oil on canvas
36″ x 60″
I spent the first eighteen years of my life growing up on the south shore of Oahu. I learned how to surf at age three, feeling grounded by the constant blue horizon and the majestic Hawaiian mountains. Growing up on the most isolated land mass in the world I paid attention to every brilliant piece of nature unfolding before me with the changing tradewinds. I often use the colors of my childhood, lush green, cobalt blue, tangerine, and magenta as building blocks for my paintings. In Hawaii, the people, language, food, and customs are a mixture of the many cultures of people who came to the islands – Samoan, Native Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, English, Korean, and Filipino. Beauty comes in unexpected forms and from many points of view.
When I see something beautiful that I do not fully understand, I have an impulse to paint it. What I’m physically attracted to may be the sherbert clouds resting on steep Hawaiian mountains in Paka Nahele , the porcelain skin of a friend in Amber , or the ephemeral floating tentacles of a jellyfish in Float . I find something physically stunning because there is a certain spiritual element beckoning me to search for the sublime.
Heaven is that feeling when just for a second you have a glimpse past our physical world and into something else. Just after the sun has gone down in Makapu’u , the ocean becomes mercurial. In Erin Surfs , my sister effortlessly dances upon the waves and becomes one with the ocean.
In Float I explored a recurring dream of floating through nebulas in space with no gravity. Weightlessness, a feeling similar to the buoyancy when swimming in the ocean, flooded my heart with a sense of peace. I sought to capture that by making a photo collage of nebulas, jellyfish, and synapse firing. I painted loosely from the collage, pouring paint from one canvas onto another. Every time I liked an effect, I replicated it and enhanced it by adding drop shadows and pops of color. I painted over the parts that felt unnecessary and moved forward adding, subtracting, and refining my vision.
I enjoy painting large pieces because they are challenging and take the movement of the entire body- the feet, the arms, and the core. Painting large makes me feel like I’m dancing with a partner.
My purpose is to seek these beautiful moments and to relay them to other people. I believe that we are connected in ways that we cannot always immediately see. My time on earth will have been meaningful if I have felt gratitude for the beauty around me, engaged with the sublime, and allowed other people to feel that same joy. This world is inherently meaningful. Art is the seeking of this meaning.
32″ x 72″
oil on canvas
72″ x 96″
oil on wood
For more artwork: http://www.kelseynapier.com