This Becketwood exhibition opportunity is a delightful surprise. Linda Back McKay viewed a body of my paintings some time ago and felt they would be appropriate for Becketwood. Linda must have been persuasive. Jerry Nordstrom decided to contact me in June. After meeting with Jerry, I asked for his feedback on what to include in this exhibition. He suggested my painting Genesis be hung with some of my watercolour Tao Series: Meditations Into Peace and Meditations Into Gaia.
Genesis is part of a series of paintings I started about five years ago that focuses on the spiritual in nature. The Tao Series evolved from a challenge I gave myself to create without using “recognizable imagery”. The two influences that emerged were a lingering focus from the previous painting series on nature, and inspiration from my daily Tao readings.
When Genesis was put together with the Tao Series, a new synergy was created and I gained a clearer understanding of the differences between the visual energies of abstraction and recognizable imagery. The abstract qualities of the watercolours are meant to make us pause and ponder, embrace a moment or a feeling, immerse ourselves into stillness and space, to reflect and remember without images.
In Genesis, with defined imagery, we are asked to identify recognizable forms and symbols and translate these images into a context that fits our everyday knowing and understanding of our world. We are asked to identify with the imagery and bring meaning through this recognition. It’s what we earthly creatures automatically do. It brings us a comfort zone.
Recognizable imagery more literally directs us, while abstraction challenges us to conjure up an imaginative response. My water- colours ask the viewer to drift into another space and time. They invite you to let go of what you know to be and explore beyond. Genesis asks you to use the images presented to put a story together. They both ask you to see something in a different way.