12 Battles

12 paintings, 34 x 34 inches, oil on linen, 2016

In November 2015 I spent time at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. This residency is seventeen miles from Appomattox. When I left I drove slowly home through Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. I stopped at twelve Civil War battlefields. At each one I took a long walk or bike ride. I recorded the path of each tour on my phone with a mapping app. I wanted to pay attention to place and research how and if tragic slaughter lingers in a place. The paintings were an idea before the content arrived, but the content fully influenced the painting as it developed: place, the physical experience of the day and time I was there, the playing out of a metaphorical battle between disciplined control and intuitive gesture. All of our battles really play out this conflict: an idea of order, a physicality of being.