I am increasingly fascinated by life experiences — and by artworks — that exist on the limits of language and that defy explanation, while remaining somewhat elusive and hard to pin down. In my work, I fuse painting, drawing, and image-making to investigate these experiences, attempting to materialize specific perceptions and encounters with my physical reality.

 

Examples of this approach include works such as “The Clearing” which originated from notations of atmospheric color and glacial melt in Iceland and the “Static Fields” where sensations and textures experienced while cycling though a local forest are reimagined and concretized. Most recently, in the “Projections,” the processes of painting, drawing, image-projection, collage, photography, and installation are more tangibly synthesized. What was a simple photograph of the sky framed by the architecture of my studio has developed into a painting and light installation integrated back into the place where the picture originated. While the origins of these works are highly specific, ultimately I desire to create an open-ended experience for the viewer, making works that embody a certain enigmatic quality and yet retain a familiarity just beyond one’s referential grasp. 

 

Equally as enigmatic and seductive is light, color, and paint itself; the substance I prefer, for its limitless haptic and optical possibilities. I indulgently experiment by combining centuries old technologies with those invented in the 21st century and by integrating labor-intensive physical processes such as scraping, sanding, mark-making, and masking with effortless touches of a screen. It is fascinating to consider the evolution of these processes through the multiple histories of image-making, from mixing ground pigment with oil to the latest smartphone camera.

 

As an artist and educator, I maintain the optimistic view that it is possible to think through the process of making, while continuously refining the way one thinks about potential meanings and shifting contexts. I remain interested in making art that poeticizes the process, while considering notions of the enigmatic, the formless, and abstract notation— all the while driving toward a coalescence of thinking and making.

                                                                                                                                                                                              -Paul Jeanes