Update, April 12, 2012: Evolution Theory III, IV and VI have been sold to a private collector.
Whether you believe a higher power is responsible for life, or you advocate the scientific explanation, or you are not certain about how it all began, the birth, growth and change of the world is a fascinating subject to explore.
There are seven 36-by-48 canvases in the series. As birthing itself, there were moments of agony involved in the painting; but I am glad I did it.
A womb-like, circular theme begins in the primordial swirls and energy burst of Evolution Theory I and continues through to the organized world in Evolution Theory VII. The circle is a design element I use often in my work , even in photographs.
Beginning with a thick layer of light molding paste applied with my hands, I built each painting in layers.
The first painting, which I had conceived in my mind but did not start until after I completed II, III and IV, does not have a molding paste layer because I wanted to convey a flat surface from which life began.
Typically, I worked on three canvases simultaneously because I had to allow for drying time between each layer on each canvas. Between layers, I used interference coats and materials such as aluminum foil, into which I drew; cheesecloth; modeling pastes to make raised motifs and symbols; dried flowers from our 2009 garden; my handmade papers and models of the hands and feet of our children and grandchildren.
Speaking of hands, while those in Evolution Theory VIare representational, at least one abstract hand appears in each canvas.
Of all the paintings and series of work I have made, this is my favorite. I am still amazed, really, that I completed them in just under six months, especially since the creation of each canvas was an intuitive process. There are no sketches.
Although I did not realize it when I started to paint this collection, I have come to believe that in many ways, I think this series is also about the process of artistic creation.
Each canvas is a work unto itself, a story about creating something from nothing and making order of it.
They have exhibited twice and have appeared on the set of a documentary film. I love the feedback I receive from viewers who return time and again to look at the paintings.
“I keep seeing new things every time I look,” they say.
Do you know what? So do I, which is why I said I believe this series is as much about art making as it is about making the world.
The collection is for sale as a series or individually.