The first inklings of my That Sinking Feeling series popped into my head in June of 2015 - it was a daydream vision of a tabletop painting with a sinking crater in the middle, and I've never forgotten it. I kept it in my head, but I wasn't able to envision how I could actually physically create such a thing. I lacked the sculpture skills to make it a reality. But I never forgot the idea. Meanwhile, I began to work with the image of a hole in the stomachs of my figural drawings and prints, and the depression or crater concept came alongside, parallel in my thoughts.
Over the course of this last year I happened to become aware of and curious about the medium of encaustic, which is a form of painting with wax. It was through this slightly more sculptural medium that I got the idea of how to construct a true depression painting. I bought wire mesh, and plaster fabric strips, and I dug out my rechargeable jigsaw tool, and I got to work. The resulting encaustic crater series has been fascinating and artistically satisfying. I am enjoying this very abstract work immensely - it's something I've felt unable to really delve into after a decade of graphic design work that kept me planted firmly in the representational zone. It's been freeing.
As much as I enjoy the fully abstract crater pieces, I'm even more excited about the possibility of juxtaposing the abstract with the more realistic figural work I've done in the past year. My newest piece depicts my 6 year old daughter on her purple Pudd'n bike with a big crater in her stomach. There is something disturbing about a hole in a child's stomach, but I feel that it says something about the human condition, from which children are not exempt. We are all subject to struggle.
Here is an image of the purple Pudd'n piece, in progress. The crater's not in yet, but the hole is there.