My aim to make art that not only tells my story, but all our stories. To speak to the abused, the down-trodden, the hopeless, the lost, the lonely, the shamed, the orphan, the abandoned.
My work is characterized by contrasts – the juxtaposition of light and dark on several levels – which is recognized throughout my paintings. Fine detail, drawn lines and meticulously painted shapes clash with bold brushstrokes, spatters and blurred and melted colors.
The brightness of oils are mixed with the soft translucency of encaustics (wax), and creates hidden messages and layers below. The layering give the work a softness and richness that invites the viewer to look closer and to experience the satin smooth surface through touch. The wax layers get more and more translucent through the warmth emanating from the exploring human hand. The viewer becomes a part of the slow change and clarity of the painting…as if the message is rising from the depth of the hidden soul to the surface of the mind. There is a strange ethereal beauty to these paintings, as if made from air.
It is important that the viewer is part of the process. Time blurs and heals our wounds. Like a soft veil that hides the dark and reveals the light. There is an eternal seeking after a new revelation.
The world I depict is not a physical location in space and time. It is an inner world, a world where thought, and raw emotion defines the shapes.
For me the creative process is a key to that inner, psychological world – the world of darkness and abuse, (my own) contrasting with the desire for life and freedom. The past a constant voice that has to be silenced and overcame with faith, hope and mind.
The work revolves around themes like how we relate to the world we live in, based on our past experiences. Is change possible, can I live my life in freedom without the chains of my abuse holding me back? Will I forever be identified as the victim?
My work often deals with issues such as darkness and light, dull and bright, life and death, alienation and loneliness and the pursuit of peace, life and harmony. In the process I strive to obtain a balance – on the border of the conscious and subconscious, where I react and paint out of my spirit.
I apply multiple layers, using different media like inks, acrylics, oils and wax. Adding and removing elements and I work directly on the canvas, Painting over parts, scraping and melting the paint, making mistakes and getting lost in the process. Although frustrating at times, getting lost and losing the overview allows for unforeseen and unusual to emerge. For me creativity is as much about tearing down and destroying as it is about creating and building up. Sometimes I need to destroy a mindset and a belief to create a new one. This also means that the final work is the result of the process rather than a planned image.
Towards the end of the process I add the finer detail, finishing highlights and shading and cleaning up certain lines and areas. You often find traces of the process itself in a finished work: The structure of layered paint, delicate lace like layering, layers intertwined and partially exposed, as if I need to expose myself and become vulnerable in order to heal and give healing to others. There is no more shame. All is brought into the light.
Since my process is cyclic it is also endless – I will often revisit already “finished work” and rework it all over again, giving it a new dimension and adding to the historicity of the work.