My reason for painting has never been about the subject matter. It was important to capture a certain quality, but the subject itself never defined the end result. Painting has always been about creating form and atmosphere on a flat surface. It starts on the palette before my brush even touches the canvas. I’m obsessed with mixing the paint to create subtle shifts of hue, tone and value. It’s then the placement on the canvas, creating planes and edges in which define the form. For years I forgot this.
After graduating from Rhode Island College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, I searched for subject matter that would define me as a serious painter and make an impact on the world. This was a journey in which I was slowly becoming overwhelmed and uninspired. It wasn’t until years later when my husband requested a painting of a spark plug that inspired me to paint again. Yes, this simple inanimate object literally sparked my passion. I remembered why I liked to create and took the painting process seriously, realizing the subject matter was secondary. I then started the series of very serious paintings of not so serious subject matter.
I decided to work small scale and paint the items around me. My collection of toys proved to be great models, they sat still and worked for free. More importantly, they had personality that could be easily overlooked. I wanted to capture this presence in the style of an informal portrait instead of traditional still life.
Both inanimate objects and humans make impacts on us everyday. It’s whether these impressions stay with us that makes them significant. You, as a viewer, can decide to discard them as inconsequential or observe something that you may have overlooked at first glance.