I use paint on canvas to investigate the concept of “Oneness”, a term used by transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson. In his essay, "Over-soul", he writes: "within man is the soul of the whole... We see the world piece by piece, as the sun, the moon, the animal, the tree; but the whole, of which these are shining parts, is the soul.”
My paintings, which all come from a feeling of being connected to each other and all of nature through an unseen universal force, have evolved in multiple bodies of work for more than a decade. My expansive landscapes are born from places where I stood in awe at feeling part of something so infinite, places where I was keenly aware of the connections at play as water, sky, air, and wildlife harmoniously blended. These landscape paintings, which are simplified representations of nature and light, are the basis of what has now become a more abstract body of work. These non-objective process paintings come from a combination of listening to music and reflecting on a place that I have been. I bring the feeling of the environment into my work. There might be a sense of water, sky, land or architecture. I imagine that I am painting "energy", a visual description of the invisible parts and particles that swirl together connecting all of nature. Richard Diebenkorn is an artist I particularly relate to in that he also uses paint to create an abstract feeling of the environment.
In addition to my abstract paintings, I also explore the concept of a universal connection through another body of work which consists of simplified colorfield paintings. These often include images of barns who seem to be standing alone but who I see as actually being part of the greater shared energy. As an empath, I feel what a barn may be feeling. I feel the heat of the sun warming the rooftop, for example, and the coolness where the light does not warm but leaves a place in shadow. It is the light which makes a barn feel connected to the bigger whole. I imagine that the barn feels the sun reaching out to it.
So whether I am abstracting from nature or trying to capture the essence of a sunlit barn, I am motivated to convey the concept of universal connectivity. Life can seem so complex, but also there is a simplicity, a togetherness, a common unseen bond that we all share. In this time, as so many cultures clash and as violence tears us apart, I stay mindful that we are all part of ONE. The more we can tap into our Oneness, the more we can move towards resolving our differences and strengthening our levels of empathy and kindness for all people, animals, and all of nature.