About This Work
My work is the expression of my interactions through the natural world. The ideas represent the past, in the form of relationship and community, the present as I experience my relationship with nature, and the future is committed to the spirit of it all. The paintings I create contain images of misty sunsets and opalescent sunrises. My representational work include the dreams, visions and imaginings I have of a hopeful life, free, unbound and transcendent.
Working on ideas for a specific period of time helps me work through what I'm trying to say, like completing a thought, or telling a story. The subjects chosen have their own message. I select a medium which seems to project the “feelings” I have about that message, not necessarily mediums which will help me make markings for a likeness. Sometimes my paintings are highly textured, imperfect or rough to go with an unbridled or a natural subject. Sometimes the paintings are very precise or tailored, to create an image of something that needs to be understood exactly or representational. In those instances, I will use a pure and simple material, in a simple way, to bring forth clarity. You see?
I grew up on my grandmothers farm. Everything in our home had a pattern or a tactile quality. Patterned wallpaper, braided rugs, deeply upholstered furniture, handmade quilts and delicate lace curtains. Even the grains of the wood on the floors had a pattern. My grandmother was the seamstress of the family. She worked during the early part of the day and sewed during the evening hours and on weekends. She gave me scraps of fabric and ribbons to play with while she worked. I sat on the floor by her and made little scenes of the farm animals and barn. Sometimes I also drew little pictures of the farm on the back of paper sacks and practiced “my letters”.
My work has texture to represent the memories I have from the times I spent with her. The scenes I create now have a connection to the spirit of my heritage. Rough but breathless at the same time, like the memories I own. My relation to how I see things is also loosely based on the connection I feel to the universe. The dichotomy is the reality verses the dream, the fact verses the feeling and the form verses the space.
Communing with nature through art creates a nostalgic feeling from my history. The idea of “being of” and “living off” of the land evokes a very spiritual response in me and depending on the day I create something, the entire painting may have become a prayer for me. Within it, I’m trying to "say something" that will remove me from the details and involve my soul in the experience of its muse. So in order to truly reach another level, the spirit of what I'm saying has to be more pronounced than the technique.
I consider my work an invitation.… please join me.
Donna W. Radcliffe