There’s something so captivating about seeing a rainbow, isn’t there? During last year’s artist residency in Iceland, I probably encountered at least one a day, but the sight never got old. It’s no wonder that their charm has stuck with me, eventually following me back into the studio.
I set out with the goal of trying to describe light dispersion in various atmospheric conditions, via oil on canvas. Light plays such an important role in all my paintings, so it seemed a worthy experiment to try and portray its characteristics in a new way. The technique, however, caught me completely off guard, resulting in a great deal of frustration, which of course lead to swearing under my breath, which lead to angry brush strokes, which lead to an agitated aesthetic (obviously not what I was going for), which ultimately lead to feeling like a terrible person who makes terrible art.
The story doesn’t end there, however, because as disappointed as I was feeling, I soon turned a corner. In my heavy-handed efforts, I had lost sight of why I love painting, but the passage of time loosened my grip on the outcome, and brought back the will to keep working at it. Maybe, the reason for painting all these rainbows was because I was trying to point to my own experience, echoing the impermanence of hard times. That is to say: rainbows symbolize the promise of beauty ensuing from darkness, brilliant color appearing after a downpour. Difficulty is temporary, and these paintings have taken on meaning as reminders of that truth.