Over the last 13 years my work has touched on themes of Astronomy, Magical Realism, Feminism, and a universal child-like wonderment by way of landscape imagery. I have depicted the Pacific Northwest landscape, with a focus on making visible the fleeting qualities (including smoke, fire, clouds, snow, movement, sound, and fireworks) that add to our understanding of Place.
My most recent work features teens and fireworks. A year after the wildfires in the Columbia Gorge, fireworks are a symbol of destruction and a specific chapter of sadness within Oregon history. These paintings have an aggressive quality that ties directly to my anger over the wildfire. The work champions the beauty of fireworks and nostalgia for the troublesome days of my youth, when I too did stupid things for a thrill.
This human element is juxtaposed with a landscape where the veil between the natural and spiritual world is thin. Here we are always an hours drive away from untouched wilderness. This close proximity to nature means that the landscape is an integral part of the Oregonian character and shapes our persona. The haunting magic of the woods and incomprehensible vastness of the universe give perspective to our human experience. A humble moth or idle weed can embody that same wonderment. Edward Hopper once wrote about Charles Burchfield's work: "From what is to the mediocre artist and unseeing laymen the boredom of everyday existence in a provincial community, he has extracted a quality that we may call poetic, romantic, lyric. ... By sympathy with the particular he has made it epic and universal." That is what my paintings do: reignite wonderment and shed light on the sublime by way of the everyday.