|"Eelgrass Harvest" by Elizabeth Hogan |
72" x 44" acrylic
My work is a visual interpretation of my observations, experiences and musings. As long as I can remember, my explorations have focused on our relationships with our planet, that world which to me seems to exist alongside us, somehow, in a parallel fashion. The search has always been about links, those threads joining this earth and man, our alliance and survival. Today I pursue that connection in paint, in the movement of pigment.
To begin a piece, I encourage the medium (paint, pigment, pastel, organic materials) to make initial decisions on the paper, board or canvas. Laying down paint for its own sake on a surface builds an environment. All the while there is an expanding list of potential subjects rolling around in my head, waiting for the right surface. The many layers of paint shift, streak, drip and dry. I tend to work on three, or as many as six, paintings at a time. Watching paint dry is no fun, and engaging with multiple surfaces reduces waiting time. It is a bonus that the paintings tend to nourish each other as they develop.
After a few days or weeks the medium itself has created a painting. Now it can simmer and rest. At this stage I generally have no idea what the rest of the subject will be. The randomness of the medium is an essential part of the subject, therefore the materials have a voice which guides me in completing the work.
After the first stage is complete I may just look at the work for a couple of weeks or even longer. For me it is a painting with its own integrity at this point, so I just mull it over until my memories and experiences interact with that painted surface and a subject appears. Subjects have been standing in a line in my head waiting for a place to be revealed. One morning I may wake up knowing that a subject has chosen to enter a particular painting surface. Then it is my job to introduce the tangible subject to the abstract painting. The process becomes about what is ‘abstract’ and what is ‘real’. I introduce the ‘abstract’ surface and the ‘real’ subject and try to establish relationship.
Someone told me I am an “Abstract Realist”. Perhaps so.
- Elizabeth Hogan