Could you tell me a bit about what inspired you to create this series?
Sure! I'm excited to delve into the inspiration behind my Wide Open Spaces series. The main driving force behind this series is a deep yearning for tranquility and rest from the chaotic and fast-paced nature of the modern world. I've found myself increasingly fatigued by the constant hustle and bustle, the incessant demands on our attention, and the perpetual noise that surrounds us. This exhaustion led me to explore the concept of wide open spaces as a form of visual and emotional solace.
That's a profound motivation, seeking solace through your art. Can you elaborate on why wide open spaces, like expansive skies and empty landscapes, hold such significance for you?
Absolutely. When I immerse myself in wide open spaces, I experience a profound sense of liberation and renewal. The vastness of the sky or the serenity of an untouched field of water invokes a feeling of weight being lifted off my shoulders. It's as if the expanse before me clears my mind and provides a momentary escape from the complexities of life. I wanted to capture and share that sensation through my paintings, allowing viewers to experience a similar emotional release.
Your description of the emotional impact is interesting. Another interesting aspect of your series is the absence of traditional subjects. Can you explain your choice to leave out recognizable subjects from your art?
Certainly. The decision to exclude traditional subjects from these paintings is a deliberate one. Keep in mind, I've always done these kinds of paintings, absent of subjects, with the intent to share them with my photography audience so they could add their own subjects in and create photographic and digital art. But I have rarely published my "subject-less" paintings "as is". I'm at a point now in my life where I want to accentuate the focus on the open space itself and the emotions it evokes, rather than diverting attention to specific objects or figures. I find that when I remove the distractions of identifiable subjects, the viewer is left with an unfiltered connection to the raw emotion and calmness that these spaces offer. It's an opportunity for introspection and an invitation for the mind to wander freely.
You mentioned to me earlier that some people might feel uncomfortable with the absence of subjects. How do you navigate this reaction from your audience?
It's true, many people are accustomed to looking for focal points or familiar elements in art. The initial discomfort some might experience when encountering a "subject-less" painting is understandable. In this series, I intentionally refrain from incorporating specific subjects to emphasize the emotional impact of uncluttered expanses. I want viewers to engage directly with the vastness itself and the emotions it evokes. While I've been known for my detailed subject portrayals in my previous published work, these new paintings are an exploration of emotional landscapes rather than the physical ones. I'm asking them to consider the absence of subjects as an opportunity for a different kind of connection—one that's more introspective and serene.
In a world saturated with constant stimuli, it's natural for people to seek something tangible to latch onto. However, by resisting the urge to add familiar subjects, I encourage viewers to embrace the space for what it is and the feelings it stirs within them. It's a subtle invitation to step out of their comfort zones and embrace the purity of the open space, ultimately allowing for a deeper connection to the serenity I want to convey.
Your approach to encouraging your audience to step out of their comfort zones is quite thoughtful. It sounds like you're inviting them to appreciate the art for its intrinsic emotional resonance, rather than solely relying on familiar subjects.
Exactly. I believe that art has the incredible ability to challenge our perspectives and evoke emotions in unexpected ways. While this series might be a departure from what my audience is accustomed to, it's also an opportunity to explore a different facet of beauty and tranquility. Just as I find solace in the untouched expanses of nature, I hope that my audience can find solace in these paintings as well, by immersing themselves in the emotional depth they offer.
Your Wide Open Spaces paintings seem to evoke a strong sense of peacefulness and contemplation. Can you elaborate on the meditative aspect of looking into one of these paintings, especially when viewers might be accustomed to searching for familiar subjects that are absent?
The meditative quality of the series is a fundamental aspect of its design. When viewers gaze into one of these paintings, their eyes embark on a journey—a journey that's more about introspection and emotional connection than it is about seeking out specific subjects.
In our fast-paced world, we often find ourselves in a perpetual state of seeking, analyzing, and categorizing. This series, intentionally devoid of traditional subjects, challenges that conditioned response. When viewers look into these paintings, they might initially expect to find a subject, a focal point to anchor their attention. Yet, the absence of such subjects leads them into an immersive experience of the open space itself.
This process can be deeply meditative. As the eyes wander across the canvas, and the mind lets go of the need to identify, there's a subtle, but powerful shift. It's almost like a form of active meditation, where the viewer's focus transitions from the external to the internal. As they search for a subject and don't find one, they inadvertently find themselves immersing in the calm and boundless expanse that's before them.
That's a beautifully articulated description of how the absence of subjects can transform the act of viewing into a meditative and introspective experience.
Thank you. It's really about creating a space for viewers to detach from the external noise and connect with their own thoughts and emotions. The absence of subjects serves as an invitation to explore the vastness within themselves while being surrounded by the vastness of the canvas.
Your approach to guiding viewers toward self-reflection through your art is both unique and compelling. It's clear that you're creating an opportunity for people to engage with your paintings on a deeper, more personal level.
Exactly. I believe that art has the potential to touch us in ways that transcend the physical. By presenting viewers with an opportunity to embrace the absence of subjects, I hope to facilitate moments of serenity and self-discovery. It's about offering a visual haven for introspection and inviting them to pause, breathe, and find a sense of calm within the open spaces of the canvas.
Your perspective is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing how you're navigating this transition and inviting your audience to experience your art from a fresh vantage point. It's been a pleasure to gain insights into the thought process behind your "Wide Open Spaces" series.
Thank you for opportunity to discuss my new series! It's my hope that those who explore the series can find a form of stillness and reflection within the paintings, allowing them to momentarily escape the clamor of everyday life and embrace the tranquility of the present moment without distraction.
Prints available from size 12" x 8" to 60" x 40" Paper • Canvas • Framed • Metal • Acrylic • Wood