Patrick Adams

I have been painting images of the landscape for over twenty years now in an attempt to convey the experience of being in this vast, ever-changing space of light and form. However, I am not interested in simply producing a painting with a likeness to a particular place. What does interest me is expressing my existentially confirmed experience of a place; or, perhaps I should say, its essence. This is why I return to the same handful of places over and over again. These places are inexhaustible sources of inspiration because each experience of them is unique.

Painting is a focusing and sculpting of light; and light (interestingly) is the one thing we experience that is outside of time—that is, light does not age. I want my paintings to somehow convey that sense of timelessness. My work begins in the observable world, but attempts to go beyond the surface of things. I want to get inside them. This kind of seeing is not straightforward or simple. I begin a work on the assumption that I am impaired by blindness, and the painting process is the cure for this infirmity—the means by which I acquire true sight. I would describe this process as bumbling around in the dark. I even try to deliberately frustrate my progress, using awkward pastry brushes and palette knives. I change the direction, color, composition, and manner of paint application constantly, and overwork my paintings to nearly (and sometimes beyond) the point of no return. This is all in an effort to keep myself guessing and groping around in the work to find my way forward. This process builds a very tactile and layered surface, which to me is as important as the image. I am never satisfied if a painting is too easy or controlled (contrived)—I would have to mess it up and start again. It is this process of repeated failures and false starts that I find creates any real poetry in my work.