I am fascinated by water. Its patterns and dynamics are at once calming and stimulating.  Water is ever changing and what lies beneath its evocative surfaces is never fully revealed – a mystery that drives my recent paintings.

With camera in hand, I have spent many hours documenting the movement of different bodies of water. Most of my paintings are based on the spring-fed ponds and lake near University of Virginia’s Mountain Lake Biological Station in the mountains of Southwestern Virginia. My photographs of surface motion serve as a jumping off point for my compositions. As I paint, I am aware of the physical layers I build, from the bright white surfaces that show the sky above to the hidden depths below.

My abstract images have no beginning or end, no horizon line or point of view, as if the viewer is in the midst of water, submerged and without grounding. The contrast between lights and darks creates tension between above and below; seen and unseen; agitation and calm. The underwater realms seek to embody states of mind beyond landscape, suggesting something present but just out of reach. 

SWB in Studio