Some backstory: This has been a really busy year, what with getting married and moving house and having some exciting career highlights (Southern Living and HGTV!). But I've still felt somewhat in a creative rut and it's felt contrived when I've tried to put my heart into my pieces. I don't know why it's just now occurred to me... maybe because I've been forced to creatively wander... but I'm finally creating a body of work based off of my time living in Australia. I lived in this magical country for two years (Jan. 2004 - Dec. 2005). What started off as a six-month stint of study abroad turned into transferring and finishing my degree over there. I have never felt more free than in those two years. I woke up every day excited to be alive and up for adventure. I have a wealth of those memories to pull from and it's really been so fun, fulfilling and sentimental to dive back into the past for the work I'm making now. I'm surprised at the specific things I've remembered... like the really bad sunburn I got while camping near Byron Bay and one particular view from the Sydney-to-Wollongong train as it curved around a cliff by the sea. I knew there was no sufficient way to sum up these memories in my usual painting style. These things I have loved and still miss about Australia aren't tangible, not subjective. I've called them "landscape memories" because they completely have to do with place: both geographical and in time.
And so... in this way, my new abstract series got its genesis. My life in Australia was simple yet rich — I've therefore depicted memories through simple forms and full color. I've strived for a sense of luminosity with these works, which is garnered through color relationships and which I feel better describes these as memories. I also wanted the pieces to have the same sense of expansion I love about wide open space; this is reflected in the way the forms move through the whole surface of the canvas rather than exist isolated "inside" of its edges. I've decided to include handwritten notes detailing the stories behind each piece — I felt this complemented each piece's visual storytelling... and I also just thought it'd be fun!
I know this is a new direction, which always comes with a little uncertainty and worry. But it's more important to create work that is honest rather than predictable, and I hope that viewers feel the same sense of being transported that I feel when looking at this collection. Some blast-from-the-past pics: