Sailing Past a Chaotic Incubation
acrylic and cut paper on panel
© Jamie Treacy
I harvest shapes using my camera to begin my creative process for painting. Vicious paths in cracked glass; sensuous purple cones that burst through the soil. I’m fascinated by the multiple meanings a shape can conjure. They first appear in my acrylic paintings--cropped to disorient, leaving few cues to the scale, identity and the location being portrayed. I paint these scenes with an eagerness to translate my observed textures into an undulating and darting surface. Shapes are then torn, sliced and carved out of painted paper and allowed to explore each other in worlds that are at times microscopic and at times gargantuan.
My works in collage cut paper depict fictional experiments that I’ve become dearly fond of. In these experiments, I chronicle my discovery of fragile life-forms who have survived in the harsh liquids and gases that humans create. In the titles I’ve given these works I seek to give these shape driven compositions identity. Fragile beings venture into hazardous waters, newly born creatures bravely persevere, and despite having to navigate congested spaces--they reproduce.
The link between the acrylic paintings that are rooted in the landscape and the abstracted works in cut paper collage is that the former closely informs the latter. I’m fascinated how science fiction writers pull pieces from reality to invent and portray the unknown. Pieces of earthly creatures patched together often inspire what we imagine aliens to look like. As I’m creating the representational paintings, I take joy in things like the feather-shape that shows itself again and again in cracked glass, or the battered grid of a net that’s been burdened by paint ball husks. I pull these small helper shapes that I’ve fallen in love with from the representational work and give them starring roles when creating the cut paper work.
While the representational acrylic paintings challenge me to describe form and space, the cut paper pieces push me to work intuitively with color and surface. As my series grows, I realize I enjoy how the two modes of working feed each other.
-Jamie Treacy 2011