Shadow Transcendence

Cave III
Cave III. Acrylic on canvas, 2011. 24 x 20 in.

Greetings!  I am glad you have found your way to my site.  An artistic vision is taking shape.  There already was a common theme running through most of my recent work, but now, I feel I’m beginning to get at what’s behind these images.  It has to do with a sense of mystery in the world.  Maybe I haven’t put my thumb directly on this mystery, but I do believe I have identified certain qualities of it that trigger my imagination.  For example, I paint a lot of trees, but I would argue that my paintings are not just about trees.  They’re more about what is hidden by the trees.  The deep forest is an apt symbol for the unknowable.  Other candidates for this type of symbol are the ocean, with its shadowy depths, and the city, with its receding, half-visible alleys.


What I have developed, and it’s been an ongoing process since childhood, is a way of looking at the world.  I now call it shadow transcendence.  It is a process of allowing one’s self to get lost in the shadows of his or her environment.  It involves training the eye to notice shadows, and in turn, allowing the mind the liberty to wonder what may be hidden there.  I suppose this could be frightening, but that has not been my experience.  For me, this way of seeing has been known to restore a sense of magic to some of the most dull surroundings.  So you can imagine what shadow transcendence could do for an environment that is already interesting.


Now, this method may not work for just any group of shadows, but rather settings where the shadows imply depth.  When done successfully, it produces a pleasant state of mind in which there is a certain thrill to be found in the not-knowing, for this is where the imagination is most free.  Who hasn’t stared out over the ocean, or even a small pond, and wondered what all was hidden beneath the surface?  My work is about harnessing that sensation.  It is a feeling often stronger in children, but it may be savored as an adult, also, even if it means using a technique like shadow transcendence.

Welcome to!


"Clearing II"
“Clearing II” Acrylic, 2010

Welcome!  The work displayed on this site is a representation of my recent artistic thought.  To learn what my paintings are all about, please visit the “artist statement” page.  I invite you to explore the site and post a comment or get in touch with me on Facebook or through email:  Thanks!  Alan