Our experience of life depends on water. Civilizations are built near bodies of water to sustain industry and population. Millennia of human effort have been dedicated to collecting, managing, and transporting water. It composes the majority of our planet’s surface and the majority of us as humans. All known life depends on water for survival; it is the medium of our very existence.
I use pigment to document water. These paintings are composed of powder pigments distributed by water and laid down on a clay bed. As the water evaporates, it leaves a tangible view of its history. This process of saturation and evaporation creates a natural topography on the clay surface; with the pigment left only as tracking marks, mapping the water's path through the canyons and valleys of a composition.
The opera series paintings explore this material. They help me understand the behaviors of these pigments individually and in interaction with each other. Since I use no binding medium in composition (oil, acrylic, watercolor, etc.) the pigments never truly mix together. When settled on their clay bed they reveal their individual attributes. Some pigments sink to the bottom of the their mix while other, lighter pigments float to the top, leaving a slight dusting on their heavier counterparts.
Each piece develops in a manner similar to a sand mandala, easily brushed away by the swipe of a hand. Once a painting is complete, I seal it in a transparent acrylic coating to preserve the work and make it fully archival.