2018 Faculty Exhibit





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acrylic paintings (visual works)

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Art and Design | Art Practice | Fine Arts | Painting


Mosaic is made of acrylic on canvas.

Artist's Statement:

My studio painting is simple; stirred by as-yet unnamed passions, exploring qualia, wooed through will and awareness. Complexes of marks, textures and passages of color appear in the flurry; layered, pushed and pulled by back-painting and cellular pattern-making, leading to what I hope is a rich field of plenty, a tabla rasa, ripe and fecund—like a well prepared garden plot from which a wide variety of wild and undetermined seeds are coming up, toward the light. Free of polemical issues, opinions or conceptual statements, even representational associations (even the garden analogy), the work begins an odd status as a proto-image with possibilities to be many things or none, depending on the mind of the viewer. As the painter, I have learned to let passing associations fall away. My work is in honor of the mystery of perception, the pure and the luminous eye; allowing the work to stand alone—even from my vanities—reconnecting the hand, eye and spirit. The work is, strictly speaking, not about me, at least not the me I know from the past. The work is rather a statement about the infinite present. That is the point.

Beauty and radiance are found in the silence of meditative gazing, before words are assigned, when prior experience has no correlate in the present. To say something is beautiful is an expression of a certain perceptual acuity, savoring an unknown experience rather than naming it. It is similar to saying I love you as an emotional summary meant to state a truth, while ironically to do so lifts you out of actually loving. Similarly, when, before nature and art, we judge the object of our gaze to be "beautiful" we have already abandoned it by verbalization. It is the experience of awe, as our verbal thinking is overwhelmed by the delight, the delicacy, the tumult and the weighty drama of sensory qualia. The ineffable experience we babble about as beauty, even "terrible beauty", produces psychic vertigo; a longing and an implicit reminder of our personal insignificance in the sweep of time and space—and the inadequacy of verbal constructions. Such meditation stills the mental chatter and provides a new platform from which to experience an eternal moment.


This work appeared in the 2018 Faculty Exhibit, an exhibition presented by the Nils Lou Gallery and the Department of Art at Linfield College during September 2018. Image courtesy of Ron Mills.


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