color memory

Having grown up in California, the inspiration for my artwork comes from the colors, textures, and overall beauty of the west coast landscape.  My current series, Color Memory, showcases the natural surroundings of places I visit, mostly coastal, through the physical, emotional, and nostalgic realms.  Exploring the outdoors whether by foot, bike, or car, I soak up that fleeting moment of Zen that nature offers and attempt to recreate that picturesque moment using both color and memory as a catalyst for my creations.

Color Memory is a term I have coined to describe creating art through a multisensory experience characterized by color vibrations when associated with people, places, or things and may be linked to Synthesia.  This neurological affect literally means, “joined perception” and occurs when one sense such as sight is simultaneously perceived as if by one or more additional senses such as touch.  In my case, people and places remind me of colors therefore, I feel color more intensely than most.  Utilizing color memory as a tool in my work, I then attempt to recreate the heightened color experience with the natural world, onto a two-dimensional plane.

These color memory “snapshots” embody thoughtful compositions taken in transit and or solitude while stopping to observe a place of beauty.  Each image begins with a moment, soaking up the elements such as the temperature, weather, and time of day, taking in the colors and mood, then documenting place by photograph, and lastly rendering onto canvas with a palette knife.  Using a palette knife primarily, I attempt to let go of some control and produce more expressive, lustrous, and unusual marks to better describe the ephemeral quality of color memory.

In my most recent painting, Jelly Bowl, I remember that exact moment standing on the thin strip of beach not yet consumed by the high tide, looking out at the turbulent blue-green waves accented with flecks of rose gold from the setting sun, sparking and glinting against one another in an orchestrated chaos.  Like yin and yang, just above these moody waters at its horizon, was a calm yet striking orange-lit sky, giving off this penetrable force of positive energy, warming my chest with every breath. It was glorious. These juxtapositions of time emerge organically throughout the development and include: past and present, memory and photo, physical and metaphysical, real and abstract, light and dark, lightness and heaviness, soft and hard edged, fused and diffused just to name a few.  While this process may feel daunting at times, ultimately I have found that when a landscape painting finally comes to fruition, there is a feeling of complementary balance that is achieved.

My paintings are a reflection of capturing time by preserving a moment of bliss, a nod to nature, to contemplation, and nostalgic realms.  It is a reincarnation onto canvas of those particular moments where I feel emotionally tied with a specific place in an attempt to relive what I experienced at the time. In essence, I experience memories through images surrounded by vibrant colors, which are directly related to the energy or mood of a particular place and moment: like snapshots in time, a Polaroid slowly emerging into color.