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Michael McDowell

Artist’s Statement


It interests me that paint can be applied in a series of layers similar to layers of skin. I am fascinated by what happens when layers of paint cover one another resulting in an obscuring of previous layers. The more layers, the more obscure previous stuff becomes. This has to do with the evolution of the paintings, their history. I like to allow this process to evolve at its’ own pace. I prefer to let layers come about organically, much like how skin heals itself when wounded. In some way I feel this becomes part of the content of these paintings.


I have recently realized that the process of painting, maybe any art-making endeavor, is often a means of taking personal inventory. This has led me to strive to generate personal symbols that represent the various aspects of my individual context. The idea of taking inventory also seems to have influenced how this work is composed.


It is not my intention to depict a narrative through this current group of paintings. Rather, the various themes present in the work serve as topics for meditation. The process of painting thus becomes meditative, without specific narrative. I am not trying to “say” something specific in the paintings. I am more interested in allowing  latitude with respect to where one might travel emotionally, psychologically or spiritually. In some way I believe these paintings allow that to happen.

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