Sunday, June 27, 2010

Nature's Vessels

As I was working on this last triptych i had a nagging sensation to create trees. The images of trees kept popping into my head and eventually on paper with charcoal. As i worked the first image a figure began to appear very obscurely. Since the original work was created from design #2 of Divine Vessels (bottles) i knew it had to mean something connected with my vessel series. So i researched the symbolism of trees and the connections began to take form.

One of the explanations really resonated with me. Trees symbolize unusual strength, resolution and courage; a constant, dynamic interchange between matter and spirit, earth and heaven. Hmmm. so why does the figure (usually the female) keep surfacing in my work?

I have to conclude that trees serve as a symbol for vessels. That they deliver unusual strength, resolution and courage in nature. I have seen these same virtues in the human spirit (especially females) during my lifetime. So there's the connection!

I have posted below the original charcoal work that will make its way through the process on paper and canvas as well as the draft grisaille of the first of three works in this particular series of Nature's Vessels. With a few minor value and shape changes i have transferred it to watercolor paper approximately 11 x 15. I will then choose my palette and apply glazes.
Perhaps another triptych is in the wind.

Friday, June 4, 2010


Divine Vessels
60 x 76
Acrylic Glazes

This post completes an ongoing project I began in October. I have learned many things from this experience....too numerous to mention here. But the overarching lesson learned was to never underestimate the ability and the need of the human spirit to continue to learn and grow and express ones self. This was truly an amazing experience. I would be remiss if I didn't mention my mentor on this journey, Kathy Cartwright (
Thank you Kathy!
Below is my artist statement for the series "Vessels". Following that is a statement that pertains specifically to the triptych Divine Vessels.
My art reflects my search for life’s meaning through the exploration of the interrelations between the spiritual, physical and emotional realms. In that search, I’ve found a myriad of “vessels” that contain and from which emanate life-giving forces. The paintings in this series utilize vessels to metaphorically contextualize the transference of energies that nourish life both physically and spiritually. Although my paintings include recognizable subjects, I’m predominantly interested in the interplay of color and form, not just representation. Each work begins with the transformation of ordinary containers, such as bottles or vases, into abstracted forms that interrelate to create a symbolic vessel. Because I am a vessel, my canvases are the vessels that carry my thoughts and emotions to the viewer. I choose historically symbolic colors such as red for “life blood,” yellow for “power,” and blue for “truth” to support the message in each painting. I intend to explore the myriad of possibilities of this theme in the future.

Triptych: Divine Vessels
Divine Vessels is the first painting in the Vessels Series that expresses my belief in divine spirits that guide, inspire, and protect us. These vessels connect us to another life plane; they deliver messages and give us faith and hope. This triptych depicts earthly male and female figures in juxtaposition to the central divine figures as an expression of the connections between these two life planes. My palette consists of colors that support this theme expressing truth(blues); wisdom (violets/purples); power/presence (yellows/golds) and faith/peace (white).