Thursday, December 3, 2015

All That Remains (oil on canvas, 2015)

Nothing lasts forever.

I have found, although I never consciously intended it, that the ephemeral nature of all things is a recurring theme in my work. Time marches on — minute by minute, second by second — and everything changes. I spend a lot of time outdoors, walking around with my sketchbook, running and cycling, and I'm constantly struck by how much the landscape around me, even in my little microcosm in northern Maine, changes year after year. Old buildings sink into the ground or collapse whilst new ones appear, seemingly to take their place. Fields become forests and forests become fields. New trees rise up as seedlings from the ground on to which old trees have fallen. Broken, pock-marked roads get repaved only to become broken and pock-marked once again. Objects that were once pristine become weathered, worn, faded and cracked and eventually decay.

But there's an inherent beauty in the decay, one that I find immensely appealing, especially when I see man-made objects that have become part of the landscape, the steel and painted wood consumed by rust and mold, illuminated by the setting sun, which itself serves as a constant reminder that time is always moving forward. Perhaps that's one of the things I love about painting: it's a way to preserve, at least for a while, that which is fleeting.

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