Artist Statement

I am often surprised by color. Color is there, waiting to be noticed. The experience of color burns through ordinary recognition until the geography of thought no longer matters. The deep, velvet blue lobelia, the golden aspen against dark evergreen, the purple shadow on an adobe wall are examples.

We cannot notice color like this every minute. We have dogs to feed, telephones to answer, friends to support, children to raise. The color I speak of is sacred – not a part of the ordinary world.

Light creates the condition for this mysterious shift from the routine to a personal experience of soul. But we can walk straight past the offering and never see or feel the gift. That is because there is a second component to the experience. We also need to be unhinged from our agendas, ever so slightly, to let the light in. I don’t know how the chemistry works. I do know how it feels.

The experience is very simply an outward affirmation of inward reality. And the blessing is not always happy. It can be aching sadness, a deep yearning, or the joy of Wordsworth’s vision: “. . . and then my heart with laughter fills, and dances with the daffodils.”

My paintings are not reproductions of a physical place. In fact, I am unable to remember visual things. I often begin with a photograph. Somewhere in the process of painting, I leave the photograph behind. My composition, light and color decisions are dependent on what I see in the painting as it changes. The deeper I go, the more the painting reveals to me that sacred place, the moment when my inward reality is perfectly reflected in the external image. Then the painting is finished.

Really, any hungry viewer, has the same experience. Surprised by color or light because the routine has been interrupted, the painting burns into a person until it becomes the gateway to the experience of soul.

Margret Carde