Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why Boxes?

Self II 12x12 Encaustic

My blog has been dormant for a while because I have been trying to decipher exactly what it is that I am doing. I have said to friends, "I keep stacking boxes, and I don't know what it means...". Some have implied that I didn't have to know the meaning just yet. So, since I came back from my residency in Vermont I have been developing a new visual language to describe again that age old phenomenon of the human condition and our relationships with ourselves and others. But why boxes?

Enveloped II 8x8 Encaustic

I think they lend themselves to many things. First off, they tend to resemble the figure itself. But if we think about the box, a box is something we put things in. It is used to separate, to compartmentalize, to create boundaries. We do that with objects, yes. But what about feelings, memories, and thoughts? Are we in a way, "boxes"? In my imagery, these boxes lean on each other. Could these relationships be a supportive leaning or something negative? In the encaustic pieces, some of the actual structures seem to deteriorate, perhaps suggesting dissolving or uncertain relationships.

Self I 12x12 Encaustic

Then we can think of what is inside verses outside the box. First, are we inside or outside the box? And then who, if anyone, is placing us there and just what does that mean?? Then there is the ritual of stacking the boxes, which suggests obsession and a sense of being overwhelmed. On the other hand, the boxes in these paintings are inclined to balance in space, suggesting a source of strength and stability.

Merging VII 13x13 Oil on Paper

These are all questions and thoughts that are developing while I continue on this new series of paintings. Hopefully they are little sparks for conversations I can have with myself and others about the promises and inner strengths required to keep in our boxes for the journey ahead. What's in your box?

Self IV 8x8 Encaustic