Exclusion Zone embodies a synthesis of natural history and human interference.
Layers and textures of movement/stillness emerge from beneath smooth surfaces, revealing a palimpsest of collective and individual memory.
Visible and invisible evidence of existence remain.
Over the past thee–four years, I have produced a body of work that utilizes Douglas fir plywood that once served to protect previously painted surfaces aboard-ship during the completion of Aegis and Zumwalt class naval vessels at the Bath Iron Works. The plywood shielded the above from the scouring effects of sandblasting, which has etched into the plywood in proportion to the relative resistance of the laminations of wood, depending on what part of the tree the layer of wood was extracted from . . .
The patterns produced on the wood are unusual, varied, and unintentional. I have interpreted these in a manner that Rorschach’s inkblots might be. The intended impression for the viewer has been strengthened by the use of paint and contrast and, in some cases, the supplementary affixing of complementary wooden remnants.
I believe this symbolic and significant capacity to shift materials used in support of military buildup to a more peaceful aesthetic and humanistic utilization is transformative.
Dancing sparkles, brilliant
alight your surface,
when we part.
Twinkling in patches.
when you arrive,
you envelope the shore.
We can’t see sea grass
nor periwinkles or crabs.
When we part,
trees’ barren branches
embrace the earth
with their shadows.
Dancing sparkles, brilliant
Alight your surface.
roll and roll and roll
ceaselessly distorting our reflections
and movements into fluid
You Terns are too cute.
Look at how still that blue heron stands.
Tomorrow we will go and
your surface will be like glass,
except for the trails from buffleheads
tickling you with their webbed feet.
In my painting of the doorway that I discovered walking around the grounds and environs in Giverny, I was taken with the juxtaposition of new blooms sprouting by an aged timeworn door. The doorway reveals the aging process as well as the inherent beauty in the textures, cracks, and fissures in cement and the chinks in the wood. My painting displays the marks of an era. The depth of the colors, values, and hues are faded; yet by using a palette knife, brush, heavy body paint, line, and considerable color mixing, Porte Giverny captures the tracks of time.
I photographed images of Hawaii’s NaPali Coast and its textures, crevices, colors, and movement as I sailed around the island of Kauai. The NaPali Coast is a sacred place defined by extraordinary natural beauty and textures I strove to capture in my painting. The ridged cliffs loom high above the Pacific, displaying a record of past and present activity. The pali, or cliffs, deliver a rugged magnificence of deep, narrow valleys ending abruptly at the sea. Waterfalls and swift-flowing streams slash the valleys. Extensive stone-walled terraces can still be found on the valley bottoms where Hawaiians once lived and cultivated taro.
Image at top: Nancy Bixler, Exclusion Zone, mixed media, 10 x 10 in., 2017.