Solid Air Series

Solid Air Series: 2008-2012

Through the past several years of painting primarily outside, the wind and air have played a large factor in my work. While focusing on the landscape and solid forms, my attention was consistently drawn to the effects the air would have on the experience. Externally: Will the light constantly be changing by the clouds overhead? Are they moving fast? On windy days I would have to tie the large canvases to the easel to prevent them from falling. Internally: Is the wind blowing so hard that I can barely breath? Can I smell the scent of an approaching rainstorm or the next season coming?

I am moved by the word “inspire”: to influence, move, or guide by divine or supernatural inspiration; to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence; the drawing in of breath. Through my current paintings, I am exploring breath and air — the space between, prana, life-force, the essence that sustains and connects us — while staying rooted to earth. The challenge is to visually capture something we can’t see, but feel, to express that duality of expansion and contraction, the feeling of being aloft yet grounded.

My focus on breath and air intensified while my step-father battled lung cancer this year. He was a professional crooner and voice coach. My awareness of breath was heightened by his experience, and I came to realize that our breath and the air around us has it’s own musical rhythm, it’s own expression, and these elements needed to be incorporated into my painting.

From Chief Seattle's 1854 speech: "But if we sell you our land, you must remember that the air is precious to us, that the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. And if we sell you our land, you must keep it apart and sacred as a place where even the white man can go to taste the wind that is sweetened by the meadow's flowers."

This six minute video documentary reveals the thoughts and process behind the Solid Air Series paintings.