Fort Nightly

Fort Nightly
Oil on Paper

I finally have returned to working on paper again. It's been a invigorating way of working a bit more rapidly. I traditionally love working on canvas or panels, probably to the detriment of paper works. This would have former professor and artist, R. Allen Jensen, a bit miffed... but hey, I'm back on it. I've also been thinking more about where my work is coming from. I work very intuitively, with certain images or subject matter that I want to see (or hope to see) in the final work. Recently, even though I've been working with my same striped shapes (albeit edited through Photoshop; spun out and stretched) a wonderfully odd thing has appeared to me in the work... a sense of the Northwest. I'm seeing abstracted native forms in my work. I have always taken notice of Northwest Coast artworks - the strong sense of form and the distinct graphics used to portray the native culture. In fact, I thought many years ago that it would be an interesting tactic to take the forms and abstract them, and pull them into the dialogue of my work... But I could never seem to find it, and I also didn't want to play a colonial coming in and pretending to be what he is not. I have noticed, though, especially in the last four works that I've finished, a sense of the Northwest coastal art graphic. Even my pallet of colors seems more natural, earthen, less pop oriented. Is it just me? Maybe I am just projecting that vision onto my work, wanting to make sense of my abstractions, or my intuitive nature. Or I wonder... can the place in which one works naturally begin to play a part in his or her working habits?