Toshio Shibata's photograph, Grand Coulee Dam, Douglas County, WA, 1996, is the central inspiration for this work. Shibata starts with something one can perceive with one’s senses directly, the Grand Coulee Dam. Shibata perfectly captures the dam in one moment of time, from an unusual perspective. As Boston Globe art critic Mark Freeney explains,
Shibata doesn’t really care if you know what it is you’re seeing…purpose doesn’t matter; appearance does. He wants the image to be experienced for how it looks, not for what it shows. So many of the structures verge on abstraction.
My work takes Shibata’s abstraction to another place. My painting is about releasing the energy captured by Shibata, moving towards landscapes that are increasingly free, unrestrained, and even wild. The photograph becomes a point of departure for painting that explores internal notions of landscape, releasing what one can perceive with the senses and moving towards what one perceives through consciousness. As the constraints of the physical world are slowly released, entire new horizons rise up.