Whether you believe a higher power is responsible for life, or you advocate the scientific explanation, or you are not certain about how it all began, the birth, growth and change of the world is a fascinating subject to explore. “Evolution Theory” began because I wanted to paint the birth of the world based on my beliefs, education and perceptions. There are seven 36-by-48 canvases in the series.
I began these seven in late December, 2009 and finished in early May 2010. Actually, the initial painting I made in December, which I titled “Conception,” sold to private collectors shortly after I finished it. So, I began from the beginning again.
A womb-like, circular theme begins in the primordial swirls and energy burst of Evolution Theory I and continues through to the organized world in Evolution Theory VII. The circle is a design element I use often in my work, even in photographs.
Beginning with a thick layer of light molding paste applied with my hands, I built each painting in layers. The first painting – which I had conceived in my mind but did not start until after I completed II, III and IV – does not have a molding paste layer because I wanted to convey a flat surface from which life began. Typically, I worked on three canvases simultaneously because I had to allow for drying time between each layer on each canvas.
Detail of texture, layers and elements in Evolution Theory VII
Between layers, I used interference coats and materials such as aluminum foil, into which I drew; cheesecloth; modeling pastes to make raised motifs and symbols; dried flowers from our 2009 garden; my handmade papers and models of the hands and feet of our children and grandchildren. Speaking of hands, while those in Evolution Theory VI are representational, at least one abstract hand appears in each canvas. Although I painted these seven as a series, each canvas is a work unto itself. From a purely artistic sense of “creation,” the series is a story about creating something from nothing and making order of it.