood are visible through glazes of thinned acrylic paint. These layers give a sense of history to the work and place the paintings in a context of time. I use additional dry-media drawing to dirty the mix of materials and to keep the painting, like these houses, less refined.
Ultimately I’m trying to capture the feelings I associate with these early homes and my carefree childhood days. Through abstraction and mixed-media I’m creating a poetry of remembrance.