The first part of the year was spent working diligently on a body of work that I called The Geographic. The title riffs on and alludes to a phrase the geographic cure, often heard in the rooms of my AA meetings, which is talked about or shared when someone physically moves or relocates in order to attempt to solve their problems with alcohol (Spoiler alert: it usually doesn't work!).
Each painting began with the name/title embedded into canvas during the first layer of the underpainting. The abstract nature of the work served to help me revisit the history of my drinking, my spiritual awakening and eventual sobriety, as well as my thriving recovery. All of these things occurring while still living in a small town that boasts more livestock than people.
For the first six months of 2018, I examined the landscape of my drinking over the years, the stories I told and continue to tell myself about this destructive and painful time in my life, and the layers and complexities revealed through excavating my past, present and future. All of this is being processed through my mark-making with acrylics, oils + inks on hardwood panels, which serve as the metaphor for the firm foundation I always wanted and finally have in recovery.
These abstract landscapes are telling the story of what it was like, what happened and what it's like now.
(All photos taken on my property while the Naked Ladies were in full bloom - September 2018)