Each diptych has a central dividing line created by a color change or by a physical separation of the piece in to two parts. In the works shown here I have used three disparate themes: 1. Montana/New Mexico; 2. Mother/Father; 3. Peaceful Place/Turbulent Place. They all contain distinct contrasts. below I discuss each separately:
In 1985 I moved from Helena, Montana to Las Cruces New Mexico to teach at New Mexico State University. Every summer I return to Montana. I still feel a deep attachment to Montana. But over many winters living in southern New Mexico I have become equally attached to a very different culture and landscape close to the Mexican border. I continue to travel back and forth but wish at times
that I could be in both places at the same time. Pieces “At Once”, “At Once II” and “Concurrent” address this dilemma as well as weather and landscape differences. Also important is the influence of Mexican culture on the border region and how it contrasts with Montana culture. I want the brightly colored flowers in the bottom half to mix more freely with the reserved color of the leaves in the top.
Since my parents' death in 2009 and 2011 I have worked on a series about them as a couple. Their ashes were buried in a grass covered church yard without grave markers and were placed in adjacent rectangular holes in biodegradable boxes and sprinkled with flowers. Then, the sod was replaced to cover the holes. No head stones mark the graves; the spots where they are buried has returned to a seemly undisturbed lawn.
"Blue/Yellow II" has two deep brown holes in a field of green grass. One hole is filled with blue flowers for my mother, the other filled with yellow leaves for my father. The color of the objects in the holes is significant. Blue was by far my mother's most favorite color. She painted her house blue, her car was blue, the tiles and carpet were blue, the towels, clothes, dishes, everything was blue. It seemed, that in her mind, there was blue and then there were all the other colors. Nothing compared in beauty to blue in her mind. If she had a choice of color for something, she would almost always chose blue. My dad was red green color blind and disliked colors that appeared grey to him. He could see yellow and so he liked yellow.
As I child I liked to rake up a large pile of leaves and lay down in it. Resting in a deep, soft, sweetly scented pile of fall leaves was soothing. The beautiful color of the leaves enhanced the experience. As an adult I look out in my yard at the fallen leaves and imagine myself laying down and relaxing in them. Now as an artist I have chosen a pile of bright yellow leaves as a visual representation of tranquility. In contrast to this state of peace evoked by the leaves, I have juxtaposed an image of turmoil in the form of a whirlpool or tornado that is sucking the leaves under.