Ever since I first encountered Cubism in my freshman art history classes, I have been entranced with the possibility of texture in a painting. Prior to enrolling at MICA, my exposure to art had been limited to the strictly traditional, and until I saw the Synthetic Cubist works of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, I had never considered the possibility of texture other than that provided by discrete brushwork.
“Synthetic Cubism was the second main movement within Cubism that was developed by Picasso, Braque, Juan Gris and others between 1912 and 1919. Synthetic cubism is characterized by the introduction of different textures, surfaces, collage elements, papier colle and a large variety of merged subject matter.”
Excited by the possibilities, I headed off to a nearby lumberyard to purchase a bag of sand, my first “experiment” in adding additional texture to my paints. At the time, I shamelessly copied the styles of the Cubists as well, having not developed a direction for myself at that early age. Over time, as my style has developed, I find I continue to be engaged with texture. Since my subject is landscape – and since landscape itself presents us with a infinite variety of natural textures, I find the possibilities inherent in a both material and technique lend itself to my vision of landscape. Back in the early 1900’s — and again in my early school years in the 1960’s, materials for such investigations were limited. Today, the choices of materials is greatly expanded, particularly in acrylic lines and I continue to explore. Dimensional lines poured onto a surface, paint with knife or spatula; digging, drawing, scratching into paint with stylus, knife, bamboo pens & various devised instruments, adding sand, modeling paste, pumice gel – these are all areas for further experimentation and play that meld texture to landscape in new ways.