In the summer of 1999, I studied abroad in Italy. One day, during a drawing class in Florence, I remember sketching the interior of Chiesa Santo Spirito, sitting cross-legged on the stone floor of the church, with my drawing board in my lap. My professor came around to critique my work and suggested that rather than getting lost in representing the ornate details of the columns and arches in perspective, I should simply think about how to draw the space contained by the architecture. How would I draw the air itself and the beautiful filtered light? I loved that idea. How would I really depict that intangible feeling of being inside of a particular space?
This summer, when the sun fell across the wall of my apartment, it illuminated that memory. It is a feeling of being inside of a sacred, safe place where the thoughts and emotions of daily life intersect with the larger flow of spirit. Now, I am in my home, a space I have experienced for the past ten years. By painting a simplified domestic interior, I can further focus on how to explain all of the intangible things that the space contains. Even though the plain white walls are not filled with furniture and objects in my paintings, these are not empty spaces. They are spaces that hold personal narrative. The movement of light across a wall or repeated through a stair rail is a reminder of all of the life that moves through the space. It is a complex tangle of energy, growth, change, and memories. With the passage of time and the seasons, it is dynamic. Windows and stairways are the boundaries of the space. These are places where the interior self interacts with the natural world outside.