INTERIOR PRAIRESCAPES, SERIES 7: ALLUSIVE PURSUIT
Memory affects our visual experience and our sense of place, but memory is
also fluid, alive, continually evolving and, with that, our history is tempered.
These aspects of memory provide the driving force behind my work – a
meditative process, a journey, in which content follows process.
There is a unique emotional power in the first view of any landscape, such as a
mountain or ocean. I try to capture the sensation of our Midwest setting as if
you were seeing it for the first time – an environment that I find to be nuanced,
intense and a one that evokes meditation. I endeavor to create an expression of
the grassland’s transcendent spirit through my art and forge a sense of place.
In this artistic journey, I seek to uncover an emotional reality and resurrect all
associated thoughts and sensations. My paintings of the Midwest landscape,
therefore, are rural psycho-geographies that seek to evoke a shared human
The Allusive Pursuit series investigates specifically the fluid nature of memory
as it mitigates my experience of painting a Midwest terrain. I employed a
process in which the first pastel resourced a landscape photograph. All
subsequent pastels presented the same image but relied solely on memory.
Conventional laws of perspective, color and focus often went challenged as
intuition played a central role in this process. Initially, what I thought would be a
duplicate of the previous painting was, surprisingly, an editing, as memory's
fluidity mitigated the process. About midway, I intentionally changed the size of
substrate, after which I consciously allowed elements to change that had
already been evolving. Throughout the process, minor details in one painting
became dominant features in the next. My emotional connection or attention to a
particular element in one painting influenced the next. Attitudes, likes and
dislikes all played an integral part in the process. In the end, my own painting-
history was tempered.