The series of paintings in “Graveyard” is informed by my own experiences of nature exploration on a micro scale. I have always collected bones, feathers, rocks, and other natural articles that I found while growing up on a ranch in rural central Texas. I am fascinated by the beautiful forms the bones make. Bones seem to be amorphous, sinuous shapes that have been caught in a moment and frozen there. The interesting cracks, fractures, and textures on their surfaces create a unique visual adventure.
Bones have never been an object of death for me. They are a symbol of the vitality of the environment around us and the activities that happen in the fine details. They are proof that the creatures they were originally part of are truly products of nature, and the ownership of them is only temporary. The next chapter of a creature’s existence is its reabsorption back into the seams of the landscape it once lived in. In this way, the bones become landscapes, their surfaces beginning to reflect textures and formations.
My work follows a long history of landscape painting, referencing specifically the concept of the sublime, a majestic, awe-inspiring, terrifying view of nature as an all-powerful force.
My series of paintings reinforces this idea; it seeks to convey further the complex and intricate relationships creatures have with the landscapes they inhabit, even after death. The reality that our environment could not be possible without the past inhabitants donating their remains to it puts idyllic landscapes into perspective. Discovering bones or other remains such as shells or snake skins allows us to have a tactile reminder that things don’t disappear in nature; they only change shape and form.