My paintings are abstract in style and created using water-based acrylic paint, exploring the extraordinary variety of visual effects available in this material. I work with fluid paint, wet on wet, that behaves with many watery characteristics. Water is colorless, reflecting the blue sky or the flaming sunset. It floods and surges, so I pour and push the paint in an expressive “go with the flow” metaphor. Each layer I paint interacts with the layer underneath and the one above, and layers of fluid paint suspended in acrylic medium laid down at different stages of dryness create different transparency, surface effects, and texture.
When I tip the work surface to make the paint flow and blow paint across the picture with a powerful fan the paint moves differently at different viscosities. Surrendering to this flow of wet paint rather than shaping it with my hand makes me feel that I am working with natural forces such as those that shaped the earth. The paintings have rough, expressive surfaces that evoke the surfaces of natural terrain. In an exaggerated, fantastic, sense, these parallel the natural forces of landscape.
I find the process-based development and resolution of these paintings a very exciting and rewarding experience. I am continually surprised at how each painting resolves itself, independent of my control. Just as being in the natural element of water is an experience that is all encompassing (i.e. the floating, the sinking, the loss of control in the current that takes me somewhere else), so is it when I am in the process of painting. I have the sensation of being one small thing in the immensity of the creative process. Water is transparent and also conceals the deep. My paintings express my wonder at the beauty of the surface and also attempt to reveal a glimpse of the sublime as landscapes of my inner creative self. I intuitively express this with color, the “soul” of the painting.
– KATHLEEN STAPLES