New!—Link for Jeri’s video introduction to a series of 28 paintings based on Homer’s Odyssey
Jeri’s series of 150 drawings–In Black and White
Link for Jeri’s video introduction to the series (6:13)
Link for a video commentary on the drawing entitled “Angel in the City” from In Black and White (3:30)
Blog post on Jeri’s reading of the Can Xue short story “Crow Mountain”
These four paintings are from a series of 50 canvases completed in 2016 that represent some of my most recent work. The paintings are all square, 30” x 30”, done in acrylic. Over the years I have developed my own approach to painting. I simply paint without a plan for the final image, applying layers of transparent color and changing the developing forms intuitively until I achieve a result that seems to cohere. Back in the 1970s when I began painting, I painted in watercolor, and my approach to acrylic is an extension of what I learned while working in that medium. Watercolor demands immediacy and freshness. In acrylic, I can paint out and revise whole sections as I progress. I feel a sense of satisfaction as the painting’s layers deepen. This satisfaction perhaps mirrors a deeply held belief in the complexity of our connection to others and to the world.
I’ve always been convinced that the boundary between inside and outside ourselves is much more porous than we choose to acknowledge. I often find my “subjects” indistinguishable from the environment around them. This isn’t a game or a political statement, but rather the way I see.
In Heartbeat, for instance, a startling green dominates the painting. The two figures emerge as part of the green web. Heartbeat can be seen as a commentary on human connection with this natural world, but that meaning came later. In the actual putting down of paint, I was instead seeking a sense of rightness, of balance among the chaos of the painting’s elements. Each painting is a problem to solve, but the answer isn’t just a technical solution.
The painting is finished when all the forces in the work find balance and cohere. In most instances, I resist the “meaning” of the painting until the end. I know the titles express something inherent in the work, yet for me, the process itself is what drives me toward any meaning that may arise. It’s my way of enacting the intelligence that lies at the heart of the world’s unfolding.