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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


Space... vast, endless, personal or intimate, permeates my work. Oblique and haunting as well as curious and humorous, the monotypes are landscapes offering divergent elements. They hold images suggesting questions rather than answers. The Western landscape, a big place with vague boundaries, is my source for these works. By visually wandering across a prairie, gazing at an expanse of water or observing the sky, I acknowledge a sense of spaciousness and immediacy. These sensations call for a focal reference. This may be something physical and tangible or it may be an internalization. Both provide a meditative response. I believe a duality of vision allows an acceptance of experience in an individual way. Agnes Martin suggests a similar concern: 'It is from our awareness of transcendent reality and our response to concrete reality that our mind commands us on our way - not really on a path or to a gate - but to a full response.' My perception of the landscape is similar to that of many artists, from the nineteenth century to the present. Walt Whitman wrote of the 'strange mixture of delicacy' evident in the plains and mountains. David Smith spoke of the rawness and harshness of the American landscape. The process of monotypes - a combination of painting and printmaking - and the consequent characteristics of the process suited my interests and visual language. The spontaneity and immediacy of painting transfer in a direct and sensitive manner. Luminosity, layering and compressed imagery are utilized. These works share complicity and economy. In all the monotypes a paradox is present, an expanse is occupied by defined independent marks. Foggy ambiguous ground/atmosphere exists with strange awkward rudiments. Borrowing from Jack Burnham in 'The Great Western Salt Works', these may be referred to as very primitive 'signifiers'. Each monotype presents a syntax for divergent qualities. Each represents time; time of thought and time of action. They are my record of seeing. Richard Hugo expressed a parallel attitude in 'Open Country': '...And you come back here where the land has ways of going on and the shadow of a cloud crawls like a freighter, no port in mind, no captain, and the charts dead wrong.'




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