What it feels like to be a ghost
Q: What was your concept behind your work?
MR: Depression is something that I battle every day. Aside from my daily dosage of Zoloft, painting and drawing have always been my own form of medication in dealing with my depression. Something about color and pattern seem to calm me down and help me to relax my ever racing mind. The trees I paint are symbols for how I feel in this everyday battle. The trees are dead but have a certain life to them; they are whimsical and hopeful just like me. The lush green backgrounds create a dreamlike atmosphere which allows me to escape into a different world where the pressures of everyday life are nonexistent. The line work within the trees is repetitive and helps to numb and relax my mind in ways that my medication cannot. I consider these trees as self portraits revealing my deepest feelings and emotions.
Q: Explain the technique and/or process you used for the piece.
MR: I start out with my backgrounds. It takes a while for me to layer the colors because of the drying time. I do thin washy layers with watercolor paint and use salt resist on some layers. The salt absorbs the water and leaves behind a starburst texture. Depending on the painting, I mist some layers with water or wipe away paint. Both of these processes create unique textures. My process is very improvisational and really depends on my mood. Some days I paint more agressively than others.
Momentum Tulsa 2009 includes visual art by artists aged 30 and younger. The exhibition is free and open at Living Arts, 307 E Brady, Tulsa, until October 24. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Sunday 1-5 pm, until 9 pm on Thursday and Friday.
Curators Scott Perkins & Frank Wick selected 93 artworks by 66 artists from all over the state for the exhibition. Also, three Spotlight artists created bodies of work on display, Nick Bayer, Dustin Boise, and Emily Kern. Intern Ashley Romano interviewed the artists to learn about their creative process. Watch for more profiles throughout the run of the exhibition.