You may remember some landscapes I did some years ago. I took a summer class of landscape painting, where we went out and painted landscapes (obviously). I really enjoyed several aspects of it - mostly the purity of painting what is in front of you (rather than photographs or even staged still lifes), but also I enjoyed the historical significance of the landscape - it's ability to be both timeless and time specific and the relationship of the figure (or people) to the landscape.
Anyway, after that class I got away from that purity part of it and started abstracting it (moving away from "pure" translation of the landscape to landscape as metaphor. These metaphors in the beginning were about me and nostalgia for a certain place).
So as I continued this metaphor of the landscape, and the incorporation of the figure with the landscape it became more about the relationship of the physical person to the physical place instead of about a specific place. This of course, begs the question (at least in my mind), what about the physical person in a spiritual place - in other words this physical spiritual divide (for which the horizon line makes a nice metaphor). This was a natural connection to me, since I have always had certain spiritual themes in my art.
So the physical/spiritual divide brings up issues of death, prayer, Christ's incarnation, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and other similar intersections of the physical and spiritual. So then of course, the work got all, you know, college-abstracty, for lack of better words. Not that i think this was unproductive, I just think this 10 ft fabric drapery served as a step to help me realize this idea of the landscape as a metaphor for the spiritual and physical intersections. And that this new understanding should be taken back to the paintings i'm doing now, rather than continuing in this abstract way. Of course, i didn't really plan these changes, and I sort of figured them out as I went or even sometimes after the fact. Nevertheless - this is a quick summary of the process i went through to reach my view of landscapes today.
Recently, I returned to figural and representational art - because of a need for real connection with real people. I guess at this time in my life, abstract art wasn't fulfilling that need which suddenly became so important to me. So now i'm painting real things again - things i really connect and interact with in my life, which means still lifes, interiors, and (what else?) landscapes. But even though i am leaving behind abstract art (at least for now), i am bringing all that i learned from it with me, and still thinking of this metaphor.
So when they get presentable, i will present them.