My current painting practice is about darkness and my interests include perception and contemplation. The optical process of our eyes adjusting to lower light levels is known as “dark adaptation”. Darkness is a common experience, as in: “I cannot see” or “night has fallen”, and darkness can be an object as in deep obsidian stone. Within the paint body I use powdered pigments, volcanic black salt, sandpaper, dust and the particulate of geodes, natural flake mica, copper tape and copper filings, powdered graphite and charcoal. Some of the paintings have slight sheen or shimmer, while others are deeply matte. The more slowly one looks at the surface of the paintings the more there is to see, like eyesight adjusting. By making dark paintings, this work references and re-animates many painting conversations throughout the last century as early as Malevich and including the work art historically referred to as the “Black paintings” by artists like Ad Reinhart and Robert Rauschenberg. The small scale, restrained use of materials, and somewhat monochromatic quality of the paintings points to the subtle difference between seemingly similar surfaces.
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