Michele Lauriat Painting
I work from landscapes that I have a personal connection to, and a fractured understanding of. I am interested in the paradox of trying to observe these places in full detail, without reducing them. My focus lately has been on Phil’s Hill, a mountain in New Hampshire unofficially named for my father. Phil’s Hill is my father’s hunting grounds, and therefore a main source of food and legend in my young life. Over the past year my father has taken me to Phil’s Hill several times to collect source material (photos, drawings, and the stories he tells me). In the studio I work in a variety of water-soluble media, pencil, and collage on paper. I represent the sprawling parts of Phil’s Hill with pattern, line, and shape. These parts float to the surface of my drawings, and then fade away, allowing the dominant contour of the landscape to transform as it is viewed. I use layering to allow one set of marks to come forward, be the center of attention for a moment, and then dissipate as another set of marks moves to the foreground. This creates a shifting and disorienting landscape that the viewer is never quite able to pin down.