UPPER PASSAGE explores a vast calm and awe felt in nature. This past year I’ve hiked in Yosemite as well as Central Oregon and parts of BC. I’m keenly aware of the how in one hiking experience there can be such variety; from shaded wood paths to sudden pools near waterfalls to massive granite outcrops or cliffs. This painting conveys these feelings – through layers, contrasts of paint application (opaque and transparent passages) as well as color (cool and warm). Without being direct and painting the scene as I saw it, I take to my studio the immensity of the experience and convey that through the play of movement, contrasts and color.
I adore nature and outdoor meanderings as well as travel. Most of my paintings are about a dialogue between me and the canvas to share those connections, or encounters, I have daily in life. My working process begins with unplanned layers of paint using different applications from pouring to spraying water into paint to get drips, and shifting the painting around sometimes working on my painting studio wall and sometimes on the floor. Marks are added often into the still wet surface with pencil, smaller brushwork, charcoal, oil pastels. I’m establishing a freedom at the base layer which will come through in the final layers. I’ll continue with more opaque thicker paint as well as transparent polymer glazes to bring out forms from both nature and experiences. A dialogue ensues as I carefully listen. I use a variety of tools – brushes, acrylic pens, fingers, hands, scrapers and sponges to reveal and hide passages as the painting takes shape. I look to have light created from glazes and hold the viewers’ attention while movement in the composition takes the eye away for a journey to come back to the calm, light area. I’ve had many collectors describe the calm energy they feel living with my art and that’s one of the many reasons that keeps me painting. Sharing that energy though color, layers, and space created with composition.
“Upper Passage” by Patty Ripley