I began these abstract gouache paintings in spring of 2017 while my twin daughters napped. The work builds on my abstract oil paintings and watercolor landscapes I began while studying in Italy.
When I worked as an elementary school art teacher, I saved the scrap papers my students used beneath their artworks to protect their desks. The scrap papers, used by multiple students for many years, are gorgeous: they have layers of ink, watercolor, permanent marker, pencil, oil pastel, and tempera paint. There are lines, letters, doodles and washes of colors. I use the casing from an old 35mm slide as a viewfinder to select a composition within the scrap paper. I use gouache to recreate the composition on watercolor paper. The organic compositions are evocative of landscapes, seascapes, and natural elements like pebbles and puddles.
After a year of painting the tiny pieces, I started working larger. I begin the larger paintings by using tissue paper and water to create marks. Then I add finely detailed gouache paintings copied from and inspired by the scrap papers created by my former students. I continue the artworks using a combination of loose mark making and carefully controlled observational painting, blending the two ways of working into a unified whole.