Mapping Viriditas


Without maps, we don’t know where we are, and without progress we have no need for maps.

Slowly, my latest series of paintings is coming together, and it is green blooms, fresh stems pushing out from the snow, grass returning to dominance in the last weeks of winter. Viriditas, as I continue to call it. A simple palette, one supposes, but green is so very complex, and the pattern of putting it together continues to both amaze and inspire me. As the weather warms, and my work picks up pace, I feel more and more clarity and connection with were the works will go.

The clarity derives from a sense of mapping a direction. We tend to map out everything when we are putting together something new. Maps are the guide to a new space, and maps are the instructions for piecing a machine together. The blueprints of a building define a future space, and the instructions for a child’s toy guide us to how we will play.

This is the first painting in this series that I completed (not finished, but complete), and so its qualities of being a map seem very prescient to me. As I have worked on it I think I have become more and more aware of where I want to take this series. I get a greater and greater handle on how the forms fit together, and how those forms modulate between being components of a landscape, components of a machine, and words of a song.

Everything is a step forward, and there is always so much to be done. But I am keenly aware that in my process and experience, the mapping of the happening can only begin when the first steps are made.