Whether it’s fading light, passing storms or growing weeds, there’s a steady change in nature. I look at my everyday surroundings, watch this cycle, and enjoy finding something new in a familiar thing. It’s the surprise of variation from the routine. These changing moments are what first drew me to the landscape as a subject.
With these interests as a constant occurrence in my work, I’ve set aside straightforward observation and started using the landscape more as a point of departure than for true reference. Recently, I’ve found it more important to see and understand a space in more than one way, putting my accumulated vocabulary of the everyday world to use in invention. My paintings now respond rather than simply record, taking recognizable details of the landscape and focusing on reevaluating them. It’s an exciting process of trying to fit the world into a new framework and having it buck back.
This shift from a largely perceptual approach to a combination of memory, imagination, and observation means dividing my time between the studio and the outdoors. Creating has become a balancing act of often dissimilar methods: alla prima plein air painting, large studio painting, and printmaking, each prompting and informing the others. At all times, I rely on the translation that these processes provide, letting the materials assume partial control of the final image. - Sean Ware
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