For well over half my life, I was interested in the environment and our place in the Cosmos. Though most of my work from 1972 to the late 80’s dealt with the human figure, my painting from 1988 through 1993 was primarily fantasy landscapes. Giving up painting after that, I came to spend nearly 20’s years making mixed media sculpture for the wall with a cosmic theme. They were much more than mere decoration to me. Their power was in bringing our attention, even though it might be subconscious, to iconic representations of heavenly bodies, represented in the circular format.
I’ve now turned my attention to painting again and this time I am returning to landscape with the intention of awakening the viewer to the magic of the environment. Dreamscapes is the title of this newest series and it often will have a figure inserted into the landscape, along with symbols illuminating our relationship with the environment. Climate Change 101 calls into question our response to the most imperative topic of our time, namely how are we going to address this issue. The yellow orange sky hangs heavily over the foreground of burning books, representing the science that is ignored by the very people, in and out of government, that have the power to make real changes that could save the planet from disaster. Made of paper from trees, the books also represent the forests that are burning worldwide at an ever increasing rate each year around the globe, a direct result of our impact on the environment.
I have started a new series of paintings that I’m calling Dreamscapes. Contained within the acrylic and oil creations are figures and symbols that flow from the subconscious in the state of dreaming. Vivid color is juxtaposed with black and white linear forms, figures come and go, the ordinary is transformed, the impossible realized. The unknown comes to us in our sleep and my brush and fingers along with paint and carbon work to make it visible. The first two are posted on the website. I am starting a new group of small works in this series, 12″ x 12″. Stay tuned to see the results.
During 2020, the Year of Vision, Robin and I are making big changes. As many of you know, we don’t collaborate anymore, except for an occasional commission, and Robin has a new web-site www.RobinLWashburn.com Please take a look at his new site with a cart for purchasing with credit cards through a secure server. New work is being added periodically.
I have returned to painting, but unlike my work of the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s this series is not figurative. The new series is inspired by the energy of the cosmos and nature. The work is abstract, full of vigorous brushwork and lush color. Here is a detail image of one I’m working on.
Robin has just finished building me a greenhouse so that I can get an early start on seedlings and have more space to overwinter plants. Our gardens here at Wolf Creek Studio are really lush with all of the summer rains. Robin and I have worked on them for the past 29 years. Designing the shrub borders, flower gardens and water features has been a labor of love. We are both inspired by the natural setting in which we are blessed to live and work. Our 20 acres of woodlands have become a part of us and our art.